Today’s letter – Imperial County attacks the gays, since the State won’t

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In case you didn’t notice, the Opponents of Equality are steaming mad that you refused to join their gang and beat up on lesbian and gay Californians by defending Prop 8. In the latest ploy, they’re beating the bushes to find someone with legal standing to continue their campaign against my family.

Apparently they were able to convince the Imperial County Board of Supervisors to let the religious group Advocates for Faith and Freedom use the County’s standing to try to defend the indefensible. Good luck to them.

I am heartened that this seems headed in the right direction: instead of the Federal government deciding if two people can get married, instead of the State government deciding if two people can get married, it might be the County government who decides if two people can get married.

Maybe, someday, it will be the two people themselves who can decide to get married!

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – People of Faith stand firm in favor of same-sex marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

People of Faith are headed your way, and they’re armed with the clear message that God supports same-sex marriage.

The new partnership between the Human Rights Campaign and California Faith for Equality addresses the Opponents of Equality who use the Bible as a weapon. Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese explains that the new partnership will “ensure that California voters know that many people of faith support same-sex marriage.”

I hope that the Republican party does more than just get the message: I hope that they actually fix their party platform so all Californians can enjoy not only protection of their religious freedom to marry according to their church’s beliefs, but also full participation in the economy and society through legal marriage.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – Doctors should not be able to choose between their faith and their job

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In the “Gathering Storm” ad being aired by the National Organization for Marriage (“NOM”) there is a California doctor who testifies that she “has to choose between my faith and my job.”

I don’t want to live in a state where the doctor at the emergency room triages patients based on their beliefs; I don’t want to live in a state where my HMO sends patients to somebody who gives them second-class treatment because of their prejudices.

I don’t think the remedy is getting rid of same-sex marriage. Governor, could you please contact NOM to find out who that California doctor is, so she can be immediately removed from medical practice?

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – the end of tyranny

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The Opponents of Equality claim that the Supreme Court doesn’t have the authority to interpret the Constitution because “it should be the people who decide.” But then they advocate a measure to change the Constitution! One cannot have it both ways.

Either our Constitution means something and our highest court can interpret it, or our Constitution means nothing, in which case there is no need to change it.

I can understand how some people might stand up and oppose equality for whatever reason; I cannot understand how they can oppose equality, oppose the rule of law, and oppose their neighbor’s freedom and still call themselves American.

Proudly,

Today’s letter – I am a $1.5 million threat

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The biggest news in the gay marriage battle is that the Opponents of Equality are starting to turn in the signatures they have gathered over the past 150 days on a petition to limit marriage.

The executive director of the California office of the National Organization for Marriage. Brian Brown, said they have collected more than 1.1 million signatures. “We have gone against tremendous odds to do this, and now the voters in California will have the chance to protect marriage,”

It was not tremendous odds, it was tremendous cost. The Opponents of Equality paid more than $1.5 million so far – most of it from outside the state –to put this on the ballot, and are certain to spend much more to get it passed.

My same-sex domestic partner and I must be a real threat to the social order if people in Kansas are willing to send money to California to make sure we don’t get married. The only joy that I can feel out of this whole situation is that is $1.5 million dollars that will not be going into John McCain’s election.

Yours,

Today’s letter – why Republicans hate the gays

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern was secretly videotaped kvetching about The Gays at a Republican party meeting.

“I honestly think it’s the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam. … The homosexual agenda is a very real threat to the sacred institution of marriage and the traditional family unit … If you have cancer in your little toe, do you just say that I’m going to forget about it since the rest of you is fine? It spreads! This stuff is deadly and it is spreading. It will destroy our young people and it will destroy this nation.”

Since then, Ms. Kern has been busy defending her comments while lashing out at her lesbian and gay neighbors both for trying to blocking her speech and for releasing the video on YouTube.

“They want to silence anyone who does not approve their lifestyle. They want their freedom but don’t want those who disagree to have their freedom.”

Now I could say a bunch of lofty stuff about “with freedom comes responsibility” and “I may not agree with you but I will defend with my life your ability to say it.” But the issue here is not one of freedom to hate – the Boy Scouts proved that’s already in our Constitution – but the freedom to love. Can our democracy overcome the false teachings of Ms. Kern and extend the freedom to marry to all her people?

It can, Governor, with your help.

Yours,

Today’s letter – my marriage restored my faith that government works

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Next week, on February 14, it will have been four years since my husband and I were married in San Francisco.

Two days before, two friend of ours from Washington D.C. – who are now godparents of our children – pointed out that the marriages in San Francisco might not continue for long. We decided to seize the opportunity and elope.

The morning of Valentine’s Day we hopped on a Southwest flight and emerged from the BART to find that love had erupted. Not Ted Haggard / Larry Craig kind of love, but couple after couple who had been waiting together for years for this day. We were herded through City Hall and got to say our vows to each other in the atrium. Even I was unable to hold back tears as I promised my best friend and lover that I would be his “until death do us part” and we were declared “spouses for life.”

We had time to have a romantic dinner in Fisherman’s Wharf before catching our flight out of Oakland back to L.A.

That day was important for us because it really solidified what we meant to each other, and had a piece of paper to prove it. My husband’s parents had always treated us as a couple, and were quite upset that they hadn’t been invited to the wedding. For my parents it was more significant – from that point on, my parents also treated us as spouses for life.

Most of all, it restored my faith in my government, that we could overcome our divisions and really behave according to our beliefs: that no matter what you think about gay marriage, all Americans are entitled to the freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. And that includes the freedom to marry the person they love.

Yours,

Today’s letter – The people are turning against the Opponents of Equality

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Thank you for signing SB 777 last year, an act that reorganized and reiterated basic Civil Rights for Students. You will be happy to know that the drive to repeal this legislation officially collapsed yesterday.

The advocates for a referendum this June claim they were only able to gather 350,000 unvalidated signatures and will no longer pursue the matter. They needed 430,000 valid signatures.

It is nice to see one more example of the people of California turning away from those who advocate prejudice and intolerance against their fellow citizens.

It is too late for you to sign AB 43, the bill that would have let me get married, but it’s not too late for you to turn away from the Opponents of Equality and support the Freedom to Marry.

Yours,