Today’s letter – endorse individual freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I read today that you finally endorsed John McCain for President in 2008. You said “McCain has a great vision to protect the environment and also protect the economy” and that strong investments in green technology can lead to a cleaner planet without sacrifices in quality of life.

Republicans say they believe in their core that individuals make the best decisions about what insurance they want to buy and how green they want to be, but you and Senator McCain both stop short of letting individuals decide who they can marry.

In 2004, Senator McCain was on the right path when he said “The constitutional amendment [banning gay marriage] strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans” because it would take individual decisions away from states and give them to the federal government.

Well, thanks to Republicans like John McCain, the power to block same-sex couples from marriage is in the hands of the states. Now, Governor, it is your turn to send that power down to the people themselves.

Republicans say they believe that individuals can make the best decisions about making their family healthy and strong. Under that mantra, the only people who should be deciding if they should get married are the people getting married.

Yours,

Today’s letter – How can I change the GOP Party Platform?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I am a registered Republican who is trying to be the best husband and father that I can. There is a paragraph in the 2004 California GOP Party Platform that seems to meddle with my natural rights – specifically standing in the way of my life, liberty, property and pursuit of happiness. The paragraph starts out with a falsehood and continues with an assumption that, if truly embraced, would legislate my family out of existence. I don’t know how this got inserted into a policy document, but it needs to go.

From Page 6 of the California Republican Party Platform:

Recognizing the traditional model of monogamous heterosexual marriage as the only stable relationship upon which to build a society, we believe that homosexuality should not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in public education and policy. We oppose granting to homosexuals special privileges, including marriage, domestic partnership benefits, and child custody or adoption.

What can I do, as a citizen, to make sure this is removed from the 2008 California GOP Party Platform? Do I need to go to some meeting, lobby some party chairman, or make a really big donation?

I want my kids to grow up in a world where Government is not an obstacle to freedom, but a vehicle for it. I’m willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure that.

Yours,

Today’s letter – you cannot lead people when you hate them

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I am not impressed when evangelicals like Ted Haggard, Paul Barnes, Mike Huckabee, John Paulk, Trent Lott, Larry Craig and Richard Roberts throw stones at my family and then destroy their own. It is par for the course. I just wish they didn’t use their three million followers and shady political connections to amplify their own “rightneous” while specially excluding me and my fiancée from freely participating in the economy and society.

I am not arguing that Mike Huckabee is secretly homosexual; what I am saying is that the history of evangelical ministers – especially gay-bashing Republican ones – demonstrates that the higher they are, the further they fall. By that measure, Mike Huckabee is in orbit.

So let’s play a game. Try to match the quotations on the left with the person making it on the right:

1) “It’s not because I don’t like [gay people.] It’s because I like even more the idea that the heart and soul, the essence of our civilization is in the family [without gays].”

2) “We don’t have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity. It’s written in the Bible.”

3) “So there is a sense in which, you know, it’s one thing to say if people want to live a different way, that’s their business. But when you want to redefine what family means or what marriage means, then that’s an issue that should require some serious and significant debate in the public square.”

4) “It is [a sin]….You should try to show them a way to deal with that problem, just like alcohol…or sex addiction…or kleptomaniacs.”

5) “We need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague.”

A) Mike Huckabee, Baptist minister and Republican candidate for President.

B) Ted Haggard who was having drug-fueled homosexual trysts instead of good man-on-woman sex with his wife:

C) Paul Barnes, founder and former senior minister of Grace Chapel, who resigned when his gay dalliances were revealed;

D) Trent Lott, Senator from Mississippi who suddenly ended his 35-year career in congress under “curious” circumstances.

E) Larry Craig, Senator for Idaho, who admitted to soliciting sex in an airport bathroom.

F) John Paulk, former chairman of the board for Exodus International North America (a group that beats the gay out of people)

The answers are 1-A, 2-B, 3-A, 4-D, 5-A. But it doesn’t matter, because anybody who believes that the key to fixing families in this country is by specially excluding gays from marriage is unfit for office, either by demonstrated irrationality or by hidden proclivities. You cannot lead people when you hate them.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Republicans deserve their reputation

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

A particular critical parody of Republicans has been floating around the Internet for a few years. It starts:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the land,
not a critic was stirring, for stirring was banned.
A thousand brown prisoners, snug in their cells,
all held without charges or tinsel or bells;

Did you ever wonder how Republicans, for all the wonderful things they do, get such a bad rap on personal freedom? Maybe it is because the GOP is the only party that believes gay people do not deserve the freedom to get married, get domestic partnered or even raise children. (Yes, Virginia, it’s right there in your party platform.)

When you can meddle with the most intimate thing in a man’s life – his private relationships – it scares anybody with a sense of justice. And it should. Republicans used to be about separating Government from individual people’s decisions. Now that is all upside-down.

I hope Santa brings you some common sense for Christmas, and you evolve to support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Condemn the correct sin

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Your public policy on gay marriage hinges on a condemnation of gay sex, which of course comes from the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The story goes that God destroyed the two cities because of the immoralities of the residents, and because the writings of some Dark Ages monks, “the sin of Sodomy” has become synonymous with any sexual liaison that is not stick+hole=baby.

