Today’s letter – research proves same-sex marriage reduces HIV/AIDS, while intolerance causes it

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Hugo Mialon and Andrew Francis, Two researchers from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, used thirty years of data to tie rates of HIV/AIDS infection to attitudes of tolerance towards lesbian and gay Americans.

They found that “a rise in tolerance from the 1970s to the 1990s reduced HIV/AIDS cases by one per 100,000 people, and that laws against same-sex marriage boosted cases by 4 per 100,000.”

“Intolerance is deadly,” they concluded. “Bans on gay marriage [cause] more gay people to shift to sexual behaviors that carry more risk.”

If you were truly interested in reducing the number of HIV/AIDS cases, you would support traditional marriage for everybody, gay and straight. I wish you would help educate Californians about the facts surrounding marriage. Hate is taught, but so is fairness, compassion and freedom.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – regrets from another victim of the battle over gay marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

After Tuesday’s press conference I had a coffee with one of the national reporters who covered the event, off camera and off record.

Covering this has been challenging for him because he has seen how hurtful Prop 8 is, and how thoughtless the Opponents of Equality are. While he is trained to be fair and balanced, he has started to see the denial of freedom as a media stunt, rather than the truth.

Basically, I met somebody who regrets spreading the lies and selfish policies of the Opponents of Equality, another victim of the war against the gays.

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.

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

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Jack Kemp lived and died by the same sword

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I was saddened to hear of Jack Kemp’s death over the weekend. This nine-term Congressman from New York said the usual vile things about gay people that Republicans have been known for, but what differentiated Mr. Kemp was how rumors of his sexual preferences (dalliances would be a better word) were used by his political allies to suppress him.

As background, Mr. Kemp had some logical quirks that made him endearing. He advocated mandatory testing for Americans infected with HIV (which obviously wouldn’t be known without an HIV test, you see.) He also famously stated “I believe in civil liberties for homosexuals, … I guess I’d have to say I’d draw the line at letting them teach in the schools.”

But perhaps the greatest Catch 22 arose when he tried to run for the 1988 Republican Presidential nomination and again in 1996 when he was Bob Dole’s running mate. Every time he tried to gain a foothold in the Republican party, rumors swirled that he was gay. From an indirect and unfair link to a “homosexual ring” within the Reagan circle, to ownership of a gay ski lodge that was completely unknown to Kemp, no weapon was spared to incriminate Mr. Kemp. The rumors worked all the way up to NBC’s “Today” show which spent much time dwelling on the ‘suspicions’ and never properly vindicated him.

Governor, as you face a political future beyond the Governor’s office, I would urge you to begin lopping off the Opponents of Equality as rapidly as possible. History has shown that gay marriage is not an issue of faith but a lever for power, and as long as that weapon exists, it will surely be aimed at you.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – more perfect

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Opponents of Equality say that gay couples are less perfect than straight couples, therefore they should be banned from marriage.

Another nail has been placed in the coffin of that argument: a new study published in the Journal of Developmental Psychology compares homosexual and heterosexual couples, and assesses their happiness.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that at all levels of commitment, the two types of couples had the same ability to resolve conflicts, the same level of satisfaction, the same kind of interaction with one another, and the same physiological response to each others’ presence.

The researchers have done their part, proving that gay couples are just as capable as straight couples at forming and maintaining happy relationships. Now it is your job, Governor, to make sure that the people see them as being just as worthy.

Yours,