Today’s letter – Dick Cheny is right about freedom, but wrong about having the states meter it out

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Your Republican friend Dick Cheney said during an appearance at the National Press Club that “people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish.”

He also said he does not support federal action allowing gay marriages. “Historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level,” Cheney said. “It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled, on a state-by-state basis.”

Governor, I wish you would take Mr. Cheney’s comments one step further to their obvious conclusion: marriage should not be regulated on the federal level, OR on the state level. It should be at the individual level.

The only people who should be able to decide if they should get married are the people who are involved. Individual choices of adults are not the business of the government, whether it is federal, state or local.

Anything less than that equal freedom for everybody is a violation of what it means to be American, Christian and Republican.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – the call for gay marriage comes from a place of faith, family and freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

This morning I attended the Prop 8 news conference down here in Los Angeles.

It was held in a part of town I had never been in before, Leimert Park, a predominantly African-American neighborhood just blocks from the Crenshaw Christian Center where Pastor Fred Price Jr. held all of his “yes on 8” rallies.

Our press conference opened with a blessing by two ministers and a rabbi. They spoke so long that they were at the podium to made the announcement that the Supreme Court had upheld Proposition 8, and that a slim majority of voters was all that was necessary to take away their religious freedom to perform marriages.

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.

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

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Pat Robertson’s slippery soapbox undermines freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Televangelist Pat Robertson weighed in on the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Law that Maine’s Governor John Baldacci signed earlier this week with the tired “Slippery Slope” argument:

We haven’t taken this to its ultimate conclusion. You got polygamy out there. How can we rule that polygamy is illegal when you say that homosexual marriage is legal? What is it about polygamy that’s different? Well, polygamy was outlawed because it was considered immoral according to biblical standards. But if we take biblical standards away in homosexuality, what about the other? And what about bestiality and ultimately what about child molestation and pedophilia? How can we criminalize these things and at the same time have constitutional amendments allowing same-sex marriage among homosexuals. You mark my words, this is just the beginning in a long downward slide in relation to all the things that we consider to be abhorrent.

Saying marriage is between two people is not a slippery slope. Two people who are worthy of marriage ought to be able to marry each other, without interference from the government.

The real “slippery slope” is certainly not polygamy, but rather it is the next thing that the Opponents of Equality will take away. Will it be divorce? How about the ability to teach science in our schools? Or the freedom to choose our own religion?

As a parent I am much more terrified of what a Robertsonocracy would do to this country: replace what the Bible actually says (“treat others as you would like to be treated”) with whatever Robertson says it says. I mean, Governor, do you want Pat Robertson to have more power than you?

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Doctors should not be able to choose between their faith and their job

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In the “Gathering Storm” ad being aired by the National Organization for Marriage (“NOM”) there is a California doctor who testifies that she “has to choose between my faith and my job.”

I don’t want to live in a state where the doctor at the emergency room triages patients based on their beliefs; I don’t want to live in a state where my HMO sends patients to somebody who gives them second-class treatment because of their prejudices.

I don’t think the remedy is getting rid of same-sex marriage. Governor, could you please contact NOM to find out who that California doctor is, so she can be immediately removed from medical practice?

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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – my husband

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’ve been having problems figuring out how to refer to my spouse. A lot of people try to insist that I call him my “registered California Domestic Partner,” but that doesn’t seem right to me.

We have been living as a married couple for ten years, ten months and twelve days; we were officially married at the earliest opportunity, on Valentine’s Day in 2004; we had two kids almost fourteen months ago; this year we even filed joint taxes.

I think I have to refer to my spouse as “my husband.” Anything less would be disrespectful to him and to our relationship, and confusing to the people that don’t quite know what a “partnership” is.

We shouldn’t be making up new words to describe marriages – we should be using the words that society has already defined. I wish you and your administration would do more to help people like me use the right words to describe our relatives and relations. I wish you would explain to the people that blocking same-sex couples from getting married is bad for our economy and our society.

Yours,

Today’s letter – why Republicans hate the gays

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern was secretly videotaped kvetching about The Gays at a Republican party meeting.

“I honestly think it’s the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam. … The homosexual agenda is a very real threat to the sacred institution of marriage and the traditional family unit … If you have cancer in your little toe, do you just say that I’m going to forget about it since the rest of you is fine? It spreads! This stuff is deadly and it is spreading. It will destroy our young people and it will destroy this nation.”

Since then, Ms. Kern has been busy defending her comments while lashing out at her lesbian and gay neighbors both for trying to blocking her speech and for releasing the video on YouTube.

“They want to silence anyone who does not approve their lifestyle. They want their freedom but don’t want those who disagree to have their freedom.”

Now I could say a bunch of lofty stuff about “with freedom comes responsibility” and “I may not agree with you but I will defend with my life your ability to say it.” But the issue here is not one of freedom to hate – the Boy Scouts proved that’s already in our Constitution – but the freedom to love. Can our democracy overcome the false teachings of Ms. Kern and extend the freedom to marry to all her people?

It can, Governor, with your help.

Yours,