Today’s letter – the only fair and legal thing to do is to stop all marriages, and do to yourself what you would do to others

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

What should we do in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling on Prop 8?

You may recall that this amendment to our Constitution says that same-sex couples cannot get married in California. It does not say heterosexual couples cannot get domestic partnered in California.

The Constitution says that all people must be subject to the same laws. I think there is only one fair way to handle this: stop all marriages in California. Existing marriages will be converted to Domestic Partnerships for same-sex and opposite couples alike.

Then instead of having three laws for people, we will only have one. Government will be smaller and save money. Michael Steele will not have to worry about small businesses spending money on benefits to married people. Randy Thomasson would not have to worry about churches performing marriages.

If you really believed in equality and freedom, you would stop inequality and apartheid.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – after 130 years, will it blend?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

On Tuesday, the California Supreme Court will rule on the validity of Proposition 8.

In 130 years, our Constitution was thought of as something that gives everybody access to a level playing field. Proposition 8 tests that assumption, and I am very scared that we will see a crack in our foundation.

If the Constitution can be used as a weapon against a few at the whim of the many, instead of protecting every one of us, it protects no one.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – an opportunty to reaffirm justice and freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

With the upcoming Constitutional Amendment to Limit Marriage, I think we are missing a great opportunity. Everybody is framing this as a risk that voters will “take away marriage” and cause “legal chaos for same-sex couples across the country,” or in your case, just plain “unnecessary.”

We should be looking at this as an historic opportunity for the people to reaffirm what the Supreme Court said: using the Constitution to take an entire class of people and treat them differently because of how they were born or what they believe is fundamentally wrong.

Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of their country. Please urge the people of California to uphold the constitution, and vow to vote no on Amendments to Limit freedom and liberty.

Sincerely,

Today’s stamp: Silver Surfer, from the Marvel Comics “Super Heroes” collection. Mr. Surfer took the threat of the destruction of his home planet and turned it into an opportunity to do good.

Today’s letter – hate lost, now it’s time to do good

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As you know, the California Supreme Court has decided that same-sex marriages will proceed, consistent with its ruling and the State Constitution.

In trying to convince the court to postpone the marriages until after a vote in November, the Opponents of Equality, specifically the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Campaign for California Families, claimed that “legal chaos” would result if marriage licenses were issued for six months and then blocked by a constitutional amendment. They might be right.

Well, the marriages are proceeding, and they are at risk of being overturned. If the Opponents of Equality truly want to avoid a nightmare scenario of national “legal chaos,” then it is their turn to give a little.

I think it would be sportsman-like and morally right for the Opponents of Equality to end their war against their neighbors and friends by taking the $10 million earmarked for divisive hate politics and contribute it towards healing the sick or feeding the poor. Or perhaps they could focus on the parental notification initiative that might bring a surprising number of allies from the lesbian and gay community.

Governor, please tell the Opponents of Equality – and your Republican colleagues – that fighting against the law of the land, and against California’s families, is unacceptable. Please ask them to end their support of the Constitutional Amendment to Limit Marriage.

Sincerely,

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,

Today’s letter – you have been terminated!

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today was a great day. The State Supreme Court overruled you to say that same-sex couples must be given the “respect and dignity” of marriage because the constitutional protections for race and gender also apply to sexual orientation.

The Los Angeles Times quoted me saying “I think this is the beginning of the end of ostracism, bullying, and all the things that used to make people feel less human than others.”

The Los Angeles Times also quoted you – in the paragraph after me, ha ha – saying that you “will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.” Thank you for that. Thank you thank you thank you. But it is a little late for you to be surrendering your authority over my relationships, after that authority was removed.

Because of the Domestic Partnership legislation that you signed and the Federal “Defense of Marriage Act,” my family is honestly not directly affected by this decision at a legal level. But people don’t get married for the rights: they get married for the social acceptance. This decision – and your support of it – sends the clear message that ALL California couples are welcome to commit to marriage and fully participate in our economy and our society.

The real victory is not for us, it is for every struggling teen who thinks they are different, by bringing them the comfort that there is a way to live their life without celibacy or suicide, and their government – and Governor – will support them.

Today was a great day because the State Supreme Court said “freedom means freedom for EVERYBODY,” and my Governor will (finally) fight to make sure that happens.

No longer Yours,

Today’s letter – 158 year-old tradition of tolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’ve written to you before about the struggle I’ve been having with explaining the special ban on same-sex marriages to my kids, and especially how the Opponents of Equality come to California to throw money, time and mindshare at preventing certain people they have never met, who cause absolutely no harm, from making the fundamental decision of who they marry.

What does one say? “There are some people who hate your daddies so much that they come from across the country to keep them from getting married?” Or perhaps “There are some people who don’t want to share. Remember what we learned about sharing?” Clearly, neither truth would be responsible parenting.

After a 158 year tradition of liberty and tolerance ensconced in the California Constitution, it sure would be a shame to lose that all in a heated moment of intolerance.

Dan Hawes, an organizer with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, explains “There is a real sense of hope and possibility here because of the upcoming Supreme Court ruling. The fact that [hard-won freedom] could be taken away in five months is really painful for people who want to marry.”

Please, for my kids and all Californians, give us some moral guidance. Explain to the people that the only right thing to do is to uphold our Constitution that says that nobody should be picked out and treated differently because of what they think or what they believe. That is a tradition of neighborly love, not neighborly hate. That is something I can explain to my kids.

Yours,

Today’s letter – exiled for 25 years

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

On the grand scale of “people doing mean things to other people,” banning same-sex couples from marriage seems pretty insignificant. But with Friday’s death of Mildred Loving, I was reminded of how cruel people can be.

Mrs. Loving, who was black, had married a white man, Richard Loving, in 1958 in Washington, D.C. They returned to their home in Virginia, but that state, along with 15 others at the time, would not recognize their marriage. They were arrested and charged with violating Virginia’s law against interracial unions. Under a plea bargain, they received suspended sentences and agreed to leave the state and not return, except separately, for 25 years. They moved to D.C., sued Virginia and the Supreme Court eventually said, yeah, this is a pretty awful way to treat your neighbors and fellow Americans.

California is on the verge of passing an initiative to do a similar nasty thing to her citizens. The Limit on Marriage proposition will change California’s constitution to make it clear that certain couples are not welcome here, just because of who they love.

The proposed “limit on marriage” will cruelly exile same-sex couples from our economy and our society, and teach kids who happen to be gay that there is no alternative for them but celibacy or suicide. That’s not good for anybody.

You have publicly dismissed the Limit on Marriage proposition as a “waste of time” but please consider joining us to explain to all Californians why this is a bad proposition.

Yours,

Today’s letter – the popular vote

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Do you think civil rights should be decided by an emotional popular vote, or by the ultimate popular vote, the Constitution?

Every human rights victory we hold dear (like suffrage, apartheid, the United Nations and slavery) was installed by decree, not by popular vote.

Please help a pro-same-sex-marriage Supreme Court decision to stick in the law, and in the minds of the people. Please support the freedom to marry for all Californians.

Yours,