Today’s letter – continuous improvement

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Author and educator Brett Berk just released a book titled “The Gay Uncle’s Guide to Parenting: Candid Counsel from the Depths of the Daycare Trenches.” Mr. Berk joins the likes of the Fab Five from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Christian Siriano from Project Runway, Andrew Sullivan from The New Republic, and just about every wedding planner in providing witty and rational advice about relationships, fashion, entertainment, real estate and politics. People listen because the gays are always right. Now it’s your turn.

As a gay dad, I know that California would be better if same-sex couples had access to marriage. Governor, would you please listen to me, stop making excuses, and terminate this apartheid?

Yours,

Today’s letter – now they’re calling marriages “mutual commitments”

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Salt Lake City was not happy with the terms “civil union” or “domestic partnership” so they created a new term, “mutual commitment.”

The guidelines for receiving a “mutual commitment” license are the same as the previous “domestic partnership.” Both members must be over 18 and in some type of committed relationship in which they are responsible for one another’s welfare, including financial interdependence, and share a primary household in Salt Lake City.

In my book, no matter what you call it, “two people in a committed relationship with financial interdependence and the same bed” is “marriage.” How much time, energy and humanity have we squandered by trying to “protect marriage” just by changing its name?

Please, I wish you would end this ridiculous ‘naming game’ and support the freedom for all Californians to choose for themselves what they want to call their relationship.

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 – 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 – 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,

Today’s letter – let the women wed

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The people who are upset because I want to get married keep pointing to the Bible as justification for their intolerance.

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Leviticus 18:22

So why not let lesbian couples wed? That wouldn’t tread on these religious decrees, but it would get us half-way closer to bringing the freedom to marry to everybody who wants it.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Desmond Tutu supports the freedom to marry

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Nobel Prize Winner and former Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu has weighed in on the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage.

“I am deeply, deeply distressed that in the face of the most horrendous problems — we’ve got poverty, we’ve got conflict and war, we’ve got HIV/AIDS — and what do we concentrate on? We concentrate on what you are doing in bed,” Tutu told journalists at the World Social Forum in Nairobi.

“To penalize someone because of their sexual orientation is like what used to happen to us; to be penalized for something which we could do nothing (about) — our ethnicity, our race,” said Tutu. “I would find it quite unacceptable to condemn, persecute a minority that has already been persecuted.”

His words echo those of Spanish and Canadian leaders who brought their people to understand and embrace same-sex marriage as a fundamental component of their nation’s diversity.

I wish his words would inspire you too. Please stop being an obstacle to freedom, and instead lead the people to understand what you must already know: there is nothing wrong with gay marriage, there is everything wrong with denying it.

Yours,

Today’s letter – protest pending

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

This Valentines Day, it will have been four years since my husband and I were married in San Francisco. Because our union was rudely annulled by your administration, and subsequent legislative efforts were blocked by your veto, I will be marking the occasion by joining other fair-minded Californians at my county courthouse begging you for the privilege to get married again.

We have come so far: my finance and I have been together for almost eleven years; we have been domestic partnered for eight; we have two wonderful children and a pretty nice life.

You might ask why I need to spend my anniversary asking for the freedom to marry – again? All I can ask you to do is to think back to your wedding and tell me how you would feel if that was made illegal. If some government authority stepped in and said your vows were meaningless, your relationship second-rate and your legal filings null and void.

No matter what you think about gay marriage, all Americans are entitled to the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. And that includes the freedom to marry the person they love.

It is important to me, and to my fellow countrymen that no government takes away that freedom. It would be wrong to do anything on the day that stands for love to stand up for love.

Yours,

CC: one of the marriage licenses that you annulled

Today’s letter – winning marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Did you notice that the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 right after Massachusetts got gay marriage?

Well, on Friday, an appellate court made New York the second state to recognize same-sex couples with legal marriage, by considering valid and legal weddings solemnized outside the state.

What happened? The New York Giants won the Superbowl.

The upset not only broke the Patriots’ undefeated season, but it also ended Massachusetts’ four-year distinction of being the only state where same-sex couples are free to choose legal marriage.

Please, Governor, California’s sports teams deserve your support. Please tell your Republican party and the State Supreme Court that there is nothing wrong with gay marriage. Break our streak of domestic apartheid, and instead make Californians into the winners they should be.

Yours,