Today’s letter – an open letter asking for your help

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Equality California and the Let California Ring campaign are collecting signatures on an open letter asking you to address the California Supreme Court during oral arguments on the constitutionality of gay marriage this Spring.

As a defendant in the matter, and a proponent of “the dignity of every Californian,” you have an opportunity to speak directly to the judges about the expensive folly of excluding same-sex couples from participation in the economy and society.

If you were truly handcuffed into vetoing AB 43, a bill brought to you by the people through their elected representatives, now is your chance to make things right.

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 – even more perfect unions

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Opponents of Equality say that gay couples are less perfect than straight couples, therefore they should be banned from marriage.

Another nail has been placed in the coffin of that argument: a new study published in the Journal of Developmental Psychology compares homosexual and heterosexual couples, and assesses their happiness.

Researchers from the University of Washington, the University of Vermont and San Diego State University concluded that gay couples — with and without civil unions — found their relationships more fulfilling than straight married couples. Same-sex couples without a legal framework such as a civil union or marriage, were more likely to end their relationships.

The researchers have done their part, proving that gay couples can benefit just as much from marriage as straight couples. Now it is your job, Governor, to make sure that gay couples are just as able to access those benefits.

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 – Marriages are Mergers

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Scott McCartney writes of mergers in the airline industry that “analysts think multiple major marriages could lie ahead.”

Since Government regulates such mergers, are you going to withhold your blessing because the participants in these unions are not one man and one woman?

I know it sounds ridiculous to withhold a license because of an immutable characteristic of the participants – but as odd as that sounds, the fact remains that you are the last obstacle to my marriage, which you are blocking because of my gender.

Please, Governor, you don’t have to sign or veto anything – just tell the people that specially excluding some couples from marriage is un-American and unfair, and then get out of the way of my basic liberty.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Are Americans entitled to discriminate?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’ve been having an online debate with YouTube user “shifty567” about entitlement, exclusion and society, and we need your help to settle it.

Shifty567 says “Certain and defined expectations are necessary to help hold a society together. People define marriage as between a man and a [woman]. That is not an oppression of your rights, but a difference of opinion and definition. The problem is that you are using the idea of freedom to justify your desire for something that you think you are entitled to, but you are not entitled to redefine beliefs.”

I say “Families get married, businesses get married; there is no “man on woman” definition of marriage. I’m not blocked from marriage because of a “definition,” but only because of my gender. Asking to be treated fairly is not entitlement, it is asking to be free from restrictions because of race, religion and gender. And I like to think Americans still believe in freedom.”

So which is it, Governor? Is my special exclusion from marriage necessary to hold society together, or is my exclusion from marriage an aberration in the American principle of “all men are created equal?”

My future rests with your opinion on this matter.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Get Government out of our Living Rooms

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Anybody familiar with the syndicated cartoon The Lockhorns, the TV show “Married with Children,” the political travails of Larry Craig or the new film The Kite Runner knows there is a profound difference between sex and marriage.

Across all media, the message is the same: regardless of what happens in bedrooms, bathrooms and alleys, the partnership of marriage is a unique identifier for two people who are special to each other on a much higher level. Sex takes place in the bedroom; marriage happens in the living room.

There are people who say that gay couples are just taking their relationships into the living room. I believe that real relationships start in the living room. Whether they or I am right, Government should not be meddling in the intimate affairs of either room.

We got Government out of our bedrooms. It is time to get it out of our living rooms as well. Regardless of what you believe about same-sex relationships, I wish you would explain to the people and your fellow Republicans that a government that leaves the issue of sex to the individuals involved ought to leave the issue of marriage to individuals as well.

Yours,

Today’s letter – The Checkered Game of Life

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Milton Bradley created the Game of Life in 1860. The game has had many variations but has always included ‘marriage’ as a milestone signifying the addition of a member to the family and an occasion for ‘gifts’ from the other players.

While the game has no separate provision for “domestic partnership” it also has no restriction on the gender of the partners in the marriage. Players can choose for themselves to put in a pink or blue peg.

I don’t understand why something that was so simple to understand in 1860 is so difficult to comprehend today. I wish you, Governor, would end your support of special rights for some relationships and instead support the freedom to marry for all families. It is, after all, a milestone in the Game of Life.

Yours,

Today’s letter – In-laws are people too

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’m sorry to hear that your mother-in-law, Eunice Schriver, is in the hospital.

I wish I could have a mother-in-law. The woman who fills that role is just as vibrant, just as delightful and just as much of a person as Eunice – but because of the ban on gay marriage that you support, she can’t be my mother-in-law.

I wish the best for Eunice and your family during this difficult time, and encourage you to relish this relationship that only the special right of marriage can provide.

Yours,

Today’s letter – it was we the people, not heterosexual males, who formed the union

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

It has been 135 years since Susan B. Anthony voted in the 1872 presidential election. She was arrested barely two weeks later because it was illegal at the time for women to vote.

In her defense, she argued that the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution said that all “persons” born in the US are citizens who can’t be denied the privileges of citizenship – then she pointed out if she were male, her behavior would have never been questioned.

“It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people – women as well as men. And it is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government: the ballot.”

It took almost fifty years, but Susan B. Anthony managed to “redefine” voting laws to end the exclusion of women.

When you vetoed the Religious Tolerance and Civil Marriage Protection Act you said it was because of Proposition 22, a voter initiative that did not change either the Constitution of this State or this Country. You said I should be happy to enjoy the blessings of Domestic Partnership, and blocked me from making the commitment of marriage just because of the gender of the person I love.

I respectfully ask you to join us in the spirit of Susan B. Anthony and help us to “redefine marriage” so that all committed couples can make the commitment of marriage.

Yours,

Today’s letter – back from recess

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger [Sacramento Office] –

With the legislature back, you must be busy. Your Health Care program and legendary budget restraint are making national news. How will you move our government forward without reckless spending?

Please consider signing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. It fixes a mistake our legislature and Governor Jerry Brown made in 1977 when they redefined marriage, it will save California money, and it’s easy common ground: everybody believes in full equality for all Californians.

Who knows? It might get your other projects underway a little sooner.

Good luck,