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 – 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 – the fight for equality got more dear

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The estate of an early employee of Microsoft, Ric Weiland, announced a $65 million donation to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, including scholarships and legal work on same-sex marriage.

In other words, $65 million was pledged to fight against Republicans like you who preach that individual choices are the best ones, then make sure the gays can’t make the most personal choice, the choice of marriage.

Please do like Mr. Weiland – take a stand against prejudice, hate and violence by supporting the freedom of all committed couples to make the commitment of marriage.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Chancellor Schwarzenegger

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today was the 75th anniversary of the date Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Before his reign was over, more than 65,000 homosexuals were interred or murdered.

When you vetoed AB 43, the bill that would have stopped my family from being singled out for special exclusion from marriage, you claimed that California law left you no choice.

Martin Luther King said “Don’t ever forget that what Hitler did was legal.” I don’t want you to forget that what you did to me and my family by denying me the individual choice of marriage might have been legal, but it was not right.

Strong families and individual choice are the cornerstone of California’s economy and your political party. I just wish you would support my choice to form and keep a family through marriage.

Yours,

Today’s letter – I heart Huckabee for President

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As a conservative Christian gay Republican dad, I would love Mike Huckabee to be the Republican nominee for President. In fact, on Super Tuesday, he’s going to get my vote.

Everybody knows that he is unelectable, so his nomination is my best chance at getting somebody in the White House who respects my faith, my family and my individual freedom to make my own decisions about who I marry.

So, Governor, please support Mike Huckabee for President so we can get somebody with compassion, tolerance and talent into the White House.

Yours,

Today’s letter – the video made me cry

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’m still haunted by the images in the Let California Ring commercial “Garden Wedding.” In this thirty second ad, church bells ring as a bride prepares for her big day. The door sticks, cars block her path to the wedding pavilion, low-hanging branches foil her veil, then on her way down the aisle when she just makes eye contact with her groom, somebody sticks out their foot and she trips and falls. The message covers the screen: “what if you couldn’t marry the person you love?”

As a gay dad in a Domestic Partnership, I feel like this bride in a nightmare: so close to the altar, yet constantly foiled from marrying the person I love by things completely out of my control. Like when you chose to veto AB 43, the bill that would have let me marry the person that I love. That was really mean.

Strong families and individual choice are the cornerstone of California’s economy and your political party. I just want the government to support my choice to form and keep strong families through marriage.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Times have Changed, Love has Not

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Actor Heath Ledger died today in his Manhattan apartment. He will always be remembered for his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain – a man married to a woman but in love with a man. Not “one night in Bangkok” Larry Craig kind of sex-on-the-side kind of love, but devoted, loyal Jane Austen kind of love. You cannot see that movie and think that Ennis and Jack were less than soul mates, and deserved anything less than a life together.

Back then, society didn’t accept anything but man-on-woman relationships, and used both violence and government to keep that power structure intact. Children born out of wedlock were shunned; women without husbands were shameful and powerless.

Nowadays, Mr. Ledger’s own child was born out of wedlock, and women without husbands are considered powerful and shrewd. Oprah Winfrey could never exist in 1963 Wyoming.

Governor, if “Love Is A Force Of Nature,” you are obliged to set it free. Please support the freedom for all committed couples to choose the commitment of marriage.

Yours,

Today’s letter – supporting evil is the same as doing evil

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As an example of how awful this battle over the freedom to marry has become, we fired our roofer today.

Well, we didn’t actually “fire” him, but here’s what happened. We had a leak in our roof. This guy from who was highly recommended came over to look at it, and later emailed us a quotation. His email led to his professional Web site, which listed “Victory Outreach Church of Eagle Rock” in his “community” section.

It took about ten seconds to discover that Valley Outreach is a notorious Texas-based Megachurch that not only operates reparation therapy facilities (where they beat the gay out of people) but also specifically endorses the Protect Marriage campaign to exterminate my family.

I did what anybody of conscience is obliged to do: I told this guy that I would retch if a fraction of a fraction of my money went to a place that has exchanged Jesus’ teachings for those of Pete Knight.

Our poor roofer guy was shocked and tried to defend his conscience by saying that he knows many gay people who are “his kindest friends.” I explained that if his ethics allows him to tell his kindest friends they are less worthy of marriage than Britney Spears, then he is not someone I want within a mile of my family, and chased him away.

Really, these are the people who can shoot an abortion doctor in the head without blinking an eye. They should be laughed out of any room they’re in. Yet they asked you to veto AB 43 and you complied.

I really wish you would put an end to this awful battle by telling the people of California that prejudice and hate is not acceptable. There is nothing wrong with gay marriage; there is everything wrong with denying it.

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,