Today’s letter – What scares me

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Happy Halloween!

Our kids dressed as Chinese toys – a Jack-in-the-box and a little spinning top – and we parents dressed as toy makers with name tags that said “Project Lead” and “Lead Engineer”.

That’s what scares our kids. What scares me is that there are people who hate gay people so much that they are willing to single us out for special exclusion from the freedom to marry. These Opponents of Equality think nothing of human rights because they think we are less than human. That’s scary.

So what did your family dress as? Something scary to kids, or scary to adults?

Yours,

Today’s letter – Orson Welles causes panic

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today is the 69th Anniversary of Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of War of the Worlds. His convincing broadcast caused panic in the real world. I want to tell you how the seven pro-LGBT bills that you signed are bringing on the real end of our world, an apocalypse stalled only by your veto of AB 43.

Mona Passignano, a spokesperson for Focus on the Family Action, said that the seven bills will “have a devastating impact on churches and Christian families in the state for years to come.”

Unlocking the door to the Four Horsemen’s stable is SB 777 that calls for public school administrators and teachers to work towards protecting students from harassment and bullying.

The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports that SB 777 will require “all California public schools to positively portray homosexuality to children as young as kindergarten.”

Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families (CCF), explains that “textbooks could be forbidden from portraying marriage as only between a man and a woman; textbooks could be required to present homosexual historical figures; and sex-specific Homecoming King and Queen contests could be forced to change. … This means children as young as five years old will be mentally molested in school classrooms.”

“The legislation might even mandate unisex restrooms.”

“Now that SB 777 is law,” says Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for Capitol Resource Institute, “schools will in fact become indoctrination centers for sexual experimentation.”

But SB 777 is not alone. LifeSiteNews.com explains that AB 14 “prohibits state funding for any program that does not support transsexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality. This means state-funded social services operated by churches and other houses of faith, which provide essential services to children and adults, could dry up.”

Thank God that you vetoed AB 43, the bill that would have brought us the freedom to marry, and did your part to preserve the hatred and intolerance that is apparently the only thing between us and the end of the world.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Republcan Party has a proud history but a tarnished present

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

It’s Elephant in the Room week. Today I would like to talk about how the Republican Party’s broke with its historic support of freedom in order to restrict the freedom to marry.

On last night’s Brothers and Sisters, “Robert McCallister,” Rob Lowe’s character who is running for President as a Republican, was under fire because his fiancée isn’t as far right as some Republicans would like. He responded by reminding us that Lincoln freed the slaves, Teddy Roosevelt established national parks, and Eisenhower desegregated schools – Republicans all.

So it was ironic that in 2004, George Bush chose the Roosevelt Room to call for a Constitutional Amendment blocking access to marriage. In his speech, President Bush argued that the marriages underway at the time in Massachusetts, San Francisco and New Mexico were “defiance of the law by local officials,” while the Defense of Marriage laws in 38 states represented the political consensus of the nation.

And so the spiritual leader of the Republican party made it clear that politics was more important than liberty, votes more important than equality, and political consensus more important than individual choice. What a change from the Republican party of the past!

Thank God that Congress had the wisdom to realize that these marriages by the people represented the true consensus of the people, and stopped the Defense of Marriage amendment.

I wish you, Governor, had the wisdom to realize that your veto of AB 43 was not only a disservice to families like mine, but also an insult to the tradition of the Party of Lincoln. Please consider supporting the freedom to marry in the future. The Elephant in the room demands it.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Slippery Slope or Final Step towards Freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

It’s Elephant in the Room week. The first I would like to tackle is the “slippery slope.” In 2005 when I was calling your office to ask you to sign AB 849, the 2005 Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, one of your staffers said that “if gays can marry, there’s nothing to stop people from marrying their pets.” I was astonished that anybody would still think this way – but out of respect for their belief, I feel compelled to respectfully crush it.

There are many logical consequences of redefining marriage to accommodate a group, such as polygamy, incestuous marriages, marriages of convenience and human-animal marriage. This would be a concern – if we were redefining marriage.

But we’re not redefining marriage. We are simply ending the special exclusions that have been written into marriage over time, like we did with interfaith couples in 1905 and interracial couples in 1948, and we should do with sexual orientation.

Ever since Ruth and Naomi vowed “until death do us part,” marriage has always been just “an exclusive contractual relationship between two persons.” Pets, minors and multiple people are in no danger of entering into a contractual relationship now or ever.

What is far more dangerous – the real “slippery slope” – is creating the right to exclude groups from marriage. Once we start down this slope, we will quickly be able to ban foreigners, the elderly, prisoners, Protestants and Britney Spears. Some will argue that this might be a good idea, but that is a separate slope and a different discussion.

So you can see that allowing all couples access to marriage is not a march down a slippery slope, but simply the final step toward freedom. I wish you would get on board and support the freedom to marry instead of the right to discriminate.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Don’t make me vote for Obama

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I try to pay more attention to my family than to politics, but once in a while a politician says something that makes a lot of sense.

Senator Barack Obama said “I strongly believe that African Americans and the LGBT community must stand together in the fight for equal rights. And so I … will continue to fight … to ensure that America is a country that spreads tolerance instead of division.”

