Today’s letter – it’s gay pride month again

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

It’s old news now, but June is once again Gay Pride month by proclamation of the President of the United States.

I’m tired of having the civil liberties and human dignity of my fellow Americans ebb and flow with the different political parties that happen to be in office at any particular time. I’m tired of having to wait for old Republicans to die off so human rights legislation can advance. I’m tired of being limited to just one political party because the other political party engages in morally reprehensible attacks on its fellow citizens.

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, like New Hampshire just did. I wish you would speak out against Opponents of Equality and their agenda of apartheid against the citizens of our state. I wish you would make the GOP get rid of Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh so Republicans can once again represent America’s promise of freedom and dignity, instead of some warped version of theocracy.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – resistance is futile

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

American Physicist reflected on his experience with the Los Alamos bomb-building program in his 1985 book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! and came to a realization about the futility of existence:

I sat in a restaurant in New York… and I looked out at the buildings and I began to think, you know, about how much the radius of the Hiroshima bomb damage was and so forth… How far from here was 34th street?… All those buildings, all smashed — and so on. And I would see people building a bridge, or they’d be making a new road, and I thought, they’re crazy, they just don’t understand, they don’t understand. Why are they making new things? It’s so useless.

But, fortunately, it’s been useless for almost forty years now, hasn’t it? So I’ve been wrong about it being useless making bridges and I’m glad those other people had the sense to go ahead.

The Opponents of Equality say that a storm is coming, that gay marriage will destroy civilization. As Mr. Feynman pointed out, people have been predicting destruction for a long time. When I see a gay couple holding hands, or a lesbian couple holding their newborn child, I am so glad that people had the sense to go ahead when those around them were telling them that they were less worthy of marriage or doomed to failure because of their “disease.”

Will marriage apartheid be around in a few years? Of course not. Only the regrets of those who thought it was useless to pursue love because of what Opponents of Equality told them.

Sincerely,

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas – Postponing Inevitable

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

April 5, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill S.115

Dear Governor Douglas,

In 2006 you vetoed a civil rights bill banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity by employers, financial institutions, housing, public accommodations, and other contexts, and then you signed it in 2007. And you were reelected.

Now you have a chance to sign S. 115, a civil rights bill banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by the state in the context of marriage. You have said that you will veto it. That just doesn’t make any sense to me. Why should Vermonters have to wait for civil rights when it is just sitting on your desk?

It’s time for a change of heart. Please sign S. 115 and end civil apartheid in Vermont.

Sincerely,

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas – April’s Fool

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

April 1, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill S.115

Dear Governor Douglas,

Today was April Fool’s day, so when I first heard that the Governor of Vermont was going to veto S. 115, “An Act to Protect Religious Freedom and Recognize Equality in Civil Marriage,” I didn’t believe it.

But sure enough, you did promise to veto it. Imagine that – you are just another Republican who thinks that he knows better than I do how to live my life; another Christian who thinks he is more worthy of civil sacraments than I am; another American who does to others as he would not do to himself.

I hope that you are really just fooling and that you will at the end of the day you will do what’s right, and sign S. 115.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Countdown to Freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The most powerful arguments used to justify a ban on same-sex marriages are the results of the voter initiatives in March of 2000 and November of 2008. But those arguments will expire soon.

Proposition 22 won by 11.4% but Proposition 8 only won by 2.3%. By my calculations, between those elections more than 400 voters a day changed their minds about same-sex marriage. At that rate, the margin will be zero on January 11, 2011 – exactly two years from today.

California’s legislature, judiciary and Constitution all support same-sex marriage. Finally, on January 11, 2011, the people will support same-sex marriage too. I hope you continue to help the people of California to understand that there is nothing wrong with same-sex marriage, and everything wrong in opposing it.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Happy New Year

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Happy New Year!

I am pleased to start 2009 in a state with so much promise. I want to ask you to join me in my new year resolution to do more for marriage equality in this critical year.

California can’t afford to waste our precious taxpayer money on creating and maintaining “domestic partnerships” when marriage already exists with all the laws already in place.

California can’t afford to lose families as they flee to places that do not segregate their citizens into “domestic partnerships” but instead supply all families with the dignity that only marriage can provide.

You are going to have to work really hard to get the people of California to put this social issue behind us so that we can focus on the economy and the budget. You cannot do that by ignoring it. Please make a resolution with me to fix this marriage problem for the next century.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Ides of November

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The Ides of March must make politicians nervous. This was the day in 44 BC that Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by a group of Roman senators who believed Caesar intended to take over the Republic and turn it into a monarchy. The murderers justified themselves saying they were merely protecting the Republic but everybody knows they were merely protecting their own political aspirations.

