Today’s letter – 254 signatures and 10 vetos

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

So far this year you have signed 254 bills into law, and vetoed just 10. I am pleased that you agree with the legislature on so many things.

I hope you also agree that all California couples deserve the same freedom to marry that you and Maria enjoy, and that you sign AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act.

Who can disagree about freedom?

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Everybody says you’ll veto, but that’s not your job

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Everybody is saying that you’ll veto AB 43, but that doesn’t make sense. Why would you veto a civil rights bill when your focus is on getting our budget in shape?

You ought to be rubber-stamping this bill, like you have with every other piece of minority-rights legislation, and pushing the responsibility to follow the will of the people back on the Legislature, where it belongs.

So I don’t believe the people who called you all sorts of names at last night’s rally. They were just bitter because they missed Power of Ten. I am confident that you will decide not to meddle with my family’s freedom and sign AB 43.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Big Brother or March for Freedom

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I would much rather stay home tonight to watch Dustin and Amber lash out at Dick and Daniele on Big Brother 8, but instead I’m going to be down at your star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with hundreds of other people wondering why you insist on blocking civil rights legislation that the people have brought to you for the second time.

AB 43 would let me marry the person that I love, just like everybody else. It would let my Church perform the ceremony. It would save the taxpayers $24 million a year, and it would send the message that California welcomes its diverse residents with dignity and freedom.

All it needs is your signature. Please sign AB 43 so I can watch the new season of Survivor: China without getting a babysitter, and not miss an episode of Ugly Betty to plead for something that anybody with the brains God gave geese knows is the right thing to do.

Sincerely,

Update: the State Senate passed AB 43

Just this morning, in a 22-15 vote, the Senate joined the Assembly in asking the Governor to provide same-sex couples with the same safety and security of marriage that opposite-sex couples have always had.

Those of you who have been following my letter-writing campaign know the issues: the Governor is using Proposition 22, a state-rights voter initiative passed in 2000, both as a measure of the intent of the voters and an excuse to veto these bills.

There is no legal conflict with Proposition 22, since the initiative did not affect California marriages one bit, legally or practically. AB 43 would actually reverse a 1977 law that the legislature passed and our current Attorney General signed when he was Governor.

Using Proposition 22 as a measure of the people’s intent is suspect. Seven years after Proposition 22, polls here in California show the people actually support the freedom to marry by a small – but significant – margin. Voters reelected every Senator and Assemblymember who voted for marriage freedom last session, and we received three more votes in the Senate than last time.

There is no point in lobbying the Governor when he uses mischaracterizations of the law to shield himself from taking controversial actions. As soon as Mr. Schwarzenegger is out of office, we will have the freedom to marry. By signing this bill, he will extend his legacy, but with a veto, the Governor is using his pen as a weapon to meddle with freedom and divide California.