Today’s letter – it’s gay pride month again

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

It’s old news now, but June is once again Gay Pride month by proclamation of the President of the United States.

I’m tired of having the civil liberties and human dignity of my fellow Americans ebb and flow with the different political parties that happen to be in office at any particular time. I’m tired of having to wait for old Republicans to die off so human rights legislation can advance. I’m tired of being limited to just one political party because the other political party engages in morally reprehensible attacks on its fellow citizens.

Governor, I wish you would apologize for vetoing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act that would have legalized gay marriage through the legislature, like New Hampshire just did. I wish you would speak out against Opponents of Equality and their agenda of apartheid against the citizens of our state. I wish you would make the GOP get rid of Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh so Republicans can once again represent America’s promise of freedom and dignity, instead of some warped version of theocracy.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – sign SB 572 Harvey Milk Day

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I want to write to urge you to sign SB 572, the legislation that would create Harvey Milk Day in California.

Harvey Milk fought hard to be treated with the same dignity and respect as his heterosexual counterparts. His winning opened the door to full inclusion of all Californians in the economy and society.

Opponents of Equality will fight against this like they fought against Mr. Milk – with lies and violence. I hope you will join the House and the Senate to recognize what is right, and sign this bill into law.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – doing his duty for eighteen years

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I would like to point out a saint in your midst.

For 18 years, Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder and State Clerks Association President Stephen Weir has been in charge of the county’s office that hands out marriage licenses, even though he has been unable to get a license himself because the love of his life happens to be a man.

On June 17th, Weir and his fiancée John Hemm will approach the counter Weir runs to get a license for themselves; shortly after that, they will go to exchange vows in the conference room that Weir himself had converted into a wedding chapel – but could never use.

Weir says “I’ve waited all of this time to be able to walk into my own office and stand in line and pay $85 to buy a license and have a ceremony. It’s a big deal.”

Governor, is there an award that we can give Stephen Weir for patiently doing his duty all these years while his “customers” would, every day, receive something he could not? What do you give somebody who did his job, even though knew that limiting love based on people’s gender or religion was wrong?

When you hear stories of clerk-recorders from other counties who won’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite the Supreme Court ruling (and basic human decency,) you realize how, truly, Stephen Weir is a citizen among citizens and a saint among saints.

Sincerely,

Today’s stamp: “Jury Duty”

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,