Today’s letter – Perry v. Schwarzenegger video feed

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

In July of 2007 I wrote to you to ask you to sign AB 43, the bill that was heading to your desk that would have ended the segregation of same-sex and opposite-sex marriages in our state. When you vetoed it, you gave a bunch of excuses, especially saying that you had to veto it, or you would be sued.

Well, now you’re being sued. Perry v. Schwarzenegger is hearing arguments tomorrow – broadcast to all the world – about whether you can enforce a law that breaks generations of a most sacred traditional value: that every citizen is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

You refused to step in to stop the Opponents of Equality from redefining equality in our state. You failed to protect me and my children from the tyranny of the majority. And you were a poor steward of the Constitution that generations of Californians used to define fairness and equality, from those that would take it away.

So we went over your head. Now the Federal courts will decide if you can reach into the population and carve out a group of people, and assign them different rights because of the way they were born or what they believe.

It is sad that it has come to this: it is much more important to have the majority of Californians support marriage equality than to have a law about it. You could have helped, but now you’re being sued. Hurray for justice.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Iowa stubbornness or sensibility?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I could not let today pass without mentioning that the first same-sex marriages are taking place in Iowa!

Up until this decision, all I knew about Iowa I learned from The Music Man: “We’re so dog-gone stubborn we can stand and touch our noses for a week at a time and never see eye to eye. But what the heck, you’re welcome, join us at the picnic. (You can have your share of all the food you bring yourself.)”

I know how happy I was when I got married in California after 11 years as “domestic partners” – June 17, 2008. I hear stories from Massachusetts about how marriage liberated couple after couple in ways that domestic partnership did not, simply because people understand “marriage.” I remember the hurt when marriages were stopped in California, when the people of California said “no, you’re not welcome even to a share of the food you bring yourself.” And I remember the joy when New Hampshire, Vermont and Iowa joined Massachusetts in saying “freedom means freedom for everybody.”

I would have expected to be run out of Iowa on rails like Professor Harold Hill, but never out of California. I guess things have changed in the 21st century.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – GOP goes Gay

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I just wanted to make sure that you noticed Meghan McCain’s memo to the GOP, “Go Gay.” In it, she blames her father’s recent loss to President Obama squarely on the Republican Party’s use of anti-gay rhetoric to whip up the base. She reminds us that the most popular Republican of all time, Ronald Reagan, supported homosexuals during the 1978 Briggs attack, and argues that if the Republican Party ever wants to see that kind of popularity again, it needs to do things like Lincoln and Reagan, not like Anita Bryant and G. W. Bush.

Ms. McCain spells it out:

If you think certain rights should not apply to certain people, then you are saying those people are not equal. People may always have a difference of opinion on certain lifestyles, but championing a position that wants to treat people unequally isn’t just un-Republican. At its fundamental core, it’s un-American.

So, Governor, are you going to take up Ms. McCain’s challenge by coming forward and playing an instrumental role in securing gay rights like Gavin Newsom, or are you going to sit on the sidelines like George Wallace until the courts decide for you? I wish you would take Ms. McCain’s advice and save the Republicans.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Republicans are not acting republican

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I voted Tuesday in my last election as a registered Republican. It is sad for me to resign my membership in the Republican party, but the party has strayed too far from a principle that individuals are empowered to make individual decisions.

In particular, as a gay dad, I was lucky enough to find somebody who I like and love, and who loves me in return. We finally won the freedom to make the intimate decision to commit to marriage. But the Republicans, with you as the exception, continue to fight to take that away.

Your party platform glibly informs that “it is important to define marriage as being between one man and one woman” and “we oppose same-sex partner benefits, child custody, and adoption.” – teachings that are designed deny me my freedom to choose who I marry and make individual decisions about how I live my life.

A moral compass that lets one claim individual freedom, yet ostracize ones neighbors is neither American nor Christian, and I want no part of it.

I urge you, for the future of the Republican party, to help the GOP and California State Republican Assembly overcome their hatred and bias in order to open the tent to all individuals who want to make California a better place.

Sadly,

Today’s letter – McCain and Hagee are still married

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Your friend Senator John McCain spent a whole year wooing an endorsement from San Antonio televangelist John Hagee. As a person of faith myself, I find it nice that Senator McCain would reach out to all kinds of people.

The problem is that Senator McCain’s new friend is my old enemy. Hagee told NPR in 2006 – long before McCain started courting him – that New Orleans had suffered “the judgment of God” because of its “level of sin,” referring to a conspiracy theory that God wiped out scores of disenfranchised Americans to punish the gays.

Hagee also calls the Catholic Church – your church, Governor – “the great whore” and “a false cult system.” And all without any retribution from Senator McCain.

One might use the word that Senator McCain used to criticize his likely opponent Senator Obama for reaching out to our enemies: appeasement. Yes, Senator McCain has done nothing but appease John Hagee.

Two famous sayings come to mind. “You are judged by the company you keep” and “you can’t govern people that you hate.” If Senator McCain wants my vote, he is going to have to renounce John Hagee; until he does, he is an enemy of liberty.

Sincerely,

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 – I am worse than felons

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I noticed that in order to meet combat needs, the Army and Marines accepted a total of 861 recruits with felony convictions last year, including manslaughter and sex-crime convictions,

What kind of a message does it send to people when those who kill and abuse their neighbors are given the freedom to marry and serve in the military, while people like me – who just wants to be the best husband and father that I can – are excluded?

I’ll answer that rhetorical question: it says we punish people for the way they were made instead of how they behave.

It is not too late for you to call on the people and the Supreme Court to end the limitations on marriage by letting same-sex couples have the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Samantha gets it, why don’t you?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

It looks like the upcoming Sex in the City movie will feature a wedding or two. Will Carrie Bradshaw finally marry Big, or will her gay gal pal Stanford Blatch manage to find love even before Carrie?

Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha do not seem to be the kind of people who would be anything but thrilled if Stanford finally tied the knot. Why would Californians be any different?

I wish you would support the freedom to marry for us out here in California, so people like Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha – or Stanford, Anthony and Big – are not blocked by a tradition of bigotry from marrying the love of their lives.

Yours,

Today’s letter – longer than the writers’ strike with more ill effects

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The Hollywood writers strike showed us what damage is caused when a few key people are removed from an important industry.

While the studios can just go back to work, the special ban on gay marriage continues to prevent committed couples from contributing to the economy and society.

It is time to get California back to full strength by supporting strong families and individual choice. Please tell the Supreme Court that California immediately needs all of its citizens to have access to the time-tested legal structure that only marriage provides.

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,