Today’s letter – marriages will be overturned

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I want to give you a window into the constant “buzz” of hatred that pervades my daily life.

A YouTube user named “Danielstwin” commented on one of my YouTube videos saying

“we will see lololo [California’s fag marriages] will be overturned… no fags”

to which I immediately replied

“According to your profile, you are a fan of Ron Paul and his philosophy of libertarianism, and you talk about freedom for everybody. But you won’t let the gays get married. Instead you run around the internet calling people ‘fag’ when they haven’t done anything to you. Abraham Lincoln said “those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” If you really want your own freedom – Ron Paul fan – you are obliged to give it to others. You’ll be surprised [by what happens when you give freedom.]

“Danielstwin” followed up with a personal message:

i have many gay friends and mother was a lesbian for years….i have no problem and think fag may have been a little over board. i just get tired of hearing liberals cry over all there bullshit. i am athiust and beleive that only woman and men should be married.. if there was a private island for gays to live and be wed great but there is not and i do not want my kids asking me growing up why are those men kissing. give me a break what is this country teaching are children… you know the facts are the facts a top DNA expert of the usa has said blacks are not as smart as whites and are more barbaric. they cant help it its in there animalistic being.,and he said he can prove it… so why hide this were did this guy go??????? we have been enslaved they freed slaves and endlaved all of us….. well sorry if i offended you but no gay weddings… if men were suppost to be together a man could get pregnant. if you can pull that off i will agree lolol daniel

I was obliged to respond, as I am prone to do.

Greetings, Daniel. If you have many lesbian and gay friends (and close relatives) then you know that they just want to be treated with the same dignity and respect as anybody else.

My husband and I have been together through two of Britney Spears’ marriages. We looked each other in the eyes and made the same promises that every married couple does on Valentine’s Day 2004. We had two kids through a process called gestational surrogacy that was developed to help infertile couples have children. We both did our part as men, and we were just as pregnant as any man can ever be. Our kids were baptized in our Episcopal church and they’re just learning to walk.

Our family knows we are married, our friends know we are married, our church knows we are married, and now finally even our state acknowledges that we are married.

I am probably more tired of liberals crying over their bullshit than even you! I don’t care about rubbing my sexuality into other people’s faces. But I am also tired of seeing my neighbors – and good people like yourself – running around saying that people like me – who happens to believe marriage is about more than sex – are not entitled to their beliefs, or their freedom.

I hope that when your kids see two men kissing, you can teach them that while you might not like it, this is a free country and that those men must love each other a whole lot – just like your parents love each other. Loving somebody doesn’t make somebody less human; in fact, doesn’t it make them more?

What is better, teaching your kids the difference between love and sex, or that it’s OK to run around calling anybody they disagree with a ‘fag?’

Same-sex marriage doesn’t hurt anybody. And let’s face it – if America sent all of her gays to an island, everybody would want to visit!

Governor, I am proud to live in a country where people can express their beliefs and ideas freely without fear of retribution. I am blessed that God gave me the means, wisdom and opportunity to speak back. When I do, I have the power to change hearts and minds; but every time I do, I wonder what citizenship we have been teaching our children that they can claim their freedom to speak, believe and marry, yet stop short of allowing those freedoms to others.

The Constitutional Amendment to Limit Marriage before voters this fall is the test of that citizenship. I pray that California will past the test by defeating the measure, and leave no American behind.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – landmark leadership and movement milestones

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Some argue that social change takes time, but the reality is that it can happen quite suddenly when individuals in positions of power take action to stomp out ridiculous “traditions.”

When President Eisenhower 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.

You had a chance to stamp out the traditional practice of segregating marriage into “heterosexual” and “homosexual” varieties with AB 849 in 2005 and again with AB 43 in 2007. Instead of stepping up, you forced the people to ask the Supreme Court to get rid of the practice. They said what we all know: “An individual’s sexual orientation … does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.” You have been spared the political embarrassment of doing the right thing, and the Supreme Court gets history’s nod for making the change that will improve life for so many Californians, including me.

