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.


Today’s letter – as clear as the day is bright

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today is so-called “leap day” that only comes along once every four years. This “day” was fabricated and imposed on us in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII just so that Easter would fall at around the same time of year. It is really just a collection of hours to make up for the six hour discrepancy between the traditional year and the seasons, and not a “day.”

In ancient times, the adjustment was a whole ten-day month that happened every 25 years; by 46 BC, Caesar created a whole month – one day long – to deal with the problem. The month was legally identical to the day before it, “separate but equal” one might say. Clearly, it is a time period like no other in the calendar year, and it requires special treatment, for calling it a “day” demeans all of the other days of the year.

Where is the incentive for the sun to rise if just any time adjustment can be called a “day?” We need to protect the traditional definition of a year – which everybody knows is 365 days – against this assault to logic.

I propose that instead of calling this a “day” we call it a “domestic time adjustment interval” and that people who are born or die during this time period are recorded on the previous or following day.

You don’t call a “domestic partnership” a marriage – you should not call “February 29th” a day, or else the calendar, the foundation of our society and economy, would surely collapse.


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.


Today’s letter – Marriages are Mergers

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Scott McCartney writes of mergers in the airline industry that “analysts think multiple major marriages could lie ahead.”

Since Government regulates such mergers, are you going to withhold your blessing because the participants in these unions are not one man and one woman?

I know it sounds ridiculous to withhold a license because of an immutable characteristic of the participants – but as odd as that sounds, the fact remains that you are the last obstacle to my marriage, which you are blocking because of my gender.

Please, Governor, you don’t have to sign or veto anything – just tell the people that specially excluding some couples from marriage is un-American and unfair, and then get out of the way of my basic liberty.


Today’s letter – This joy remains tinged with sadness

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Next week, three generations of our family will gather around the dinner table: us, our newborn twins, and all four of our parents. It is amazing to watch our parents glow in the pride of their grandchildren – the first on both sides of the family.

Yet, this joy remains tinged with sadness. Unlike our parents, my fiancée and I are blocked from marriage. I am upset at being excluded from the time-tested security the law provides married couples, but what really makes me sad is that it deprives our parents of the hope of seeing their children’s wedding. All of the gratitude, joy and unqualified support that will be in that room that day are not going to create a world where we are free to marry.

We will be the only unwed couple at the table – the ones who had our kids out of wedlock – and until we can wed, we will always be thinking there is a small sense of shame when we – despite all our hard work – are grouped with Anna Nicole and Larry Birkhead as our parents shake their heads and cluck their tongues about the fallout from their unwed escapades.

I have been finding ways to convert the shame into anger, and I was surprised at how easy it is: we simply blame the fact that we are treated as less than equal, less perfect and less human than other couples directly on you, Governor.

You could have signed AB 849 in 2005; you could have signed AB 43 this past October; you could have said that you think all Californians should have the same freedom to marry. But you did none of those things.

It will take a lot more than you to spoil our Thanksgiving, but I don’t think I’m being greedy to say that I wish your support could have been one more thing for which to be thankful, rather than one more thing over which to shake our heads and cluck our tongues.


Today’s letter – A good team at bat, but one bad player put us way behind on human rights

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I knew California was the first state to end the ban on interracial marriages (1948) and I always assumed we would continue to be leaders and proponents for all civil rights. Imagine my surprise when I discovered California didn’t add sexual orientation to its protected classes until ten years after Wisconsin (1982). We were also out-scored by Massachusetts (1989), Connecticut (1991) and Hawaii (1991).

Likewise with marriage equivalency, we were behind the ball. Even Hawaii had domestic partnerships before we did (1997) and Vermont scored in 2000, Our Domestic-Partnership-is-the-same-as-marriage law didn’t get to home base until 2005, five years too late.

On marriage, we were poised to take the lead when love went to bat in San Francisco in the spring of 2004, and when our legislature became the first to channel that human need from the people to the governor. But Massachusetts won the World Series of civil rights when they approved marriage and you struck us out – becoming not part of the first state to end the ban on same-sex marriage, but the first governor to unilaterally block the people’s freedom to marry.

I am embarrassed that you took away our victory then, and embarrassed that you refuse to stand on the side of freedom and equality now. Please stop telling your friends, colleagues and neighbors that their relationships – and their humanity – is less important than yours, and support the freedom to marry.