Today’s letter – take a memo

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The Governor of New York, Gov. David Paterson, issued a memo to State agencies last week, including those governing insurance and health care, saying they must immediately change policies and regulations to make sure “spouse,” “husband” and “wife” are clearly understood to include gay couples. “New York has a tradition of recognizing marriages performed elsewhere. This is not new law, but a simple extension of that policy.”

Would you do the same for us in California? Such a memo might be targeted, for instance, at our state EDD who currently “redefines” marriage as HUSBAND/WIFE rather than deferring to the Family Code for the definition of Spouse. It might help the many county clerks offices who are resisting compliance with the law. And it would help underscore what you have said, that the Executive branch is fully committed to supporting the legislative and judicial branches in swatting out unfair treatment of California’s citizens.

Yours,

Today’s stamp: The Incredible Hulk from the Marvel Comics Super Heroes collection. What the EDD is doing should make you angry. Be my superhero again: terminate the hate that lingers in your government!

Today’s letter – Germany’s apology

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

“Germany wants to honor the persecuted and murdered victims, to keep alive the memory of the injustice they suffered,” and provide “a lasting symbol against intolerance and hostility towards gays and lesbians and against their alienation.” Those words (or in German, probably one really long word) are on a plaque on a new monument in Berlin.

Nazi Germany’s campaign against homosexuals began in 1933 and by 1945 more than 50,000 men were convicted and separated from their liberty and property. It is estimated that between 5,000 and 15,000 of them were sent to concentration camps. Gay men (and those perceived to be gay) were forced to wear pink triangles and were sometimes used as medical guinea pigs.

Unlike other groups of Nazi victims, the persecution of the gay community continued under the same law, with more than 50,000 convictions before a 2002 government pardoned them and finally abolished the legislation.

Here in America, we like to think that we are better than the Third Reich, yet in 2008 we still convicting our own citizens of being gay, forcing them to wear “domestic partnerships” and separating them from the financial and social stability that only the time-tested law of marriage can provide.

It is urgent that this ostracism, bullying and unequal treatment end. Please continue to support the freedom to marry and the downfall of the Constitutional Amendment to Limit Marriage.

Yours,

Today’s stamp: Wolverine from X-Men. Little is known of Wolverine’s past, but we do know “those who forget their past are doomed to relive it.” Wolverine uses his skills to help protect a world that hates and fears mutants like himself.

Letter to Focus on the Family about unisex bathrooms and fear-mongering

Gary Schneeberger
Vice President for Media Relations
Focus on the Family
8605 Explorer Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80995

May 30, 2008

Dear Mr. Schneeberger:

In his May 30, 2008 press release “Dr. Dobson Decries Ritter’s Signing of SB200,” Dr. Dobson explains that because of this Colorado law removing the requirement for businesses to maintain separate restrooms for men and women, that “Henceforth, every woman and little girl will have to fear that a predator, bisexual, cross-dresser or even a homosexual or heterosexual male might walk in and relieve himself in their presence.”

While I can understand Dr. Dobson’s concern about how this law might affect personal safety and decency, I would like to ask for a broader explanation from Dr. Dobson how a “bisexual, cross-dresser or even a homosexual” poses a threat that women and little girls should fear more than Dr. Dobson walking in himself.

Would it be possible to arrange for Dr. Dobson to explain to me how teaching women to fear those who are simply honest about their sexual attractions serves to advance his stated goals of personal safety or gender-specific restrooms?

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – the cost of freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Two million dollars a week for the next ten weeks. That is what the two sides in the gay marriage fight will be spending to either stop, or keep gay marriage in California.

Imagine how much good we could do with $20 million. My church, All Saints Beverly Hills, hosts 100 homeless people every Monday, sends children to visit their incarcerated parents on Mother’s day, rotates eight people through New Orleans, and operates ravenous family, mercy and justice ministries. Their entire 2008 budget would be gone in a week. Every penny raised by the Los Angeles AIDS Walk would be spent in two weeks. The entire annual budget of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) would only last nine weeks.

I sometimes wonder if the gays would get more media by just taking the money sending it all to New Orleans. But then I think of the 50,000 domestic partners in California and how much less stress and worry they will have with the irreplaceable time-tested stability of marriage. And all California’s children, who will discover that their government supports their freedom to grow up and be who they are, and if they are lucky enough to find love, they can pursue it instead of celibacy, suicide or a vampire-like Larry Craig lifestyle.

Clearly, every penny we spend defending the freedom to marry is well spent.

Yours,

Today’s Stamp: “Mickey Mouse” from “The Art Of Disney: Magic” postage stamp series.
$20 million is 1/10th the annual budget of the Make-a-Wish Foundation of America.
$20 million is $1.25 from every visitor to Disneyland in Anaheim.
$20 million would fund the war in Iraq for two hours. .

Today’s letter – everybody knows that it is time

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

A Field Poll of 1,052 registered California voters asked “Do you approve or disapprove of California allowing homosexuals to marry members of their own sex?” and for the first time since 1977 – when California’s law was changed to ban the unions – a majority answered that yes, they do support same-sex marriage.

As my Aunt wrote after she saw our story in the Chicago Tribune, “It’s about time.” The Wall Street Journal described it on their May 24 Opinion page, “Court Allows Gay Marriage: Tyranny or Its End?” And my Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa said “It’s time for us to bring every American out of the shadows and into the light, and this decision does that here in California.

Personally, I’m hoping to marry my fiancée of eleven years in a couple of weeks, and my friends, family and church are on the edge of their seats.

Please, Governor, keep supporting the freedom to marry in our great state. Keep fighting against the amendment. And most of all, please do whatever you can to make sure marriages start as soon as possible and continue after November.

