Today’s letter – an invitation to speak on the anniversary of California’s first legal same-sex marriages

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

On Tuesday, we will be celebrating the anniversary of the first legal same-sex marriages in California. I will be speaking at a press conference along with my father and my children.

I will be speaking about my faith and marriage, while my father will be speaking about how his dream of becoming a grandparent came true.

I hope you can come out. You could talk about how the freedom to marry would help the California economy, or how you regret vetoing AB 43, the bill that would have made this happen much sooner, or how your vision of government is disturbed when the state makes decisions that belong to individuals.

If you need a ride, just give me a call. I’ll be glad to pick you up.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Miss California’s lesson about sex outside of marriage comes from her own mom, Mr. Terminator Salvation

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Carrie Prejean, Miss California and NOMBLA spokesperson, is once again in the news today. You may recall that Miss Prejean lost the Miss USA crown after she preached “in my country, in my family, I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman.” Well it turns out that, according to ABC News, her mom was dating a woman as recently as two weeks before the Pageant.

I guess in her country, in her family, she believes that gay sex is OK, as long as it isn’t marriage. I don’t know what perverted Bible she is using, but it sure isn’t the same as mine. My Bible says the opposite: that sex is for marriage. Anything else is adultery. And there is nothing wrong with gay marriage.

The only solution that protects everybody’s religious freedom is a Government that respects both of our interpretations. That is easy to do by letting two people who are able to get married, get married to each other. That’s the only way that Miss Prejean does not have to get gay-married, and I do not have to get, as Miss. Prejean calls it, opposite-married.

Come on, Governor, with the budget disaster, you’re running out of legacies!

Sincerely,

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 – Governor Dreyfus’ legacy

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I wanted to write to you to note the passing of former Wisconsin Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus who died Wednesday at his home near Milwaukee at the age of 81.

Wisconsin’s 40th governor and a devout Republican, he is most famous for signing the first statewide gay rights law in the United States back in 1982, making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, employment, and public accommodations.

At the time he signed the law, Dreyfus declared, “It is a fundamental tenet of the Republican Party that government ought not to intrude in the private lives of individuals where no state purpose is served, and there is nothing more private or intimate than who you live with and who you love.”

Governor Schwarzenegger, I wish more of our governors would show just half of Governor Dreyfus’ wisdom and support free choice in marriage.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Sons, daughters and legacy

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Like you, I’m a dad who wants the best for his kids – both now, and in their adult lives. While my kids are no less likely to be gay because they have gay parents, the well-publicized research of Psychologist Anthony Bogaert indicates that your son Christopher is twice as likely to be gay as your son Patrick. As a public figure, do you plan to let your childrens’ private sexual orientation affect your public decision making?

I have written before about Dick Cheney who said that he believes “Freedom means Freedom for Everybody,” and Mayor Jerry Sanders who said he cannot tell people they are “less important, less worthy or less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage than anyone else simply because of their sexual orientation.”

Critics have said that both Mr. Sanders and Mr. Cheney let their personal lives influence their decision-making because they have children who are gay. But to see what happens when public figures make decisions in spite of their family, look no further than your late friends Representative Sonny Bono and State Senator Pete Knight.

Despite co-authorship of DOMA from one and the notorious Proposition 22 from the other, their children are just as gay as the Cheney’s. Mr. Knight’s son even married his love Joe Lazzaro in San Francisco – a marriage later annulled by his own father’s law. These kids are living full lives, yet not able to participate fully in our economy and community because of who they love and their fathers’ legacy.

Nothing any of these men said would have stopped their kids from becoming who they are. But on the way two of these men did things to make the world better for their kids, and two worked to make it worse. Yes, perhaps Mr. Sanders and Mr. Cheney let their decisions be influenced by their personal lives instead of political directives, but the world is better for it.

I want my kids to have the freedom to marry the person that they like and love – regardless of their religion, race or gender. I would hope you would want the same. I invite you to speak out about how important it is for our kids to have the freedom to marry regardless of their sexual orientation. Who knows? It might be in your personal best interest too.

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 – Make government a partner in my life

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

At your inauguration four years ago today, you said “I will not rest until the people of California come to see their government as a partner in their lives, not a roadblock to their dreams.”

My dream is to get married. That makes you a roadblock.

You demonstrated at your inauguration that you are a great speaker, and in your tenure that you are a strong leader. You don’t have to override the people on the issue of same-sex marriage, but you would be less of a business-as-usual partisan obstacle to freedom if you were to use your great oratory skills to lead the people to do what is right.

I believe in my heart that the only way to “achieve the dream that is California” is to bring the same freedoms to everybody.

Yours,

Today’s letter – You don’t have to override the people to lead them

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

You vetoed AB 43 because you didn’t want to override the vote of the people. But you don’t have to override the people to lead them.

You could do a lot of good by teaching people what they should have learned in kindergarten: it is not acceptable to treat some people as though they are less human, less a part of society, or less worthy of a relationship than others.

Freedom ought to mean freedom for everybody. Please consider supporting my freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – just one issue

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Some people have criticized me for being a one-issue voter, a label I happily wear. There really is only one issue: how the person we elect is going to pay off the people who put him in power. Some politicians reward those who wrote them checks, others bow to those with nothing but a vote. But how can you tell?

The issue of same-sex marriage is the best test of that mettle: on one side you have the Opponents of Equality whose empires rely on fear-based-fundraising and whose checks flow freely to politicians who stoke that fear; on the other side you have families like mine who are just trying to access the security and simplicity of marriage without hurting anybody. Can the candidate overcome bias and temptation to support freedom, liberty and equality?

The test is crucial. How can you trust a politician on health care reform when he won’t make businesses treat employees equally? How can somebody act on education when he teaches discrimination? How can you trust a politician to lead us through disasters like earthquakes and wildfires when he says only some of the people deserve to be married?

When you vetoed AB 43, Governor, you proved what kind of politician you are. It is not too late for you to do what is right and support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – nobody likes a bigot

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I am a former Scout Leader, and I think that you should sign AB 43 and support the freedom to marry.

Membership in the Boy Scouts has declined 35% since 1977, while the Girl Scouts lost just 3% of their membership in the same period. The big difference? The Boy Scouts squandered their money and legacy with expensive court fights to win the right to discriminate, then they used that ‘right’ to throw out members who have minority religious beliefs and sexual orientations. Nobody wants their kids to grow up in an environment that teaches hate, and they vote with their feet.

California – and the GOP – is in a similar situation. They are fighting for the right to discriminate and using that ‘right’ to exclude families like mine from marriage. This probably pads their pocketbook with fat donations from hard-line bigots, but in the long run, companies and individuals will relocate to places where their lesbian and gay neighbors and friends have the freedom to commit to marriage.

Please sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, like the legislature and people have asked you, and stop California from teaching neighbors to hate.

Yours,