Today’s letter – a humane and reasonable stance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Syndicated columnist Deb Price, based in my home town of Detroit, Michigan, wrote in her most recent column that “California’s governor has taken a humane and reasonable stance on gay marriage. John McCain should pay attention.”

She points out that your statement “I will always be there to fight against that – because it should never happen” echoes another Republican, Ronald Reagan, who torpedoed the 1978 Briggs initiative that would have banned gay and gay-friendly teachers. Clearly, smart politicians like you and Mr. Reagan, choose to wisely unite rather than recklessly divide.

I wish you explain to your pal John McCain how welcoming California’s gay and lesbian families into marriage (and the Republican party) is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.

Yours,

Today’s letter – the final step

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today was a historic day. For the first time, a sitting Republican Governor chose the part of the party platform that says “We support the two-parent family as the best environment for raising children” instead of the puzzling conclusion that “it is important to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.” And you did it with all the style and humor that we expect from you.

The Sacramento Bee reported that you even called the initiative “a waste of time” and quipping “I think we need a constitutional amendment so that foreign born citizens can run for President, but not about gay marriage.”

I know it took a lot for you to break your policy of not commenting on an initiative that has not even qualified. Thank you for listening to the people, and taking this giant historic step towards bringing California’s same-sex couples one step closer to full participation in our economy and society.

Yours,

Today’s letter – even the Pope could use a lesson in tolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In preparation for next week’s visit by Pope Benedict XVI, DignityUSA will hold a peaceful rally outside of the United Nations asking the Pope to denounce violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and to end his own language that undermines gay people worldwide.

I would like you to join fair-minded Americans in this peaceful request to the Pope, and also to change your own message that California’s same-sex couples are less worthy of marriage than opposite-sex couples.

Yours,

Today’s letter – civil rights not so hot ourselves

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The Olympic Torch visits San Francisco today on its way to China. Many people are upset at China’s civil rights history. But what about California’s?

Sure, we were the first to remove the ban on interracial marriages, and one of the first to integrate schools. But, because of you and your administration, we still do not allow some people – like me – to marry the person we love.

I wish you would support our own civil rights and give every Californian the same freedom, the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – privacy

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I read today that your personal medical records were among those that had been inappropriately accessed at UCLA Medical Center, along with actress Farrah Fawcett and your wife Maria Shriver.

Now you are suddenly a proponent of expanded privacy protections. I wish I could be sympathetic.

You and your administration have designed a process that makes separate check boxes for Domestic Partners and Married couples. Every time I go to the doctor, apply for car insurance, file my taxes, complete a DBA, apply for a EDD license, pay my property taxes or visit the DMV I am not only reminded that my relationship “isn’t quite marriage” but that fact is also broadcast to every person who sees my form.

Now I don’t mind being out and proud, but that decision to be differentiated and marginalized should be my own, not my government’s, and certainly not my governor’s.

For everybody’s personal privacy, please let domestic partners get married in California.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Absolutly better

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

ABSOLUT Vodka has been running an advertising and branding campaign called ‘In An ABSOLUT World,’ visually answering the question “what if everything in the world were approached with the same ideals that ABSOLUT approaches vodka?”

The latest addition to this campaign proposes that, in a more perfect world, lesbian and gay couples would be able to choose marriage the same way that heterosexual couples can – in this case by “popping the question” in a sports arena.

But while I have the freedom to go to the liquor store and pick up a pint of perfection, I do not have the ability to go to my courthouse and get a marriage license.

I wish you would do your part to make the world a better place, and help all California families have the same freedom – the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – tests of faith

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I read today about a mission sponsored by Soulforce, the National Black Justice Coalition, The Metropolitan Community Church and COLAGE that will be traveling to six influential mega-churches between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in order to challenge anti-gay messages in places of worship.

The sponsors have asked the six mega-churches to welcome Outing’s gay and gay-friendly families for meals, conversation and worship. Will they be welcome by the new crop of ministers who are not as anti-gay as Rev. Jerry Falwell and the Rev. D. James Kennedy? Or will they be turned away like the angels were from Sodom and Gomorrah, or same-sex couples were when you vetoed AB 43 the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act?

It is truly pathetic that lesbian and gay citizens of California are more welcome by their churches than they are by their government.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Charlton Heston said it but didn’t do it

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Charlton Heston died today.

During his life, Mr. Heston called for privacy and compassion for lesbian and gay couples, saying “As long as gay and lesbian Americans are as productive, law-abiding and private as the rest of us, I think America owes them absolute tolerance. It’s the right thing to do.”

But while he called for privacy and tolerance, he wouldn’t give it by allowing lesbian and gay couples to marry quietly and with the dignity they deserve, fiercely opposing gays in the military and lashing out against same-sex parenting.

As a gay dad, I just want to be as law-abiding and private as the rest of America. The only way to do that is if I have the same freedom as the rest of America – the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – even The Mormons are coming around

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Even the Church of Latter-Day Saints is beginning to have a change of heart. Traditionally the church has focused on man-on-woman relationships (occasionally several) and the consequences of being gay were excommunication, homelessness and suicide. Under new Church President Thomas Monson, though, LDS have agreed to a historic meeting with Affirmation, a group which represents 910,000 gay and lesbian Mormons.

“I firmly believe that within my lifetime the church will welcome gay brothers and sisters as full members in the church. I don’t think that will happen today or tomorrow, but it will eventually happen,” Affirmation assistant senior executive director David Melson says. “Anytime that we teach homophobia as a family value, it means we are missing the mark and not doing the job that we should be doing as a people, as a church.”

The race is on – will you or the Mormons be the first to admit that everybody deserves the same freedom, the freedom to marry?

Yours,

Today’s letter – apology acceptable

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

A videotape recently surfaced from 1991 showing of a member of the Canadian parliament, Saskatchewan MP Tom Lukiwski, describing homosexual men as “faggots with dirt on their fingernails that transmit diseases.”

Mr. Lukiwski has apologized twice for his comments, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper said “I believe that when such apology and remorse is sought from an individual member, the generous and high-minded thing to do is to accept that apology.”

So whenever you are ready to apologize for your 2007 veto of AB 43, the bill that would have let me and my domestic partner finally get married, you can be sure I will be sufficiently generous and high-minded to accept it. But until you apologize, I reserve the right to be mean and bitter toward the person who would not let me have the one simple freedom that you and your wife enjoy so freely – the simple freedom to marry.

Yours,