Dear Governor Lingle – Hawaii needs Civil Unions; the least you can do is sign HB 444

Governor Linda Lingle
State Capitol, Room 415
Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813

RE: House Bill 444

Dear Governor Lingle:

I’m a gay dad who is trying to be the best husband and father that I can. I am extremely fortunate to live in a state that has had civil unions for over a decade. This simple policy of “equality” helped us thrive and build a family without having to fear the heavy hand of Government meddling with our lives and livelihoods. It is easy to forget that some of my fellow Americans have to live in places where their relationships are legally less important than others, simply and only because of who they choose to love.

I just don’t understand why this is a difficult decision for you. You said that you are concerned about “the intensity of the feeling on the part of the public,” but that doesn’t make any sense. HB 444 would not have reached your desk, especially in an election year, without the people of Hawai’i behind it.

Plus, there is no downside to the bill. Civil unions have been around for years, and have always wound up being a positive experience for everybody. No place that has had them is even considering getting rid of them. All it does is level the playing field for all your citizens.

If the people are actually confused on this issue, you have an opportunity to lead them. Your fellow Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed over 50 LGBT equality bills into law – talk to him. Republican mayor Jerry Sanders said that he supports equality because he “could just not bring myself to tell an entire group of people in our community they were less important, less worthy or less deserving … than anyone else simply because of their sexual orientation.” The former Vice President, Republican Dick Cheney said “I think that ‘freedom’ means freedom for everyone.” Former Republican President Abraham Lincoln said “those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”

Equality is a traditional value and deserves to be fostered, not vetoed. Please support HB 444.

Thank you,

Today’s letter – Maine is now a Free State

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Maine Governor John Baldacci signed a bill yesterday ending the state’s special exclusion of same-sex couples from their society and economy, stating simply:

I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage.

I hope you get a chance to congratulate your fellow Governor Baldacci for this courageous and righteous act.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Help New Hampshire Avoid California’s Mistake

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

New Hampshire is on the verge of converting their year-old “Civil Union” structure into full and proper marriage. HB 436 only needs the Governor’s signature to become law.

Sound familiar? It should. That was the choice you were faced with in 2007 when you vetoed AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

I wrote to Governor Lynch to point out that after you vetoed AB 43, I was sad that my friends would have to go to Massachusetts to get married instead of Disneyland; humiliated that my religious beliefs were made subservient to those of others; and outraged that my Governor thought he was more worthy of marriage than I.

I realize that you didn’t get through to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas in time to stop his veto, but could you give John Lynch a call (you can do that, right?) (try 603-271-2121 in case you don’t have it) and tell him why, as you said, you would have signed AB 43 if you were legally able.

It’s a chance to be cohesive instead of divisive.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – GOP goes Gay

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I just wanted to make sure that you noticed Meghan McCain’s memo to the GOP, “Go Gay.” In it, she blames her father’s recent loss to President Obama squarely on the Republican Party’s use of anti-gay rhetoric to whip up the base. She reminds us that the most popular Republican of all time, Ronald Reagan, supported homosexuals during the 1978 Briggs attack, and argues that if the Republican Party ever wants to see that kind of popularity again, it needs to do things like Lincoln and Reagan, not like Anita Bryant and G. W. Bush.

Ms. McCain spells it out:

If you think certain rights should not apply to certain people, then you are saying those people are not equal. People may always have a difference of opinion on certain lifestyles, but championing a position that wants to treat people unequally isn’t just un-Republican. At its fundamental core, it’s un-American.

So, Governor, are you going to take up Ms. McCain’s challenge by coming forward and playing an instrumental role in securing gay rights like Gavin Newsom, or are you going to sit on the sidelines like George Wallace until the courts decide for you? I wish you would take Ms. McCain’s advice and save the Republicans.

Sincerely,

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas – Explain your Opposition

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

April 8, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill H275

Dear Governor Douglas,

I just read the news that your veto of H275, the bill that would bring same-sex marriage to Vermont, was overridden by the legislature.

The excuses that you gave for your veto – that it is a “personal” decision, that it “interferes” with lawmakers’ attention to the economy – all ring hollow to me. You are an elected representative vetoing a bill that would keep jobs and families in Vermont – so there must be another reason.

I would like an explanation of what you were honestly thinking when you chose to oppose equality. Why would an American deny freedom to another; why would a Republican meddle in individual personal relationships; why would a Christian go against even the teachings of his UCC Church, and treat others as he would not like to be treated himself?

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – California’s history, usurped

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today is an historic day. It marks the first time that a state has eliminated a ban on same-sex marriage without being compelled to do so by the courts.

But in keeping with other traditions, it was a Republican governor who vetoed the legislation.

I would like to ask you for an explanation of what you were honestly thinking when you chose to oppose equality, something that I can tell my kids to explain why well-intentioned people seem to do cruel things. Maybe you could ask Governor Douglas for some help. Why would an American deny freedom to another; why would a Republican meddle in individual personal relationships; why would a Christian go against the teachings of his Church, and treat others as he would not like to be treated himself?

It’s the little things like this that remind us which party stands for getting government out of people’s lives, lower taxes and family values, and which party is – still – opposed to equality.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – those who oppose equality are unfit for office

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today is an historic day. It marks the first time that a state has eliminated a ban on same-sex marriage without being compelled to do so by the courts.

But in keeping with other traditions, it was a Republican governor who vetoed the legislation along the way.

I would like an explanation of what you were honestly thinking when you chose to oppose equality, something that I can tell my kids to explain why well-intentioned people seem to do cruel things. Maybe you could ask Governor Douglas for some help. Why would an American deny freedom to another; why would a Republican meddle in individual personal relationships; why would a Christian go against the teachings of his Church, and treat others as he would not like to be treated himself?

It’s the little things like this that remind us which party stands for getting government out of people’s lives, lower taxes and family values, and which party is – still – opposed to equality.

Sincerely,

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas – You Stand Alone

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

April 7, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill H275

Dear Governor Douglas,

I just read the news that you vetoed H275, the bill that would make civil marriage available to every Vermonter.

What I don’t get is why when court after court after court says that bans on same sex marriage are unconstitutional, that you insisted on perpetuating such bans?

All around you, in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ontario, Quebec and even in Vermont itself, the courts have said that “freedom means freedom for everybody.”

I wish you would take their message to heart, done the right thing and signed H275. Instead, you will go down in history as an Opponent of Equality, enemy of freedom, and just another Republican who proves the rule that people who hate their constituents are unfit for public office.

Sincerely,

Letter to Vermont Governor Jim Douglas – Postponing Inevitable

Governor Jim Douglas
109 State Street, Pavilion
Montpelier, VT 05609-0101

April 5, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill S.115

Dear Governor Douglas,

In 2006 you vetoed a civil rights bill banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity by employers, financial institutions, housing, public accommodations, and other contexts, and then you signed it in 2007. And you were reelected.

Now you have a chance to sign S. 115, a civil rights bill banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by the state in the context of marriage. You have said that you will veto it. That just doesn’t make any sense to me. Why should Vermonters have to wait for civil rights when it is just sitting on your desk?

It’s time for a change of heart. Please sign S. 115 and end civil apartheid in Vermont.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Those California Whackos

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I got a phone message from a friend of mine from high school warning me to “watch out for all those liberal whackos out there in California.” Since he lives in Massachusetts, I had to respond, “I’m more terrified by the tyranny of the Richard Nixons and Ronald Reagans who live out here than the Ted Kennedys and Eliot Spitzers who live out there.”

He got a laugh out of that. Who knew that New York would get gay marriage before California?

Sincerely,