Nowadays, the group using the rhetoric of protection claims they are “protecting” marriage. Randy Thomasson and the Campaign for Children and Families claim that same-sex marriage is the biggest threat to home and country, and we must exterminate homosexuals to protect our Democracy.

Of course, you can see through these Liberatores Governor. Marriage is not threatened – only political power. Their campaign is driven by political aspirations to knock out the Democrats. When they have accomplished that, who do you think they are going to turn to, Mr. Moderate Republican? Do you really think there room in their family for a foreigner who resists attempts to merge Church and State? Indeed, while today the back they are sticking a knife into is mine, tomorrow the back will be yours.

You have done a lot for the equality of all Californians, but you stopped short of supporting gay marriage. We could really use your help with the upcoming ballot initiative driving voters to the polls. Please tell the people that it is time to stop “protecting marriage” and start improving it. The back you save may be your own.

Yours,

Today’s letter – stamp out discrimination

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Since the United States Post Office announced a rate increase on first class postage, I took a quick look through the stamps that I’ve been using to write to you.

There’s a Gerald R. Ford stamp symbolizing the days where Republican meant getting out of people’s lives, a Black Heritage stamp with Charles W. Chesnutt symbolizing both the struggle for civil rights against pigheaded politicians and the fact that we don’t have a Lesbian and Gay stamp yet, and vintage mahogany Speedboats from the 1920’s that remind me that there are people who have been “shacking up” together almost that long who still cannot get married.

There’s “Alpine Tundra” in the Nature of America series that reminds me us that this land belongs to all of us (not just the heterosexuals), “Pollination” with the message that you don’t need to be married to get pregnant and have children, and a “Mendez vs. Westminster 1947 – Towards Equality in our Schools” stamp reminding us that the system works and change is possible.

“Jury Duty” celebrates the fact that gay people perform their civic duties just the same as the straights (even though they can’t get married to the person that they love like the straights) while Super Heroes reminds me of your days as The Terminator when you used to stand up for freedom from tyranny and Oppression.

And the LOVE stamp reminds me that all that we need to get the freedom to marry is your change of heart. Yes, we need you to tell the people that should be deciding who to marry instead of who can marry. That’s the only defense against a bad Supreme Court decision and a really bad Constitutional amendment proposition to permanently ban my marriage.

While I’m looking forward to the new 42-cent stamps, I hope they will bring a change of heart along with them.

Yours,

Today’s letter – the people’s behavior reflects their leader

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I was reading “this day in history” and I believe that today’s events can teach us a lot about how to achieve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In 1978 Jim Jones’ cult committed mass suicide; in 1969 Kennedy’s Apollo 12 landed on the moon, and in 1863, Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address celebrating the end of the civil war and “a new birth of freedom.”

These three events would not have occurred without the participation of the people involved and the work of the leaders whose vision inspired them. Whether we are reaching for the stars, freedom for all, or something more sinister, the behavior of the people is simply a reflection of the leader.

If the people of California want to reward stable relationships with the stability of marriage, or if they want to punish lesbian and gay citizens by excluding them from matrimony, the choice is theirs. Which choice they make depends on the leader.

So my pursuit of life, liberty and happiness is in your hands, Governor. Are you going to play partisan politics with my relationship, or are you going to tell the people of California that freedom means freedom for everybody? History will not remember the people’s choice, but it could remember yours.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Since 2005, a lot has changed

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

A lot has changed since 2005, when you vetoed AB 849 saying that you want the people to decide who can access marriage in California.

  • More than 9,000 marriages have taken place in Massachusetts (and rather than the sky falling down, they won the World Series.)
  • A Republican-controlled congress failed a second attempt to amend the Constitution (and lost control of congress.)
  • California elected a new Assembly (and every member who voted for AB 849 was re-elected plus one.)
  • The parade of states passing DOMA amendments ground to a halt when Arizona voters rejected a ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage.
  • More Californians support gay marriage (48%) than oppose it (46%). (That means gay marriage has double the support of President Bush (24%).)

Clearly, the people are increasingly supportive of the freedom to marry, and the excuses for opposing it are running out. The moment you leave office gay couples in California will be able to choose marriage just like everybody else. As a lame-duck Governor who needs to weigh his legacy against his political aspirations, do you want to be on the side of freedom, or support the opponents of equality?

Please sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, this year so my family can choose the security and simplicity of marriage just like yours. The people have evolved – have you?

Moving forward,