Today’s letter – Countdown to Freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The most powerful arguments used to justify a ban on same-sex marriages are the results of the voter initiatives in March of 2000 and November of 2008. But those arguments will expire soon.

Proposition 22 won by 11.4% but Proposition 8 only won by 2.3%. By my calculations, between those elections more than 400 voters a day changed their minds about same-sex marriage. At that rate, the margin will be zero on January 11, 2011 – exactly two years from today.

California’s legislature, judiciary and Constitution all support same-sex marriage. Finally, on January 11, 2011, the people will support same-sex marriage too. I hope you continue to help the people of California to understand that there is nothing wrong with same-sex marriage, and everything wrong in opposing it.


Today’s letter – Shouldn’t Churches Decide

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The biggest arguments I’ve been in about same-sex marriage have hinged on what the bible says about same-sex relationships. Apparently not even the churches can decide!

Some, like the Episcopal Church, believe that all God’s children should be able to participate in the rites of the Church. Others, like the Catholic Church, decided that gay people are not worthy of the rites of ordination and marriage.

When St. James Anglican Church in Newport Beach had to choose between “treat thy neighbor as thyself” and “I’m better than the gays,” they decided to leave the Episcopal Church. Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that St. James cannot violate the beliefs of the Church, and take the property of the Church with them.

St. James is the exception that proves the rule: freedom of religion demands freedom to marry. The Supreme Court realizes this, the legislature realizes this, and the churches realize this. Why does our government continue to block my freedom to believe, and my freedom to marry?


Today’s letter – four levels of sin, and gay marriage isn’t even on there

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

There are four levels of sin in the Bible. There are “fish on Fridays” sins that are completely made up; “shave and dress” sins that are so old-testament that nobody follows them anymore. There are “ten commandments” sins that are a little more poignant; finally there is “the Golden Rule.”

As a reference, it is laid out in the New testament: “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Romans 13:9

The reason why this is relevant is because the Leviticus admonishments against gay people fall into category I or II depending on how you translate the Bible. But the sin of denying somebody marriage when you accept it for yourself is a grievous violation of the highest level: the Golden Rule.

No self-respecting Christian can lie about “perversion”, encourage others into adultery, turn others away from God, stoke teen suicides and deny equal rights to their neighbors, and then expect to uphold this Golden Rule thingie. And that is why any who argue this into public policy is morally bankrupt, and why those who understand that marriage and faith actually depend on acceptance of all God’s people fairly and equally, is the only argument that is Constitutional, American and Christian.


Today’s letter – Harvey Milk Day

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Equality California released their 2008 Legislative Scorecard today. I was disappointed to see that you vetoed AB 2567, Harvey Milk Day.

I saw the movie Milk just last week and it was astonishing how visionary this businessman was. He realized that intolerance was dividing the city and hurting business, and set out to do something about it. Not for himself, but for others. His visibility caused a whole generation to realize that America is about being different, and being free to be different.

This kind of selflessness should be rewarded with a special day of its own. I hope that you get another opportunity to sign Harvey Milk Day into law, and do just that.

Just like marriage equality, “you’ve got to give us hope.”


Today’s letter – Housing Co-ownership

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Thank you for your veto on SB 153 Housing Co-Ownership, a bill that would have provided protection from Prop 13 property tax increases to surviving homeowners that are not domestic partnered or legally married. This is what marriage and Domestic Partnership is for, and those who want these rights need to accept the responsibility of marriage and Domestic Partnership.

I had to fight damn hard to get laws passed so that Prop 13 property tax increases would apply equally to me and my Domestic Partner as they do to married partners, and now that we are approaching equality in those separate institutions, I don’t want to go down the slippery slope of blessing people who are only willing to shack up on par with marriage and Domestic Partnership.

Thank you for doing the right thing on SB 153. I do want to mention that SB 153 would not have been even considered had you not vetoed AB 43 the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act of 2007, a bill that would have stopped this dangerous slide at “marriage” by changing the label, not the laws.

I hope throughout the upcoming year that you work towards eliminating the need for these bills by supporting full marriage equality in the State of California.


Today’s letter – A mostly good year

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Equality California released their 2008 Legislative Scorecard last week. I was elated to see your signature on so many pieces of EQCA-sponsored legislation.

I particularly want to applaud you for signing AB 3015 Foster Youth School Safety Education to protect students from bias-motivated harassment and discrimination by educating foster caregivers about the law.

If something should happen to me and my husband, I would want to make sure that the people who would be taking care of my kids will provide them the support and information they need about their gay dads, and protect them from bullying from other children because of their parents.

Hate is taught; this is one step towards un-teaching it.

Thank you for doing the right thing on AB 3015 and the other EQCA-sponsored bills. You’ve come a long way for a Republican who only last year vetoed AB 43 the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act of 2007, a simple human-rights bill that would have made most of these bills unnecessary or redundant.

I hope in 2009 you work towards eliminating the need for these bills by supporting full marriage equality in the State of California.


Today’s letter – Happy New Year

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Happy New Year!

I am pleased to start 2009 in a state with so much promise. I want to ask you to join me in my new year resolution to do more for marriage equality in this critical year.

California can’t afford to waste our precious taxpayer money on creating and maintaining “domestic partnerships” when marriage already exists with all the laws already in place.

California can’t afford to lose families as they flee to places that do not segregate their citizens into “domestic partnerships” but instead supply all families with the dignity that only marriage can provide.

You are going to have to work really hard to get the people of California to put this social issue behind us so that we can focus on the economy and the budget. You cannot do that by ignoring it. Please make a resolution with me to fix this marriage problem for the next century.