Today’s letter – an open letter asking for your help

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Equality California and the Let California Ring campaign are collecting signatures on an open letter asking you to address the California Supreme Court during oral arguments on the constitutionality of gay marriage this Spring.

As a defendant in the matter, and a proponent of “the dignity of every Californian,” you have an opportunity to speak directly to the judges about the expensive folly of excluding same-sex couples from participation in the economy and society.

If you were truly handcuffed into vetoing AB 43, a bill brought to you by the people through their elected representatives, now is your chance to make things right.

Strong families and individual choice are the cornerstone of California’s economy and your political party. I just want the government to support my choice to form and keep strong families through marriage.

Yours,

Today’s letter – you cannot lead people when you hate them

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I am not impressed when evangelicals like Ted Haggard, Paul Barnes, Mike Huckabee, John Paulk, Trent Lott, Larry Craig and Richard Roberts throw stones at my family and then destroy their own. It is par for the course. I just wish they didn’t use their three million followers and shady political connections to amplify their own “rightneous” while specially excluding me and my fiancée from freely participating in the economy and society.

I am not arguing that Mike Huckabee is secretly homosexual; what I am saying is that the history of evangelical ministers – especially gay-bashing Republican ones – demonstrates that the higher they are, the further they fall. By that measure, Mike Huckabee is in orbit.

So let’s play a game. Try to match the quotations on the left with the person making it on the right:

1) “It’s not because I don’t like [gay people.] It’s because I like even more the idea that the heart and soul, the essence of our civilization is in the family [without gays].”

2) “We don’t have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity. It’s written in the Bible.”

3) “So there is a sense in which, you know, it’s one thing to say if people want to live a different way, that’s their business. But when you want to redefine what family means or what marriage means, then that’s an issue that should require some serious and significant debate in the public square.”

4) “It is [a sin]….You should try to show them a way to deal with that problem, just like alcohol…or sex addiction…or kleptomaniacs.”

5) “We need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague.”

A) Mike Huckabee, Baptist minister and Republican candidate for President.

B) Ted Haggard who was having drug-fueled homosexual trysts instead of good man-on-woman sex with his wife:

C) Paul Barnes, founder and former senior minister of Grace Chapel, who resigned when his gay dalliances were revealed;

D) Trent Lott, Senator from Mississippi who suddenly ended his 35-year career in congress under “curious” circumstances.

E) Larry Craig, Senator for Idaho, who admitted to soliciting sex in an airport bathroom.

F) John Paulk, former chairman of the board for Exodus International North America (a group that beats the gay out of people)

The answers are 1-A, 2-B, 3-A, 4-D, 5-A. But it doesn’t matter, because anybody who believes that the key to fixing families in this country is by specially excluding gays from marriage is unfit for office, either by demonstrated irrationality or by hidden proclivities. You cannot lead people when you hate them.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Saving marriage for the Spears

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today’s headlines announced that 26-year-old Britney Spears is getting married for the third time, and that her 16-year-old sister Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant – out of wedlock – with a guy she met at Church.

The response from the Campaign for California Families is an amped-up effort to “save marriage” from lesbian and gay couples.

Now I don’t know about you, Governor, but it seems to me that we should be “saving marriage” for committed couples like me and my partner of ten-and-a-half years, instead of people like the Spears who seem to have a problem with commitment.

I want my kids to have positive role models. I think society would want to promote that. Instead, your office is resonating the message that marriage is for something other than committed couples.

I wish you would use your position of power and leadership to explain to the people of California that all committed couples should have the freedom to marry – and perhaps we might be able to really and truly “save marriage.”

Yours,

Today’s letter – Only Lies Separate Gays from God

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’m just a guy who is trying to be the best husband and father that I can, and I’m willing to work hard for a better world. As a gay man who believes in God and the tradition of getting married, I’m really getting beaten up today, and although I already have God on my side, I could sure use your help too.

Gregg Shields, national spokesman for the Boy Scouts, expressed his organization’s religious beliefs: “Since we were founded, we believe that open homosexuality would be inconsistent with the values that we want to communicate with our leaders.”

Mr. Shields explained a bit more though, saying “A belief in God is also mentioned in the Scout oath. We believe that those values are important. Tradition is important. Our mission is to instill those values in scouts and help them make good choices over their lifetimes.”

It is no accident that Mr. Shields links homosexuals to people who don’t believe in God and don’t follow tradition. It is probably what he was taught. But anybody with the brains God gave geese knows that this is a lie.

I am living proof that homosexuals can and do believe in God and want to follow tradition, perhaps more than anybody – I not only want to carry on my family’s tradition by getting married and sending my kids to Scout Camp, but I also want to achieve that without lying about myself or my family. That’s what the Scout oath is really about.

When Mr. Shields uses lies to separate my family from God, he is also separating my family from Freedom. Mitt Romney pointed out today that “Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.”

I just don’t have the same muscle as The Boy Scouts, The Mormon Church or The State of California. That’s why I need your help to set things straight. I wish you would support the freedom of families like mine to follow their beliefs and traditions. I wish you would support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Uruguay has more freedom than America

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I used to get excited when a new country announced recognition of same-sex couples. For example, Uruguay is about to provide equivalent social security, pension, inheritance, and parenting rights to both heterosexual and homosexual couples through a “civil union” structure. I used to see it as a tipping point in the way people saw – and treated – their lesbian and gay brethren.

But with Civil Unions or marriage available throughout almost forty countries representing every continent except Antarctica, I’m starting to instead see it as a countdown until the United States is the last country on earth that fails to allow her lesbian and gay citizens to fully participate in the economy and community.

How can we say America is the “land of the free” when people in Uruguay get social security, pension, inheritance, and parenting rights, while my partner of ten years and I become legal strangers as soon as we step out of our home state? Uruguay!!!!!!

It is truly a global embarrassment that you, Governor, tolerate the negative and divisive bullying tactics that the Campaign for Children and Families (CCF) and other opponents of equality are using to carve out and marginalize an entire group of people based on who they happen to love.

Change begins at home. The next year will be pivotal in the fight between the opponents of equality and fair-minded Californians. I need you to do more than stay silent: please support the freedom to marry so the United States might someday join the world community in treating all of her citizens with dignity and respect.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Salvation Army Undermines World AIDS Effort

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today is World AIDS Day. It’s an awful disease. Government is not doing enough, and the religious are doing even less.

The US branch of the Salvation Army ignores this day to ring bells in suburbia. They divert money from direct aid in order to block the only things that are shown to stop the disease: needle exchange, condoms, and commitments like same-sex marriage. They use the excuse of religion to pick and choose who they help – reserving food baskets and employee health care for people who meet their myopic definition of family.

Money can not “do the most good” when it is dispensed with an agenda influenced not by compassion but by judgment. Nobody can help people when they hate them.

I wish you would say something this holiday season about how the Salvation Army is undermining the fight against AIDS with its old-testament evangelical superstitiously-based policies. The Salvation Army may be entitled to their beliefs, but Californians deserve to know what beliefs they are funding.

Yours,