What a great and non-partisan concept, this ‘tolerance’ thing! I wish you would join the Senator by saying “no” to the intolerant gay-haters who made you veto AB 43, and say “yes” to the simple, unifying principle of the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – your veto would be OK if you supported marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I consider myself to be a good citizen, and I believe that all committed couples should have the same freedom to choose marriage. Why don’t you?

You vetoed AB 43 on a technicality, but you stopped short of saying that you wanted to sign the bill.

You said that you “support current domestic partnership rights” but you do not say that those rights should include marriage.

You have said that there is nothing wrong with being gay, but you have never said there is nothing wrong with gay marriage.

You didn’t have to sign AB 43 to support the freedom to marry, but failing to support the freedom to marry is supporting the freedom to discriminate.

That sends the wrong message to the courts and the people: that you believe their right to hate is more important than my right to love. That is not only bad leadership, it is bad citizenship.

Yours,

Today’s letter – God is punishing us for our intolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I was wondering, Governor, if you think there is a link between our recent wildfire disasters and homosexuality.

Before you roll your eyes, the leaders of the Republican Party’s theological community – Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson – all insist that natural disasters are caused by God’s anger at our tolerance of homosexuals.

A quick survey of California shows that we have not had a major earthquake since Domestic Partnerships were introduced. What has happened nationally?

In 1997, the Florida Legislature introduced the nation’s first Defense of Marriage Act. Shortly thereafter, Pat Robertson warned the city of Orlando, Florida, that a gay celebration the city hosted “will bring about terrorist bombs, it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor.” What happened? Nine major hurricanes have devastated Florida including Charley, Ivan, Francis, Jeanne and Wilma, destroying the notoriously anti-gay Coral Ridge Ministries but leaving Orlando untouched.

In 2004, Louisiana passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and recognition of any “identical or substantially similar” legal status. The same year, Massachusetts started legal marriages. The fallout? Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of Louisiana except for New Orleans’ gay village, while Boston won the World Series.

By 2006, twenty-seven of the fifty United States had constitutionally banned same-sex marriage, while Canada had been performing marriages for a year. The result? This year the Canadian dollar passed the US dollar for the first time in 30 years. Oh, and zero Canadian hurricanes, earthquakes, meteors or debilitating wildfires.

My conclusion from these data is that if you attracted the wrath of God and caused
the wildfires, it was not by signing seven pro-LGBT bills, but by vetoing AB 43, the bill that would have extended the freedom of choice God gave us to all California families.

Yours,

Today’s letter – just one issue

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Some people have criticized me for being a one-issue voter, a label I happily wear. There really is only one issue: how the person we elect is going to pay off the people who put him in power. Some politicians reward those who wrote them checks, others bow to those with nothing but a vote. But how can you tell?

The issue of same-sex marriage is the best test of that mettle: on one side you have the Opponents of Equality whose empires rely on fear-based-fundraising and whose checks flow freely to politicians who stoke that fear; on the other side you have families like mine who are just trying to access the security and simplicity of marriage without hurting anybody. Can the candidate overcome bias and temptation to support freedom, liberty and equality?

The test is crucial. How can you trust a politician on health care reform when he won’t make businesses treat employees equally? How can somebody act on education when he teaches discrimination? How can you trust a politician to lead us through disasters like earthquakes and wildfires when he says only some of the people deserve to be married?

When you vetoed AB 43, Governor, you proved what kind of politician you are. It is not too late for you to do what is right and support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – charitable relief organizations serve at their pleasure

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

When wildfires strike, the last thing we want to worry about is keeping our family together. Unfortunately, charitable relief agencies have vastly different policies for dealing with “unmarried” family members.

When asked about “domestic partners” Stacey Grissom, media relations associate for the Red Cross, said “[the] Red Cross is a neutral and impartial organization and we help people who need help. So, we don’t help with regards to race, creed, color, religion and sexual orientation. We help people who need to be helped.” The Red Cross works with employers to locate information on victims’ nearest living relatives. “So in those cases where the next of kin is listed as a domestic partner, that would be a person who would definitely get benefits,” she said.

In contrast, The Salvation Army says “Where a man and a woman love each other, sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage. However, in the Christian view, sexual intimacy is not essential to a healthy, full, and rich life. Apart from marriage, the scriptural standard is celibacy.” In addition, the Salvation Army refuses to recognize its very own lesbian and gay employees with domestic partnership benefits, and has terminated services in areas where local statutes require this.

With one organization, my partner of ten years and our two kids are treated as a family. With the other, we are considered strangers without access to reunification services or the ability to shelter together.

The only way to end this discrimination is to eliminate the differentiation. It is too late for you to sign AB 43 but it is not too late for you to come out in support of the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – If it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Like all people, I have guilty pleasures; mine is Desperate Housewives on ABC.

As you may know, last night a gay couple moved onto the street. They introduced themselves as “partners” and Susan got confused, thinking they were co-investors in some business. Silly Susan was embarrassed, but Bob and Lee were humiliated, because their “Green Acres”-inspired relationship was sterilized down to a business transaction because of a word and a cruel law.

Everybody knows what marriage is. Having two sets of laws – and two words – to describe such simple things is just plain wrong.

It is too late for you to sign AB 43, the bill that would have let families like Bob and Lee’s choose ‘marriage’ instead of ‘partnership.’ But it is not too late for you to support the freedom to marry.

Yours,