Today’s letter – nobody wants to be a ‘test case’

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The story of the Utah couple who took in their niece’s four children broke my heart. Gregg Valdez and his partner Mike Oberg offered their familiar home so the kids could stay at the same school and stay close to their mother while she was in rehab. But Gregg and Mike were unable to get married, hence they would be violating a state law that forbids unmarried couples from becoming foster or adoptive parents, and on Monday the children were ordered moved an hour away to live with their grandmother.

“We all came to the same conclusion — we didn’t want to get involved in a big court battle, and we wanted to keep the kids together,” Valdez explained. “I could have fought it, but I didn’t think it would be in the best interest of the kids. It’ll be hard at first, but I know they’ll be taken care of.”

Thank God California doesn’t ban “cohabitation,” but we’re almost as bad for forbidding marriage. As long as couples are “unmarried” they are going to be treated as less than equal. This one bad law – the one you could have ended with AB 43 – puts couples into uncharted legal territory anytime anything unusual happens. They face a “big court battle” over every little thing. It punishes committed couples just for being gay – and their kids suffer.

Only marriage guarantees access to a time-tested legal framework. Only marriage keeps what happened to Gregg and Mike and their four cousins from happening in our state, or to our kids.

I wish you would support the freedom to marry, especially when the alternative is letting hate and intolerance divide families.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Orson Welles causes panic

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today is the 69th Anniversary of Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of War of the Worlds. His convincing broadcast caused panic in the real world. I want to tell you how the seven pro-LGBT bills that you signed are bringing on the real end of our world, an apocalypse stalled only by your veto of AB 43.

Mona Passignano, a spokesperson for Focus on the Family Action, said that the seven bills will “have a devastating impact on churches and Christian families in the state for years to come.”

Unlocking the door to the Four Horsemen’s stable is SB 777 that calls for public school administrators and teachers to work towards protecting students from harassment and bullying.

The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports that SB 777 will require “all California public schools to positively portray homosexuality to children as young as kindergarten.”

Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families (CCF), explains that “textbooks could be forbidden from portraying marriage as only between a man and a woman; textbooks could be required to present homosexual historical figures; and sex-specific Homecoming King and Queen contests could be forced to change. … This means children as young as five years old will be mentally molested in school classrooms.”

“The legislation might even mandate unisex restrooms.”

“Now that SB 777 is law,” says Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for Capitol Resource Institute, “schools will in fact become indoctrination centers for sexual experimentation.”

But SB 777 is not alone. LifeSiteNews.com explains that AB 14 “prohibits state funding for any program that does not support transsexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality. This means state-funded social services operated by churches and other houses of faith, which provide essential services to children and adults, could dry up.”

Thank God that you vetoed AB 43, the bill that would have brought us the freedom to marry, and did your part to preserve the hatred and intolerance that is apparently the only thing between us and the end of the world.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Don’t make me vote for Obama

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I try to pay more attention to my family than to politics, but once in a while a politician says something that makes a lot of sense.

Senator Barack Obama said “I strongly believe that African Americans and the LGBT community must stand together in the fight for equal rights. And so I … will continue to fight … to ensure that America is a country that spreads tolerance instead of division.”

What a great and non-partisan concept, this ‘tolerance’ thing! I wish you would join the Senator by saying “no” to the intolerant gay-haters who made you veto AB 43, and say “yes” to the simple, unifying principle of the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – an opportunity to unite, squandered

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Thank you for signing seven LGBT bills into law this session, but I wish you had also signed AB 43 to stop discrimination once and for all.

Signing AB 43 would have sent a clear message to the Opponents of Equality that no one group is more worthy of marriage than another, and all good citizens play by the same rules. A veto lets the Opponents of Equality continue to use access to marriage as a weapon to demoralize LGBT citizens.

Your choice to veto AB 43 simply divides us by our beliefs about discrimination, rather than uniting us with our beliefs about freedom.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Domestic Partnerships are bad for Heterosexuals too

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’ve written to you in the past about AB 43 which would allow same-sex couples to choose between marriage and Domestic Partnership, but today I want to write to you about a reciprocal bill – SB 11 – which would give all opposite-sex couples the option to choose Domestic Partnership instead of marriage.

Heterosexuals couples over 62 years old can already choose Domestic Partnership instead of marriage but SB 11 would remove the age restriction and let anybody who can get married get Domestic Partnered instead.

I actually agree with Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families (CCF) and an infamous Opponent of Equality, who said “Awarding marriage rights to people who shack up but refuse to get married is completely ridiculous. Why get married if you can get all the legal rights and benefits of marriage without being committed? This bad bill severely weakens the institution of marriage and will motivate unwed parents to remain uncommitted.”

SB 11 is a reciprocal bill to AB 43, and the reciprocal truth applies: why ban people who are “shacking up” from the commitment of marriage? Why would you motivate (or force) unwed parents to remain uncommitted? Just as SB 11 weakens marriage, AB 43 strengthens it by allowing committed couples to commit to each other.

My California Domestic Partner and I have been “shacked up” and “uncommitted” for way too long. I wish you would let us access the safety and security of marriage just like everybody else: please sign AB 43.

Sincerely,

If you can take away marriage…

The subtitle of this blog is “If you can take away marriage, you can take away anything.”

What that means is that I don’t think that the Opponents of Equality are really targeting the Gays. I believe that they are a coalition of groups that have their eyes set at terminating loftier prizes: abortion, affirmative action, immigrants, Arabs, Jews, public schools, evolution – the list goes on.

Remember that these are the same people who argued for, and subsequently lost, the ability to prevent different races from sharing the same schools and to keep women from voting. I think that they are actually amazed that they are finally winning on an issue, and just a bit embarrassed that it is not from an ethical or moral high ground, but just really good PR.

The fact is that gay marriage is just a pawn in this game. Randy Thomason doesn’t give a toss about the gays, but the power and money he gets by terrorizing them will let him graduate to other sinister criminalizations. I don’t get the feeling that Governor Schwartzenegger is morally opposed to this bill – but the fact that he has the power to veto it gives him the ability to get other things.

Think of all the good stuff we could do with the money and energy that has been spent trying to make a group of people into second-class citizens. If we can take away marriage discrimination, we can take away all discrimination. Who would oppose that?