Today’s letter – Germany’s apology

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

“Germany wants to honor the persecuted and murdered victims, to keep alive the memory of the injustice they suffered,” and provide “a lasting symbol against intolerance and hostility towards gays and lesbians and against their alienation.” Those words (or in German, probably one really long word) are on a plaque on a new monument in Berlin.

Nazi Germany’s campaign against homosexuals began in 1933 and by 1945 more than 50,000 men were convicted and separated from their liberty and property. It is estimated that between 5,000 and 15,000 of them were sent to concentration camps. Gay men (and those perceived to be gay) were forced to wear pink triangles and were sometimes used as medical guinea pigs.

Unlike other groups of Nazi victims, the persecution of the gay community continued under the same law, with more than 50,000 convictions before a 2002 government pardoned them and finally abolished the legislation.

Here in America, we like to think that we are better than the Third Reich, yet in 2008 we still convicting our own citizens of being gay, forcing them to wear “domestic partnerships” and separating them from the financial and social stability that only the time-tested law of marriage can provide.

It is urgent that this ostracism, bullying and unequal treatment end. Please continue to support the freedom to marry and the downfall of the Constitutional Amendment to Limit Marriage.

Yours,

Today’s stamp: Wolverine from X-Men. Little is known of Wolverine’s past, but we do know “those who forget their past are doomed to relive it.” Wolverine uses his skills to help protect a world that hates and fears mutants like himself.

Today’s letter – privacy

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I read today that your personal medical records were among those that had been inappropriately accessed at UCLA Medical Center, along with actress Farrah Fawcett and your wife Maria Shriver.

Now you are suddenly a proponent of expanded privacy protections. I wish I could be sympathetic.

You and your administration have designed a process that makes separate check boxes for Domestic Partners and Married couples. Every time I go to the doctor, apply for car insurance, file my taxes, complete a DBA, apply for a EDD license, pay my property taxes or visit the DMV I am not only reminded that my relationship “isn’t quite marriage” but that fact is also broadcast to every person who sees my form.

Now I don’t mind being out and proud, but that decision to be differentiated and marginalized should be my own, not my government’s, and certainly not my governor’s.

For everybody’s personal privacy, please let domestic partners get married in California.

Yours,

Today’s letter – the United Nations holds us all together

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Today I want to talk to you about Article 12.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

How do you reconcile this with what me and my family experiences every time your administration segregates me and my “same-sex domestic partner” because of our gender?

Is it not an invasion of our privacy to compel us to check “domestic partnership” (or “other”) on forms sent to the government? Does it not humiliate and demean our honor and reputation when you say we are less worthy of marriage than you and your wife? By what measure does the law protect our family, home and correspondence when the law does not treat us as equals?

The only way I can see you justifying this is by dancing on the word “arbitrary.” But if you have a reason for violating Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I have yet to hear it. Would you be so kind as to do that before you next violate my freedom to marry?

Yours,