Today’s letter – 158 year-old tradition of tolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I’ve written to you before about the struggle I’ve been having with explaining the special ban on same-sex marriages to my kids, and especially how the Opponents of Equality come to California to throw money, time and mindshare at preventing certain people they have never met, who cause absolutely no harm, from making the fundamental decision of who they marry.

What does one say? “There are some people who hate your daddies so much that they come from across the country to keep them from getting married?” Or perhaps “There are some people who don’t want to share. Remember what we learned about sharing?” Clearly, neither truth would be responsible parenting.

After a 158 year tradition of liberty and tolerance ensconced in the California Constitution, it sure would be a shame to lose that all in a heated moment of intolerance.

Dan Hawes, an organizer with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, explains “There is a real sense of hope and possibility here because of the upcoming Supreme Court ruling. The fact that [hard-won freedom] could be taken away in five months is really painful for people who want to marry.”

Please, for my kids and all Californians, give us some moral guidance. Explain to the people that the only right thing to do is to uphold our Constitution that says that nobody should be picked out and treated differently because of what they think or what they believe. That is a tradition of neighborly love, not neighborly hate. That is something I can explain to my kids.

Yours,

Today’s letter – the final step

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today was a historic day. For the first time, a sitting Republican Governor chose the part of the party platform that says “We support the two-parent family as the best environment for raising children” instead of the puzzling conclusion that “it is important to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.” And you did it with all the style and humor that we expect from you.

The Sacramento Bee reported that you even called the initiative “a waste of time” and quipping “I think we need a constitutional amendment so that foreign born citizens can run for President, but not about gay marriage.”

I know it took a lot for you to break your policy of not commenting on an initiative that has not even qualified. Thank you for listening to the people, and taking this giant historic step towards bringing California’s same-sex couples one step closer to full participation in our economy and society.

Yours,

Today’s letter – even the Pope could use a lesson in tolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In preparation for next week’s visit by Pope Benedict XVI, DignityUSA will hold a peaceful rally outside of the United Nations asking the Pope to denounce violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and to end his own language that undermines gay people worldwide.

I would like you to join fair-minded Americans in this peaceful request to the Pope, and also to change your own message that California’s same-sex couples are less worthy of marriage than opposite-sex couples.

Yours,

Today’s letter – tests of faith

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I read today about a mission sponsored by Soulforce, the National Black Justice Coalition, The Metropolitan Community Church and COLAGE that will be traveling to six influential mega-churches between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in order to challenge anti-gay messages in places of worship.

The sponsors have asked the six mega-churches to welcome Outing’s gay and gay-friendly families for meals, conversation and worship. Will they be welcome by the new crop of ministers who are not as anti-gay as Rev. Jerry Falwell and the Rev. D. James Kennedy? Or will they be turned away like the angels were from Sodom and Gomorrah, or same-sex couples were when you vetoed AB 43 the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act?

It is truly pathetic that lesbian and gay citizens of California are more welcome by their churches than they are by their government.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Charlton Heston said it but didn’t do it

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Charlton Heston died today.

During his life, Mr. Heston called for privacy and compassion for lesbian and gay couples, saying “As long as gay and lesbian Americans are as productive, law-abiding and private as the rest of us, I think America owes them absolute tolerance. It’s the right thing to do.”

But while he called for privacy and tolerance, he wouldn’t give it by allowing lesbian and gay couples to marry quietly and with the dignity they deserve, fiercely opposing gays in the military and lashing out against same-sex parenting.

As a gay dad, I just want to be as law-abiding and private as the rest of America. The only way to do that is if I have the same freedom as the rest of America – the freedom to marry.

Yours,