Today’s letter – world’s most embarassing argument as GOP leader tries to ban all marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

GOP Chairman Michael Steele told a crowd at the state convention in Atlanta that same-sex marriage is costly for small business.

He explained “Now all of a sudden I’ve got someone who wasn’t a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for, So how do I pay for that? Who pays for that? You just cost me money.”

There are two small problems with this argument. The first is that, if Republicans were actually concerned about the costs of having employees who are married, then they should not stop at gays, they should ban marriage altogether. Then employers wouldn’t have to take financial responsibility for anybody’s spouse. I would like to hear Mr. Steele argue that; anything less is simply hypocritical.

Second, Mr. Steele’s comment ignores the small businesses that make money from gay weddings. After 5 years of extending marriage to gay couples, study after study shows Massachusetts has attracted highly-skilled workers and experienced an economic boost of over $110 million from the very practice Mr. Steele would ban.

It is not same-sex marriage that is costly for small business, it is the ban on gay marriage that is costly for small business.

Please, Governor, please explain to Californians that it is in our best interest for every Californian to be able to fully participate in the economy and society, and please explain to your party leadership the folly of letting somebody as blatantly ignorant as Mr. Steele steer your ship.

Sincerely,
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Today’s letter – history remembers the liberators, not the oppressors

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

History remembers the agents of change. History – for example – remembers Lincoln who freed the slaves. It does not remember the guy before Lincoln who fought for slavery. It remembers Reagan who tore down the Berlin wall. Not so much the guy before him. It remembers Susan B. Anthony who got women to vote, not whomever (Liddy Dole?) who opposed it.

How do you think history is going to remember you, Governor? Do you think you’ll be on a coin or a stamp for vetoing AB 43, the 2007 bill that would have let me and my same-sex domestic partner finally get married? Or do you think that it will be the next person, the one who finally replaces you and banishes that apartheid who will be immortalized?

It is not too late for you to work toward freedom to marry for all Californians instead of simply – and insignificantly – against it. I wish you would support the freedom to marry.

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 – Mission Accomplished

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Yesterday, on the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, President Bush issued a statement that “Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision and this is a fight America can and must win.”

Whether or not we will ever ‘win’ in Iraq, the fact remains that the President and his administration lied to us to get us to support a war against the wrong country and the wrong dictator by promising a victory that was swift and decisive against weapons of mass destruction and the mastermind of 9/11.

But this is not the first time that the administration lied to us. In February 2004 – barely a week after my same-sex marriage – Bush declared war on my family, saying “the union of a man and a woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith.”

Who will be the next victim of this administration’s political aspirations?

Governor, please keep the lies in Washington – not in California. There is nothing wrong with gay marriage, but there is everything wrong with using your fellow Americans for your own political gain.

Yours,

Today’s letter – oust the intolerant, not the needy

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I bring to you a story of righteousness winning out. In 2006 the then-Bishop of San Joaquin, John-David Schofield, based on a slim majority of support from his parishioners, led his whole diocese out of the Episcopal Church in opposition to the consecration of women and homosexuals by the US division of the Anglican Church.

Yesterday the Episcopal House of Bishops officially deposed Schofield, blocking him from performing religious duties as an Episcopal and removing his title.

It is so wonderful to finally see a Church that kicks out the intolerant for their intolerance rather than kicking out the parishioners because of their gender, age or sexual orientation.

I wish you would do the same thing with the Republican party. Then your party could grow like the Episcopals instead of shrinking like the Catholics.

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,

Today’s letter – social security short of world-class

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That document raises the issue of social security and the responsibilities of the state in caring for its people.

Article 22.

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

So the irony of being stuck in this silly limbo between marriage and singlehood is that, without marriage, my partner and I cannot pool our social security benefits from the state. Both of us have worked hard and contributed dutifully to this fund, Now, while we are compelled to contribute, we are banned from receiving, for the state considers us “legal strangers.”

This is bad for us and for our kids; it is not going to change until somebody like you stands up and leads the people to what is right. If you don’t, it will only get worse. And that is a travesty that goes beyond our national borders.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Desmond Tutu supports the freedom to marry

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Nobel Prize Winner and former Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu has weighed in on the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage.

“I am deeply, deeply distressed that in the face of the most horrendous problems — we’ve got poverty, we’ve got conflict and war, we’ve got HIV/AIDS — and what do we concentrate on? We concentrate on what you are doing in bed,” Tutu told journalists at the World Social Forum in Nairobi.

“To penalize someone because of their sexual orientation is like what used to happen to us; to be penalized for something which we could do nothing (about) — our ethnicity, our race,” said Tutu. “I would find it quite unacceptable to condemn, persecute a minority that has already been persecuted.”

His words echo those of Spanish and Canadian leaders who brought their people to understand and embrace same-sex marriage as a fundamental component of their nation’s diversity.

I wish his words would inspire you too. Please stop being an obstacle to freedom, and instead lead the people to understand what you must already know: there is nothing wrong with gay marriage, there is everything wrong with denying it.

Yours,

Today’s letter – winning marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Did you notice that the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 right after Massachusetts got gay marriage?

Well, on Friday, an appellate court made New York the second state to recognize same-sex couples with legal marriage, by considering valid and legal weddings solemnized outside the state.

What happened? The New York Giants won the Superbowl.

The upset not only broke the Patriots’ undefeated season, but it also ended Massachusetts’ four-year distinction of being the only state where same-sex couples are free to choose legal marriage.

Please, Governor, California’s sports teams deserve your support. Please tell your Republican party and the State Supreme Court that there is nothing wrong with gay marriage. Break our streak of domestic apartheid, and instead make Californians into the winners they should be.

Yours,

Today’s letter – happy birthday to me

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today is my 40th birthday.

Depending on who is talking, I am either happily married with two kids and a loving spouse, or a 40-year-old bachelor living with my buddy and two bastard children.

Anybody who has taken the time to know me understands that I am anything but a “bachelor” and my kids are anything but “bastard.” My friends, family, co-workers and Democratic legislators know that I am in every sense “married with children”.

Why, Governor, do you and your fellow Republicans continue to bury your collective heads in the sand and pretend gay relationships don’t exist? I exist, I am gay, I am Amercian, I have earned the freedom to marry – yet it is blocked by you and you alone.

You can do something about this. Tell your party and the courts that there is nothing wrong with gay marriage. I don’t want to turn 50 and still be unmarried.

Yours,