Today’s letter – instead of one law, now we have three

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision about the validity of Proposition 8 made my blood boil. Instead of having just one set of laws governing Californians, we now have three: one for heterosexual marriage, another for gay marriages performed during the Fall of 2008, and a third for Domestic Partnerships.

I hate Prop 8 and you should too – because it makes Government bigger and more intrusive into our daily lives, at great expense when we can ill afford it.

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. I wish you would apologize for letting Gavin Newsome and Antonio Villaraigosa stand alone at rally after rally opposing Prop 8. I wish you would make the GOP get rid of Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh so Republicans can be electable again.

I wish you were on the side of Faith, Family and Freedom, instead of quietly waiting out your term.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – long lines on Memorial Day

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Happy Memorial Day, Governor. I hope you get a chance to go to the park with your family.

It’s funny – we go to the same schools and parks as our neighbors, we vote in the same elections, we go to the same churches, and at the ball games, we stand in the same lines for hot dogs. Yet when it is time to get married, same-sex couples have to stand in one line, while opposite couples have to stand in a different line.

That doesn’t seem very American to me.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Nobody Wants Domestic Partnerships

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’m curious to know why opposite-sex couples cannot get Domestic Partnerships in California until one or both is over age 62?

It seems to me that Family Code section 297 (b) (B) …” persons of opposite sexes may not constitute a domestic partnership unless one or both of the persons are over the age of 62” is in direct contradiction to several constitutional protected classes.

Is this because nobody has bothered to sue over this, or because nobody wants to get Domestic Partnered when they can get Married instead?

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – everybody knows that it is time

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

A Field Poll of 1,052 registered California voters asked “Do you approve or disapprove of California allowing homosexuals to marry members of their own sex?” and for the first time since 1977 – when California’s law was changed to ban the unions – a majority answered that yes, they do support same-sex marriage.

As my Aunt wrote after she saw our story in the Chicago Tribune, “It’s about time.” The Wall Street Journal described it on their May 24 Opinion page, “Court Allows Gay Marriage: Tyranny or Its End?” And my Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa said “It’s time for us to bring every American out of the shadows and into the light, and this decision does that here in California.

Personally, I’m hoping to marry my fiancée of eleven years in a couple of weeks, and my friends, family and church are on the edge of their seats.

Please, Governor, keep supporting the freedom to marry in our great state. Keep fighting against the amendment. And most of all, please do whatever you can to make sure marriages start as soon as possible and continue after November.

Yours,

Today’s letter – people who are unhappy with fairness

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I was astonished to learn that even the opponents of equality believe “domestic partnership” and marriage are in fact the same things.

Kentucky State Senator Vernie McGaha introduced legislation that would bar state agencies and schools from providing health insurance for the domestic partners of their employees, even when fully paid for by the beneficiaries. Sen. McGaha said that he was concerned about the erosion of the sanctity of marriage by the provision of domestic-partner benefits.

That the bill was defeated in committee was no surprise. State Senator Ernesto Scorsone explained “I think most Kentuckians believe if you are able to pay for the insurance, you ought to be able to buy it.”

What shocked me was that six of the fifteen committee members voted for the legislation, apparently considering simple domestic partnership benefits to be an offensive intrusion by the gays into the world of marriage. These people will not be happy until I am exterminated.

Governor, it is time to choose between encouraging marriage and encouraging intolerance. The voters of this state are on the verge of changing our Constitution to block people like me from forming partnerships. Whether this comes out nine to six or six to nine depends on your support. I wish you would tell the people that you support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – let Oscar wed too

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

At last night’s Academy Awards, the Best Short Documentary went to a film called “Freeheld” about the struggle that a New Jersey police Lieutenant faced as she tried to include her partner in her pension while she also battled cancer. Had her partner been a different gender, it would have been automatic; instead it was anything but.

I know that you intend for Domestic Partnership to provide same-sex couples with all of the time-tested social and legal features of marriage. The truth is that Domestic Partnership fails miserably at bringing even basic parity to California’s gay partnerships.

When Director Cynthia Wade tells three million people that “It was Lt. Laurel Hester’s dying wish that her fight against discrimination would make a difference for all the same-sex couples across the country,” she is telling three million people that leaders like you are the problem; that people like you, for all your best intentions, are merely obstacles to individual liberty until you support the freedom for all of us to decide for ourselves who we marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – a bad apple

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I believe it is part of our Governor’s job is to see what happens in other states so the best can be brought to California and the worst left where it is.

Kentucky has turned out to be a pretty perilous place to be gay. Even after a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2004, things were looking up when a phone message by Pat Boone could not save the anti-gay Governor Ernie Fletcher from getting booted out of office, and state universities started offering partner benefits to all their employees – not just the ones who are allowed to marry.

But a bad tree bears bad fruit: Kentucky’s state Senate passed a bill 30-5 late last month to bar state agencies, including public universities, from granting any benefits for the partners of their lesbian and gay employees.

University presidents from eight Universities including the University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University and University of Louisville opposed the bill because they say it hurts recruitment efforts for researchers and professors. “If you want to compete with the best universities and the best corporations, you need to be able to offer the same types of benefits they offer,” according University of Louisville spokesman John Drees.

You must know and understand the cost of discrimination, Governor. If our Senate had brought a bill to your desk to specially exclude some people from our society and our economy because of what they are or what they believe, I have no doubt you would veto that. So why do you stop short of supporting the freedom to marry?

Please, Governor, leave the rotten apples in Kentucky and bring us into the 21st century with the most basic freedom: the freedom to marry.

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 – Freedom Interrupted

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Tomorrow Oregon was set to allow same-sex couples to enter into a better-than-nothing civil union structure like California, New Hampshire, Vermont and some other states. More than 500 couples planned to take their vows on New Year’s Day.

Just two days ago, a federal judge overrode the state law, saying that the needs of these couples to make a commitment to each other should take a back seat to the bitter desire of a few to keep them apart. Now 528 couples are waiting in limbo while their relationships are put on trial.

Would you like it if your wedding was canceled with just three days notice, Governor? I’m guessing not. Please help swing the mood in California so that what happened in Oregon can’t happen here (again).

You don’t have to break the law to say that you believe committed couples should have the freedom to choose marriage. You just have to break your silence.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Silently tolerating nonsense

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I like you because you’re a non-nonsense kind of guy. You drive a hummer and smoke cigars regardless of what people say. And just as effectively as you enjoy your own freedoms, you usually defend those of Californians. I would have even voted for you – except for one strange thing: you consistently and mysteriously block same-sex couples from having the freedom to marry.

There were many occasions when you could have stepped up and said something in support of this freedom. Way back when Proposition 22 was just a gleam in Pete Knight’s eye, you could have said “people should be able to do what they want” in the context of gay marriage instead of gay sex. When I was married in San Francisco in 2004 you could have said “we ought to change things so these people can get married legally” instead of just smacking down with the law. When the people and legislature asked you to sign AB 849 in 2005 and AB 43 in 2007, you could have said “I regret having to veto the bill.” Instead you gleefully sent it – and my freedom – back to ground zero.

Thousands of same-sex couples are just trying to make the same commitment of marriage you and Maria were free to make. Why do you tolerate the nonsense of domestic apartheid? Why do you stand silent while freedoms are being trampled?

I really expected more from you.

Yours,