Won’t you at least see that the court’s decision is respected and implemented as soon as possible? Change has arrived. Embrace it or move aside.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – I expect our government to follow the law

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I discovered something terrible. Our own state Economic Development Department (EDD) has an entire tax unit and legal status called “HUS/WIFE.” The California Business and Professions Code Section 17913 (b) (4) even seems to authorize this, listing options describing the nature of the business as

(i) “an individual,”
(ii) “a general partnership,”
(iii) “a limited partnership,”
(iv) “a limited liability company,”
(v) “an unincorporated association other than a partnership,”
(vi) “a corporation,”
(vii) “a trust,”
(viii) “copartners,”
(ix) “husband and wife,”
(x) “joint venture,”
(xi) “state or local registered domestic
partners,” or
(xii) “a limited liability partnership.”

I don’t know why our EDD doesn’t just use the term “married couple” instead of “husband and wife.” Article 1 Section 8 of our State Constitution says “A person may not be disqualified from entering or pursuing a business, profession, vocation, or employment because of sex, race, creed, color, or national or ethnic origin.” Our 2005 Domestic Partnership legislation ordered this gender specific language to be changed, and it seems as though our State Supreme Court agrees.

The EDD ought to defer to the Family Code for the definition of marriage instead of making up their own. The EDD expects me to follow the law; I expect no less from the EDD.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – divided a little less

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I am so happy that the State Supreme Court made an enlightened ruling guided by Republican judges that cannot be overturned except by changing our very Constitution to specifically Limit Marriage.

Our forefathers thought that religious and personal freedom was important enough to put into the Constitution, and taking it out doesn’t seem like something that would help anybody.

But the nation is horribly divided. One side says that their religion doesn’t allow for my gay marriage; the other says that the Constitution doesn’t allow one group of people to be plucked out and treated differently just because of what they think or believe.

A divided house is particularly precarious. Divided, we will fall. Abraham Lincoln said “I do not expect this house to fall, but I do expect it to cease to be divided.” That is what the Supreme Court did – they forced us to unite.

Aldous Huxley wrote in “Antic Hay” back in 1923 “Liberty? Why it doesn’t exist. There is no liberty in this world, just gilded cages.” The Supreme Court made my cage a lot prettier; the upcoming Amendment reminds me that it is merely a cage.

Thank you, Governor, for fighting against this amendment. It makes the cage of liberty a little bit bigger, and that is a good thing for us and for America.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – McCain and Hagee are still married

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Your friend Senator John McCain spent a whole year wooing an endorsement from San Antonio televangelist John Hagee. As a person of faith myself, I find it nice that Senator McCain would reach out to all kinds of people.

The problem is that Senator McCain’s new friend is my old enemy. Hagee told NPR in 2006 – long before McCain started courting him – that New Orleans had suffered “the judgment of God” because of its “level of sin,” referring to a conspiracy theory that God wiped out scores of disenfranchised Americans to punish the gays.

Hagee also calls the Catholic Church – your church, Governor – “the great whore” and “a false cult system.” And all without any retribution from Senator McCain.

One might use the word that Senator McCain used to criticize his likely opponent Senator Obama for reaching out to our enemies: appeasement. Yes, Senator McCain has done nothing but appease John Hagee.

Two famous sayings come to mind. “You are judged by the company you keep” and “you can’t govern people that you hate.” If Senator McCain wants my vote, he is going to have to renounce John Hagee; until he does, he is an enemy of liberty.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – the end of tyranny

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The Opponents of Equality claim that the Supreme Court doesn’t have the authority to interpret the Constitution because “it should be the people who decide.” But then they advocate a measure to change the Constitution! One cannot have it both ways.

Either our Constitution means something and our highest court can interpret it, or our Constitution means nothing, in which case there is no need to change it.

I can understand how some people might stand up and oppose equality for whatever reason; I cannot understand how they can oppose equality, oppose the rule of law, and oppose their neighbor’s freedom and still call themselves American.

Proudly,

Today’s letter – struggling with patriotism

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I have been struggling to find the right words to express what I was feeling yesterday after the Supreme Court ended California’s ban on marriage.