Unfortunately for that policy, anybody who reads the Bible with more attention than they pay to the Sudoku puzzle in their Sunday paper knows that God’s destruction of the city (Genesis 18:20) has nothing to do with the part where the men attempt to rape the angels (Genesis 19:9), which was merely an act of barbaric punishment by rape – not homosexuality.

Ezekiel 16 lists the many sins of these people – and homosexuality is not one of them.

“”Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.” Ezekiel 16:49 (American Standard)

In 2003 the United States Supreme Court invalidated Sodomy laws as being an unconstitutional violation of privacy. In 2005 and 2007 the California Legislature sought to invalidate the special exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage as an unconstitutional violation of religious tolerance, privacy and freedom. You sided with the sodophyles and vetoed those bills.

When you have abundant food and careless ease, the least you could do is help same-sex couples achieve the access to same laws and opportunities as everybody else. It is too late for you to sign AB 43, but it is not too late for you to support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Paul was against everything, except Commitment

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Since the Bible is the foundation everybody turns to when they try to justify the special ban on same-sex marriages, it would be a good idea for you to know what the Bible actually says about homosexuality, and in particular, same-sex relationships.

Paul wrote in Romans 1:26-27 “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet,”

The usual argument to this is that Paul was against everything. For instance, he wrote in Timothy 2:9, that women should “adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” I’m sure your wife Maria would take issue with this admonition if it were to become public policy.

Others point out that Paul was commenting not on homosexual couples but the pagan practice of “fertilizing” castrated galli priests as surrogates of the fertility goddess, a weird way of worshiping a false idol, which actually was one of those ten commandment thingies.

As a gay dad, I have a different take on this. I like and love my life partner. We are a couple. Paul wasn’t talking about us, he was talking about people like Larry Craig and Ted Haggart, who turned away from their partners to pursue lust towards others.

“It is not good that the man should be alone.” Genesis 2:18.

As long as man can debate what the Bible says about homosexuality, we need to use a higher standard for deciding public policy, such as freedom and liberty, or even the ten commandments. Please reconsider your admonishment of same-sex relationships and support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Salvation Army Undermines World AIDS Effort

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today is World AIDS Day. It’s an awful disease. Government is not doing enough, and the religious are doing even less.

The US branch of the Salvation Army ignores this day to ring bells in suburbia. They divert money from direct aid in order to block the only things that are shown to stop the disease: needle exchange, condoms, and commitments like same-sex marriage. They use the excuse of religion to pick and choose who they help – reserving food baskets and employee health care for people who meet their myopic definition of family.

Money can not “do the most good” when it is dispensed with an agenda influenced not by compassion but by judgment. Nobody can help people when they hate them.

I wish you would say something this holiday season about how the Salvation Army is undermining the fight against AIDS with its old-testament evangelical superstitiously-based policies. The Salvation Army may be entitled to their beliefs, but Californians deserve to know what beliefs they are funding.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Hate costs Dough

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I wrote to you in July as an angry taxpayer about the cost of limiting marriage to heterosexual couples as revealed by The Williams Institute at UCLA.

Their recent analysis for Maryland revealed that their 8,000 same-sex couples, if married, would attract about $100 million of spending and $14 million in tax revenue EACH YEAR.

By comparison, their 2004 analysis of California showed that the 1977 ban on marriage costs us $16 Billion in spending and $25 million in tax revenue EACH YEAR.

As a taxpayer, I sure could use a slice of that dough, but as a gay man I would rather have the freedom to get married.

Whether it is fiscal responsibility, or just the right thing to do, I wish you would end your support of the costly ban on gay marriage and instead support the freedom to marry for all Californians.

Yours,

Today’s letter – a right or a privilege

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Is marriage a right or a privilege?

If it is a right, why do I not have it?

If it is a privilege, what do I have to do to earn it?

Really, please Governor, why won’t you just let me get married?

Yours truly,

Today’s letter – Hate is shrinking your base

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As a voter of conscience, I don’t understand how anybody could pop a chad for a Republican. Last night’s slap at people of color piggybacked months of campaigns against Hispanic and Latino workers and years of attacks on lesbian and gay families.

Of these offenses, I don’t think any are as pronounced or as harmful to the GOP as their campaign against the freedom to marry. While African-American and LGBT voters are each roughly 7% of the voting population, 91% of LGBT voters cast ballots in the last presidential election. But those are direct votes.

When your party says – in your party platform – that my California Domestic Partner and I shouldn’t be allowed to get married because our genitals make us worse parents than Britney Spears and Kevin Federline, it alienates not only us, but also everybody who has ever met us. Currently, 75% of children are being raised in ‘non-nuclear’ families like ours – the kind you say are incapable of raising kids. 75% of families is a big base to permanently lose.

Just last week, former Republican congressman Jack Kemp told the Washington Post “What are we going to do — meet in a country club in the suburbs one day? If we’re going to be competitive with people of color, we’ve got to ask them for their vote.”

Think you’re above it all? Hardly. In 2004 you successfully lobbied the Attorney General to invalidate my marriage, in 2005 you vetoed AB 849 which would have let us wed, and now you’re on the verge of vetoing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

All my California Registered Domestic Partner and I want to do is raise our kids with the simplicity and security of marriage. You and your party have worked your hardest to prevent that fairness and freedom. It is something that me, my family, my friends, my coworkers and my church are going to remember when they vote.

Let me once again ask you to give us some options at the polls: please sign AB 43 into law instead of vetoing your party further down the sewer.

Sincerely,