Today’s letter – States’ Rights

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

We passed Proposition 22 so we could make our own decisions about marriage.

It is time to exercise that right, and go where the Federal government won’t: when you get AB 43 , please sign it so same-sex couples can have all of the privileges of marriage – in fact and in name.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Religious Freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’m writing today to ask you to consider Californian’s religious freedom when AB 43, the 2007 “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act” reaches your desk.

Congregations like St. Monica’s Catholic Church – where you go – should be able to exclude same-sex couples from the marriages they solemnize.

However, congregations like The Westwood Hills Congregational Church – right up the road – should also be able to exercise their beliefs and perform same-sex marriages.

California same-sex couples already have all the legal rights of marriage – why are you standing in the way of their religious right to marriage?

Yours,

Today’s letter – Undefining Marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

From 1850 to 1977, California marriage law contained no reference to ‘man’ or ‘woman.’ AB 43, The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, simply would restore the common-sense language that was in our Family Code for 127 years: “Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between two persons.”

I don’t know what made us redefine marriage in 1977, but government-imposed limits on personal freedom have no place in the 21st Century. Please sign AB 43 and get rid of this recent and arbitrary restriction.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – First state to eliminate racial restrictions should not be the last to eliminate gender restrictions

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In 1948 California was the first state to remove its ban on interracial marriage. At the time, only one out of ten Americans supported the action.

Alabama was the last state with a ban on the books. They finally removed it in the year 2000, fifty-two years after us. The popular vote was only 60/40 in favor of removing it.

California has missed its opportunity to be the first state with permanent marriage equality, let’s not make it the last. Please sign AB 43 and bring us marriage equality now.

Yours truly,

Today’s letter – Act on your beliefs

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In 2005, you said “I believe that lesbian and gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their relationships.”

AB 43, the “Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act,” would bring us one step closer to that laudable goal. Please sign AB 43 and put your beliefs into action.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Thank you for Writing

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I received an unsigned letter from your Office of Constituent Affairs dated July 23, 2007, thanking me for my letter regarding AB 43. The letter states “Governor Schwarzenegger does not generally take a position on legislation until a bill has reached his desk.”

On February 16 you told a YMCA Youth and Government conference “I wouldn’t sign [AB 43] because the people of California have voted on that issue.”

In a March 13 article in The San Jose Mercury News (“Schwarzenegger’s Support for Gay Rights Only Goes So Far”) your communications director, Adam Mendelsohn, presented a very sophisticated explanation of your position on AB 43, along with a promise that you would veto it.

The National Association of Evangelicals of Northern California (“NAENORCAL”) writes “This is a great victory for evangelicals. Thank you for writing the governor and asking for a veto. Apparently this bill is now dead on arrival!”

What I want to know is why you seem to read and act on letters from NAENORCAL and other Opponents of Equality, yet toss me and my family off with a form letter featuring what seems like a lie?

You have a unique platform to lead on this issue, and – like me – the people of California deserve more than lip service on this issue.

Yours,

Today’s letter – hate kills

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Opponents of AB 43 say that hating gay people is necessary to keep their kids from becoming gay. Apparently the terror of having the snot beaten out of them will discourage lusty thoughts.

We know the statistics: homophobia causes the teen suicide rate to be four times higher. 50% of gay teens suffer verbal or physical abuse at home. More than 16% of hate crimes are committed against gays. Hate is not a ‘deterrent to gayness.’ Rather it is hate, terror and murder.

The ban on gay marriage is pretty basic homophobia. Please sign AB 43 and support gay marriage so when they decide this issue, the people will have a leader who says “NO” to hate.

Truly,

Today’s letter – More to Marriage than Man and Woman

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

A small but vocal minority have found a lucrative industry in convincing people that marriage is only between a man and a woman. They often forget the rest – that a marriage more importantly refers to two people in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.

My own marriage – which is awkwardly called a ‘domestic partnership’ in California – bears this out. For us, getting married meant that we were bonded together for the rest of our lives, by family, law and God. My 80-year-old parents gave us both matching rings, and my 6-year-old niece drew us a picture of us together.

If two senior citizens and a child know that “man on woman” is a lie, why don’t you?

A marriage does not begin and end with “a man and a woman” in the real world, and it should not do so in California. Please sign AB 43 and help the people of California one step closer to realizing justice and equality.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Taking care of parents who take care of kids

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Through my parenting group, I know several gay couples who have adopted children that were either abused or unwanted.

I wish these foster parents could get married. It would provide a stronger legal framework and access to services; it would remove the stigma attached to any child who has unwed parents; and it would reward these families with the basic dignity that ‘domestic partnership’ can never deliver.

These kids deserve parents who are married. I wish you would sign AB 43 and help Californians say no to discrimination.

Many thanks in advance,