Today’s letter – the call for gay marriage comes from a place of faith, family and freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

This morning I attended the Prop 8 news conference down here in Los Angeles.

It was held in a part of town I had never been in before, Leimert Park, a predominantly African-American neighborhood just blocks from the Crenshaw Christian Center where Pastor Fred Price Jr. held all of his “yes on 8” rallies.

Our press conference opened with a blessing by two ministers and a rabbi. They spoke so long that they were at the podium to made the announcement that the Supreme Court had upheld Proposition 8, and that a slim majority of voters was all that was necessary to take away their religious freedom to perform marriages.

Governor, I wish you would apologize for vetoing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act that would have legalized gay marriage through the legislature. I wish you would apologize for letting Gavin Newsome and Antonio Villaraigosa stand alone at rally after rally opposing Prop 8. I wish you would make the GOP get rid of Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh so Republicans can be electable again.

In short, I wish you were on the side of Faith, Family and Freedom, instead of quietly waiting out your term.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – a mother is a female parent

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Now that our kids are old enough to celebrate various holidays, the question rises about how to handle Mother’s Day. When a friend asked just that on the patio after Church today, I explained that a mother is a female parent just like a father is a male parent. So on Mother’s Day we celebrate the female parents in our family – two grandmothers and a great-grandmother – and the role they played in our lives.

With no more fanfare than distinguishing between “Latino” and “Latina” or “waiter” and “waitress,” we addressed the issue to everybody’s satisfaction.

I am very happy with this explanation of Mother’s Day. You and I both know that it is wrong to assign genders to pilots, engineers, nurses, doctors and priests, and it is equally wrong to assign genders to caregivers.

Having two words is one thing, having two sets of laws is another. I wish we could just call two parents who are raising their kid “married” like our Church does instead of something qualified by their gender like your Government does.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – landmark leadership and movement milestones

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Some argue that social change takes time, but the reality is that it can happen quite suddenly when individuals in positions of power take action to stomp out ridiculous “traditions.”

When President Eisenhower considered ending the traditional segregation of the blood supply into “Colored,” “White–Hebrew,” and “White-Christian” in 1950, the Red Cross told him that the South wouldn’t accept “mixed blood.” Eisenhower replied “then the South will not get any blood!” and issued an executive order ending the practice.

You had a chance to stamp out the traditional practice of segregating marriage into “heterosexual” and “homosexual” varieties with AB 849 in 2005 and again with AB 43 in 2007. Instead of stepping up, you forced the people to ask the Supreme Court to get rid of the practice. They said what we all know: “An individual’s sexual orientation … does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.” You have been spared the political embarrassment of doing the right thing, and the Supreme Court gets history’s nod for making the change that will improve life for so many Californians, including me.

Won’t you at least see that the court’s decision is respected and implemented as soon as possible? Change has arrived. Embrace it or move aside.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – teen sex out of wedlock

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As a parent I was disgusted with the latest CDC study that revealed that one in four teenage girls are infected with at least one sexually transmitted disease.

It seems strange that the more obsessed we are with blocking gay marriage, the more teenagers are having sex out of wedlock. Maybe it is time for a change of course?

I wish you would advocate marriage as a way to encourage monogamy, instead of using it as a weapon to punish California’s lesbian and gay citizens for wanting to make the commitment of marriage.

You don’t protect our children by “protecting marriage.” You protect them by giving their parents the tools they need to be good parents. Please give us the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – How do they know it’s Christmas without Family?

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I hope you got everything you wanted for Christmas.

My Christmas was magical: my husband and I opened presents with our 9 ½ month old kids, including a book that we put together chronicling their first year on Earth. Our parents came over and we enjoyed each others company through a wonderful family dinner. Life has been bountiful, and we were blessed to be able to celebrate that together.

My Christmas bliss was disturbed by the recognition that so many people are celebrating without family. Children whose parents have disowned them because they are gay; parents who have lost children through gay-related suicide; marriages broken because they were formed for the wrong reasons; and even siblings who were turned away because they were unwilling to accept their kin for who they are.

I really don’t know how you can enjoy your holidays knowing that domestic apartheid will flourish as long as you advocate civil unions for some and marriage for others. Please start working now so by next Christmas we can all enjoy the gifts of liberty and freedom.

Yours,

Today’s letter – charitable relief organizations serve at their pleasure

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

When wildfires strike, the last thing we want to worry about is keeping our family together. Unfortunately, charitable relief agencies have vastly different policies for dealing with “unmarried” family members.