Yours,

Today’s letter – freedom, authorized

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I read today that the California Office of Vital Records told the head of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials, Stephen Weir, that clerks would be authorized to hand out marriage licenses to all couples – not just heterosexual ones – as soon as Saturday, June 14! That works well for our plans.

The following Tuesday, June 17, would be the eleven year anniversary of when my fiancée Frank and I first met. We have already looked each other in the eyes and promised each other, our families and God that we would share our lives together forever, but this recent ruling allows us to have that event witnessed, blessed and recorded by our government.

We would like to get married on June 17, and if you are available, would like to invite you to perform the ceremony. You have been a pivotal individual in this quest for marriage, having chilled the San Francisco weddings and vetoed our two previous legislative attempts. We would want to have the event here in the Los Angeles area so our older parents and infant children won’t have to travel, but we could also come to Sacramento.

Getting married will make us and our entire extended family happy. Having you perform the ceremony would be icing on the cake. Please let us know your intentions as soon as possible since we don’t have much time to make plans.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – in support of Harvey Milk

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I am writing in support of the bill to create Harvey Milk Day in California in honor of the slain member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Just like the recent Supreme Court decision that removed the ban on gay marriage gave hope to every American who is “different,” Harvey Milk’s message and legacy gave hope to the disenfranchised, humiliated and beaten-down youth minorities of his day.

“I ask for the movement to continue because my election gave young people out there hope. You gotta give ’em hope,” he said shortly before his assassination.

Thank you for supporting Harvey Milk Day and keeping alive a legacy that every person can hope to have their dreams come true.

Yours,

Today’s letter – form letter is chilling

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

A short time ago, I wrote to you in support of the California Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage. Yesterday I received a form letter response from your office that was very nicely written, however factually inaccurate and intellectually offensive to California families, including mine.

You wrote that “Proposition 22 … stated that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized on California,” but you choose to leave out an important detail: Proposition 22 was added to Section 308.5 of the Family Code. I have attached a copy of the Family Code; Section 308.5 has nothing to do with marriages performed in California.

Section 300 (a) (also highlighted) was actually changed by the legislature in 1977 and signed by then-governor Attorney General Jerry Brown, something the legislation was specifically designed to address, something I pointed out to you almost a year ago, and a fact that the recent Supreme Court decision mentions explicitly.

So when you write that you vetoed the legislative efforts to amend the marriage laws because of the sanctity of voter initiatives, you are not being honest. You could have signed the bills and responded to the legal challenge with the same argument about Section 308.5 and the unclear intent of the voters.

But the worst part of your response to the Supreme Court Ruling is that you will merely “abide by the rulings of the state’s highest court.” It sounds to me like you are a sore loser. I wish you would join the people in celebrating the end of government tyranny in individuals’ personal and private lives.

1. Urge that same-sex marriages commence with all due haste.
2. Prod citizens to contribute to humanitarian efforts instead of limits on marriage.
3. Ask the Republican party to remove offensive language from the party platform.
4. Say all good citizens should vote against the Constitutional Amendment to Limit Marriage.

Sincerely yours,

Today’s letter – justification for taking away rights

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

When can the Constitution take away the rights of individuals to participate in our economy and society? That was a question that the 9th circuit court decided in the case of Maj. Margaret Witt, an Air Force nurse who cared for injured patients on military flights and in operating rooms for nearly 20 years until she was discharged on the grounds that she had a six-year relationship with another woman, a civilian.

The court did not vacate “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the policy that was used to oust Witt, but observed that the government may only “intrude upon the personal and private lives of homosexuals” to “advance an important governmental interest,” such as maintaining troop readiness or improving morale – and Witt, in fact, did the opposite.

“Wounded people never asked me about my sexual orientation,” Witt said in a statement. “They were just glad to see me there.”

In response to California’s Supreme Court decision, I wish you would do more than merely “abide” but instead celebrate the end of government tyranny in individuals’ personal and private lives.

1. urge that same-sex marriages commence with all due haste.
2. urge citizens to contribute to humanitarian efforts instead of limits on marriage.
3. ask the Republican party to remove offensive language from the party platform.
4. ask all good citizens to vote in November, but vote against the Constitutional Amendment to Limit Marriage.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – bigot begone!

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Eddie Walker, the principal of Irmo High School in Columbia, S.C., announced he will resign from his post after the district approved a gay-straight alliance that supposedly conflicts with his religious beliefs. “Allowing the formation of this club on our campus conflicts with my professional beliefs and religious convictions,” Walker wrote in his resignation.

The club provides support for gay, lesbian and straight students from an often hostile school environment. Reports show that in 2007, 31 percent of gay students were threatened or injured and 18 percent were physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation. The Lexington-Richmond School District could not stop the club from forming because of federal law prohibiting a club from being banned because of religious bias.

“We truly believe it is unfortunate that this principal cannot see the immense harm that is caused when a social climate of rejection, condemnation and violence is justified with misguided religious belief,” said Brent Childers, executive director of Faith in America.

California law now bans prohibiting individuals from getting married because of religious bias. There will undoubtedly be some people who will resign from the County Clerks offices because they are unwilling to uphold the law. When that happens, we must simply remember what President Eisenhower said when he considered ending the traditional segregation of the blood supply into “Colored,” “White–Hebrew,” and “White-Christian” in 1950. The Red Cross told him that the South wouldn’t accept “mixed blood.” Eisenhower replied “then the South will not get any blood!” and issued an executive order ending the practice.

If Eddie Walker doesn’t want a gay-straight alliance at his school, then he is free to leave. “Those who deny freedoms to others deserve them not for themselves.”

Sincerely,