It was an emotion I hadn’t felt in a long time, and it took me a while to recognize it. A reporter was leaving the house and he asked me if I had specially put up the American Flag that was out in front that day. I explained that we commonly and proudly fly it. Then it struck me. The decision that said “liberty and justice for all” inspired simple, visceral “Patriotism.”

If we can accept lesbian and gay people as part of America, then we can accept anybody. But if we can block these people simply because of what they think or what they believe, then we can block anybody. And that is a sad prospect for us all.

The Opponents of Equality talk about the Tradition of Marriage. We have a 232-year-old Tradition of Liberty. Neither tradition is static, but each grows along with our collective wisdom.

I was proud of my country yesterday and the liberties she indulged in. I was proud of the couples who used their liberty to ask for more. I was proud to stand behind my elected officials as they stood up for me. I was proud to be an American.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – you have been terminated!

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today was a great day. The State Supreme Court overruled you to say that same-sex couples must be given the “respect and dignity” of marriage because the constitutional protections for race and gender also apply to sexual orientation.

The Los Angeles Times quoted me saying “I think this is the beginning of the end of ostracism, bullying, and all the things that used to make people feel less human than others.”

The Los Angeles Times also quoted you – in the paragraph after me, ha ha – saying that you “will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.” Thank you for that. Thank you thank you thank you. But it is a little late for you to be surrendering your authority over my relationships, after that authority was removed.

Because of the Domestic Partnership legislation that you signed and the Federal “Defense of Marriage Act,” my family is honestly not directly affected by this decision at a legal level. But people don’t get married for the rights: they get married for the social acceptance. This decision – and your support of it – sends the clear message that ALL California couples are welcome to commit to marriage and fully participate in our economy and our society.

The real victory is not for us, it is for every struggling teen who thinks they are different, by bringing them the comfort that there is a way to live their life without celibacy or suicide, and their government – and Governor – will support them.

Today was a great day because the State Supreme Court said “freedom means freedom for EVERYBODY,” and my Governor will (finally) fight to make sure that happens.

No longer Yours,

Today’s letter – it’s a small world

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

With the recent disasters in Myanmar and Sichuan province, we are reminded that we are a large and diverse world.

The traditional, conservative South Pacific island paradise of Tahiti has a social custom that we might think is strange: parents will raise their eldest son as a girl. This is a great honor for both the parents and the child, because the “Mahu,” as they are called, have the most enviable characteristics of both the male and female.

“I am proud of being a Mahu because in Polynesia we belong and we are recognized in this society,” says Coco, a Mahu. “We belong in everyday life.”

Who has the authority to decide if and whom these people should marry in California? Is it you, Governor? Is it society? Or should it be the people who want to get married?

In California, you have made it your job to decide who can marry whom. Now that is a weird custom.

Yours,

Today’s letter – 158 year-old tradition of tolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’ve written to you before about the struggle I’ve been having with explaining the special ban on same-sex marriages to my kids, and especially how the Opponents of Equality come to California to throw money, time and mindshare at preventing certain people they have never met, who cause absolutely no harm, from making the fundamental decision of who they marry.

What does one say? “There are some people who hate your daddies so much that they come from across the country to keep them from getting married?” Or perhaps “There are some people who don’t want to share. Remember what we learned about sharing?” Clearly, neither truth would be responsible parenting.

After a 158 year tradition of liberty and tolerance ensconced in the California Constitution, it sure would be a shame to lose that all in a heated moment of intolerance.

Dan Hawes, an organizer with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, explains “There is a real sense of hope and possibility here because of the upcoming Supreme Court ruling. The fact that [hard-won freedom] could be taken away in five months is really painful for people who want to marry.”

Please, for my kids and all Californians, give us some moral guidance. Explain to the people that the only right thing to do is to uphold our Constitution that says that nobody should be picked out and treated differently because of what they think or what they believe. That is a tradition of neighborly love, not neighborly hate. That is something I can explain to my kids.

Yours,