Today’s letter – Mission Accomplished

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Yesterday, on the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, President Bush issued a statement that “Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision and this is a fight America can and must win.”

Whether or not we will ever ‘win’ in Iraq, the fact remains that the President and his administration lied to us to get us to support a war against the wrong country and the wrong dictator by promising a victory that was swift and decisive against weapons of mass destruction and the mastermind of 9/11.

But this is not the first time that the administration lied to us. In February 2004 – barely a week after my same-sex marriage – Bush declared war on my family, saying “the union of a man and a woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith.”

Who will be the next victim of this administration’s political aspirations?

Governor, please keep the lies in Washington – not in California. There is nothing wrong with gay marriage, but there is everything wrong with using your fellow Americans for your own political gain.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Jesse Kern and Mother Sally

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

After I heard Oklahoma Representative Sally Kern’s attack on lesbian and gay people – the one where she said they were “worse than terrorists” and “a cancer” that had to be eliminated – I was only disappointed to learn that her adult son Jesse, although currently “celibate,” was quite inarguably gay.

Unfortunately, poor Jesse Kern was not the Michael Stipe or Dan Savage kind of open and proud kind of gay, but the evil back-closet Ted Haggart / Larry Craig kind of gay, based on reports that he was twice cited for making inappropriate advances to other men in the library toilets at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Parents in this situation tend to go either way: they can go the way of Mary Cheney, Cher and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders to embrace their children by creating a world where they can live and be happy, or they can go the way of Sally Kern, Sonny Bono and Pete Knight, removing the options of marriage and family leaving only “celibacy” or suicide.

Which one do you think winds up being best for the parents, kids and society?

I wish you would tell the people of this state that there is nothing wrong with gay marriage, because it will take somebody like you to undo the damage that Sally Kern has done to us all, parents and kids alike.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Tom Ford is having kids

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Fashion designer Tom Ford announced that he would be joining the growing ranks of lesbian and gay parents by having a kid in 2008. He told a magazine that “I’ve always wanted kids. I don’t want to get to be 75 years old and just have made a lot of dresses, done some houses.”

Tom Ford has been with his partner, photographer Richard Buckley, for more than 20 years, and this is clearly not a decision that has been made lightly. But since gender is no longer an impediment to having children, why is it still an impediment to marriage?

It is wonderful that we live in a country where people like Brad Pitt, Heath Ledger and Tom Ford can intentionally have their kids out of wedlock, but I believe it would be a better world if people who want to make the commitment of marriage had the freedom to do that.

Yours,

Today’s letter – silly laws harm real people

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I just read about Synchronized Swimming sensation Kenyon Smith of the Santa Clara Aquamaids. A man in a women’s sport, his ability to advance is hampered not by his ability, but by his gender: college scholarships and Olympic Games both bar his participation.

I am a gay dad, and as such I have to be both father and mother to my two young kids. I empathize with Mr. Smith not because the rules limit our options, but because we both weather the attacks by people who assume that we are less capable or less talented simply because of our gender.

The people who say men can’t be nurses and women can’t be pilots keep telling me that I can’t be a mother. But I know and you know that nurturing and caring for your kids isn’t something that depends on your gender – it depends on your love.

There is a law that is holding me back from being an excellent parent, the special law that prevents my kids from having two parents who are married. You vetoed two attempts to fix this law, and now the Opponents of Equality are trying to get a Constitutional Amendment to reinforce the silly law.

Please help me educate the public that a man can be both a father and – when he has to – a mother too. Please support the freedom to marry for us and all Californians.

Yours,

Today’s letter – don’t just wash your hands

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In Church today we heard the Gospel of the Passion of Christ according to Matthew. In it, the Governor asks the people what prisoner they would like to free, thinking they would release Jesus (who had done nothing wrong). However, the chief priests had persuaded the people to ask for Barab’bas and destroy Jesus, who threatened their credibility. Pilate – despite his conscience and even the pleas of his wife – heeds the cries of the people, washes his hands and proceeds to crucify Jesus.

History repeats itself. These days, the Opponents of Equality are working overtime to convince the people to specially exclude same-sex couples from marriage, not for doing anything wrong, but because they have built their careers by defiling homosexuals. Legitimate Christian families like mine prove them wrong – and that could be costly to their credibility.

“So, when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying ‘’I am innocent of this man’s blood.’’”

Governor Schwarzenegger, are you going to stand by while today’s so-called leaders crucify my family? Or are you going to do something to help people who have done nothing wrong to fully participate in our economy and society?