When asked about “domestic partners” Stacey Grissom, media relations associate for the Red Cross, said “[the] Red Cross is a neutral and impartial organization and we help people who need help. So, we don’t help with regards to race, creed, color, religion and sexual orientation. We help people who need to be helped.” The Red Cross works with employers to locate information on victims’ nearest living relatives. “So in those cases where the next of kin is listed as a domestic partner, that would be a person who would definitely get benefits,” she said.

In contrast, The Salvation Army says “Where a man and a woman love each other, sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage. However, in the Christian view, sexual intimacy is not essential to a healthy, full, and rich life. Apart from marriage, the scriptural standard is celibacy.” In addition, the Salvation Army refuses to recognize its very own lesbian and gay employees with domestic partnership benefits, and has terminated services in areas where local statutes require this.

With one organization, my partner of ten years and our two kids are treated as a family. With the other, we are considered strangers without access to reunification services or the ability to shelter together.

The only way to end this discrimination is to eliminate the differentiation. It is too late for you to sign AB 43 but it is not too late for you to come out in support of the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – we thought you were different

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

We thought you were pro-business…

…But you vetoed a bill that would have brought our state $16 Billion of that.

We thought you were pro-religion…

…But then you vetoed a bill that would have let my church perform marriages that it believes in.

We thought you were pro-taxpayer…

…But you vetoed a bill that would have saved us $25 Million a year.

We thought you were pro-family…

…But then you vetoed mine.

We elected you to be different…You proved us wrong.

Yours, unfortunately,

Today’s letter – to the newspapers!

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I really believe that California would be better with same-sex marriage. I wonder how this might play out in the media…

Los Angeles Times
Letters to the Editor
202 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

October 5, 2007

Dear Editor –

I’m a father of twins, and I believe that what’s best for kids is an environment where churches and couples have the freedom to make their own decisions about marriage. That’s why I want the Governor to sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

This bill gets our government out of the business of interfering with marriage by pushing those very personal decisions down to the people themselves, but the Governor has said – with all seriousness – that he wants the courts to make these decisions instead, and that he will veto this philosophically important bill.

I may never understand why the Governor chooses to block committed couples from making the commitment of marriage, but failing to agree that all citizens deserve the same freedoms is an awful lesson to be teaching our children.

So what lesson are our children going to learn from you?

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – successful “shack-ups” undermine all marriages

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I want to get married, but I’m running into more and more people who just want to “shack up” without making that commitment. I am starting to think that the decline of marriage might be inspired by the many same-sex couples who have been forced to build their families without the safety and security of marriage, yet have done so with such success.

Many of our friends ask me and my permanent boyfriend for marital advice, which we happily supply, but I actually felt a bit guilty last week when a friend of mine from high school told me that he and his girlfriend decided to merely live together because of how well my ten-year relationship works without marriage.

Even public couples such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie cite gay relationships as reasons for not getting married. It’s so popular that Senator Carol Migden introduced a bill that would give California couples the rights of marriage without the responsibilities. She calls it “Domestic Partnership.”

If you believe that couples in a relationship should get married instead of “living in sin” then you should sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, and change the gold standard for successful relationships from “domestic partnerships” to marriages.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – an ode to the freedom to marry

When you try to justify
your veto in the people’s eye
you will certainly try to say
the people wanted it this way.

That was seven years ago,
when the people didn’t even know
the law protecting their state’s rights
would be twisted to block Freedom’s flight.

Twisted to prevent families
like “those” from having rights like “these”
by the opponents of equality
for their political opportunity.

The legislature has finally asked
you to join them in getting passed
a bill to bring the same equality
to families like yours and families like mees.

Your argument perhaps may pass
to the unsuspecting mass
but you know what must be done
to bring freedom to everyone.

If you veto 43,
you’ll be costing you and me
sixteen billion it would appear
plus twenty-four million every year.

Professionals have unified to say
Marriage is the best and only way,
and all around the world they see
that full marriage is how freedom should be.

But most of all it means that my
partner and I won’t have to try
to access marriage in some other way,
we can get married and have it stay!

You say that Proposition twenty-two
defending marriage from God knows who
shows that the people want to say
“same-sex couples go away.”

But I believe the people know
it’s hatred that has to go
so please sign the bill you soon will see
and bring full freedom to you and me.

Yours truly,
and Sincerely,