I wish you would support the freedom to marry, because it is the right thing to do.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Ides of November

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The Ides of March must make politicians nervous. This was the day in 44 BC that Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by a group of Roman senators who believed Caesar intended to take over the Republic and turn it into a monarchy. The murderers justified themselves saying they were merely protecting the Republic but everybody knows they were merely protecting their own political aspirations.

Nowadays, the group using the rhetoric of protection claims they are “protecting” marriage. Randy Thomasson and the Campaign for Children and Families claim that same-sex marriage is the biggest threat to home and country, and we must exterminate homosexuals to protect our Democracy.

Of course, you can see through these Liberatores Governor. Marriage is not threatened – only political power. Their campaign is driven by political aspirations to knock out the Democrats. When they have accomplished that, who do you think they are going to turn to, Mr. Moderate Republican? Do you really think there room in their family for a foreigner who resists attempts to merge Church and State? Indeed, while today the back they are sticking a knife into is mine, tomorrow the back will be yours.

You have done a lot for the equality of all Californians, but you stopped short of supporting gay marriage. We could really use your help with the upcoming ballot initiative driving voters to the polls. Please tell the people that it is time to stop “protecting marriage” and start improving it. The back you save may be your own.

Yours,

Today’s letter – greek letters

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The digits of today’s date, 3.14, make the beginning of the famous number Pi (p). This Greek letter represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its radius.

Another interesting Greek letter is lambda (l). This letter is used in chemistry to represent a catalyst, physics to represent wavelength, and society to represent lesbian and gay people.

Some also say it represents the Greek island Lesbos where we get the term Lesbian, and in a shield pattern used by the Spartan army, which encouraged homosexuality to boost troop morale.

Next week, same-sex marriage comes to the place that gave us the letters p and l. An Athens couple will be married by the mayor of the Kessariani quarter where the marriage laws do not specifically exclude same-sex couples. This action will culminate a circuitous battle for marriage equality, at least for this lesbian pair, bringing the letter l full-circle, back to its roots.

I wish Californian’s same-sex couples could enjoy as much freedom as they do in the birthplace of Democracy. Please become a catalyst for change and bring us full circle to our foundation: that all of us – regardless of wavelength – are created equal, with the same rights to liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness.

Yours,

Today’s letter – go forth and sin no more

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The Vatican got a lot of press lately when Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti released an updated list of modern evils. The list includes genetic modification, carrying out experiments on humans, polluting the environment, causing social injustice, hoarding wealth, and taking drugs.

I’m a ‘back to basics’ kind of guy so I decided to look up sin in the Catechism of the Catholic Church on www.vatican.va. Right there, at the top of Part Three, Section One, Chapter One, Article 8, Part II, paragraph 1849 is the Roman Catholic Church’s official definition of sin:

“Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods.”

Now I’m not as much of an expert on sin as Archbishop Girotti, however it seems to me that trying to block two people from getting married is a sin by every measure – and a mortal sin when it is done in full knowledge of the harm that this groundless exclusion causes to people such as me, my partner, kids and parents.

I’ve been told that homosexuality is a sin, but I find it hard to believe people who are so attached to protecting ‘traditional marriage’ that they forget all reason, truth and conscience. A good neighbor would never do something like that to me. So I will stick to the basic definition of sin, and live in conscience that I am not the one making baby Jesus cry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – oust the intolerant, not the needy

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I bring to you a story of righteousness winning out. In 2006 the then-Bishop of San Joaquin, John-David Schofield, based on a slim majority of support from his parishioners, led his whole diocese out of the Episcopal Church in opposition to the consecration of women and homosexuals by the US division of the Anglican Church.

Yesterday the Episcopal House of Bishops officially deposed Schofield, blocking him from performing religious duties as an Episcopal and removing his title.

It is so wonderful to finally see a Church that kicks out the intolerant for their intolerance rather than kicking out the parishioners because of their gender, age or sexual orientation.

I wish you would do the same thing with the Republican party. Then your party could grow like the Episcopals instead of shrinking like the Catholics.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Plant an Appleseed

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today we celebrate “Johnny Appleseed” day. John Chapman was among the American settlers who were captivated by the movement west across the continent, and headed west planting apple trees along the way. He rarely accepted money and often donated any money he received. He wasn’t worried about his legacy, he just wanted to leave every place he visited a little better than he found it.

As Governor, would you consider leaving California a little better than you found it by helping me and my fiancée finally get married? We would thank you, our children would thank you, and fair-minded Californians would thank you.

All you have to do is plant the seed of marriage equality in the minds of the people you meet. It is time to stop ‘protecting marriage’ and start improving it instead.

Yours,