Today’s letter – same-sex marriage is the only proven way to get more people to marry and fewer people to divorce

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Let’s protect marriage together.

Denmark legalized same-sex marriage in 1989. In ten years the marriage rate increased 10.7% and the divorce rate dropped 14%. In Norway, marriage up 12.8% and divorce went down 6%. In Sweden, marriage went up an astonishing 28.7% while divorce dropped 14%.

marriage statistics over ten years
since legalization of same-sex marriage
Denmark Norway Sweden
Ten-year change in marriage rate up 10.7% up 12.8% up 28.7%
Ten-year change in divorce rate down 14% down 6% down 14%

Anybody who says that same-sex marriage threatens heterosexual marriages is lying.

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 – a mother is a female parent

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Now that our kids are old enough to celebrate various holidays, the question rises about how to handle Mother’s Day. When a friend asked just that on the patio after Church today, I explained that a mother is a female parent just like a father is a male parent. So on Mother’s Day we celebrate the female parents in our family – two grandmothers and a great-grandmother – and the role they played in our lives.

With no more fanfare than distinguishing between “Latino” and “Latina” or “waiter” and “waitress,” we addressed the issue to everybody’s satisfaction.

I am very happy with this explanation of Mother’s Day. You and I both know that it is wrong to assign genders to pilots, engineers, nurses, doctors and priests, and it is equally wrong to assign genders to caregivers.

Having two words is one thing, having two sets of laws is another. I wish we could just call two parents who are raising their kid “married” like our Church does instead of something qualified by their gender like your Government does.

Sincerely,

Another Letter to TiVo president Tom Rogers about Focus on the Family sweepstakes

Tom Rogers, President
TiVo Inc.
150 East 52nd Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10022

June 11, 2008

Dear Mr. Rogers:

I wrote to you last week about your partnership with Focus on the Family on the “SuperDad” promotion at http://www.family.org/fathersday.

Since I first wrote, I learned that in addition to myself, more than thirty individuals in my gay parenting group have posted entries to this competition, and Focus on the Family has discarded every one of those entries.

I feel kind of badly that my family can’t participate in this promotion just because my kids have two dads. But I feel really lousy every time I pick up my TiVo remote, knowing that my favorite thing in the house is linked to the anti-American and anti-Christian behavior practiced by Focus on the Family. You wouldn’t like it if you couldn’t enter a contest because of your race, religion, or gender; yet TiVo seems to condone this behavior.

I understand that you also operate an affiliate program called “KidZone.” While those affiliates include the PTA, YWCA, After School Alliance, Smart Television Alliance, Common Sense Media, Parents Choice Foundation, National Education Association and others, Focus on the Family stands alone in teaching children that homosexuality is a disease that needs to be “cured,” and that people who are gay are less capable or worthy of raising children in a stable caring relationship than their straight counterparts. Such untruthful hateful policies are responsible for marginalizing our families and raising the rate of attempted suicide among lesbian and gay teens to more than four times that of heterosexual youth.

If TiVo is truly interested in creating a safe-space for children, then Focus on the Family needs to be excluded from that place.

Your terms and conditions say “TiVo reserves the right to reject affiliate sites with objectionable content at its full discretion.” Your logo and copyright rules assert that you have full control over their use. There are many organizations that do not teach kids to hate their neighbors, and I wish TiVo would partner with them instead of Focus on the Family.

Sincerely,

Letter to TiVo president Tom Rogers about Focus on the Family sweepstakes

Tom Rogers, President
TiVo Inc.
150 East 52nd Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10022

June 4, 2008

I noticed that you are partnering with Focus on the Family “SuperDad” promotion at family.org/fathersday.

What were you thinking? As a gay man, Focus on the Family is like the Ku Klux Clan to me. They are spending $11 million this year to block committed couples in California from making the commitment of marriage. They operate “ex-gay” programs, such as the one that just concluded in Orlando, that teach kids who think they might be gay that their only options are celibacy or suicide. They proclaim on their home page that “God created humans in His image, intentionally male and female, each bringing unique and complementary qualities to sexuality and relationships.” And that kind of talk gets people like me beaten, harassed and killed just for who we are.

While I believe these positions and ministries are un-American and un-Christian, I can’t fault Focus on the Family for believing them. However your sponsorship of these wicked activities gives them credibility. If TiVo believes what Focus on the Family is preaching, God help you. Otherwise, I wish you would reconsider the “SuperDad” promotion and the message that it is sending.

Sincerely,

Letter to Focus on the Family about unisex bathrooms and fear-mongering

Gary Schneeberger
Vice President for Media Relations
Focus on the Family
8605 Explorer Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80995

May 30, 2008

Dear Mr. Schneeberger:

In his May 30, 2008 press release “Dr. Dobson Decries Ritter’s Signing of SB200,” Dr. Dobson explains that because of this Colorado law removing the requirement for businesses to maintain separate restrooms for men and women, that “Henceforth, every woman and little girl will have to fear that a predator, bisexual, cross-dresser or even a homosexual or heterosexual male might walk in and relieve himself in their presence.”

While I can understand Dr. Dobson’s concern about how this law might affect personal safety and decency, I would like to ask for a broader explanation from Dr. Dobson how a “bisexual, cross-dresser or even a homosexual” poses a threat that women and little girls should fear more than Dr. Dobson walking in himself.

Would it be possible to arrange for Dr. Dobson to explain to me how teaching women to fear those who are simply honest about their sexual attractions serves to advance his stated goals of personal safety or gender-specific restrooms?

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – landmark leadership and movement milestones

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Some argue that social change takes time, but the reality is that it can happen quite suddenly when individuals in positions of power take action to stomp out ridiculous “traditions.”

When President Eisenhower considered ending the traditional segregation of the blood supply into “Colored,” “White–Hebrew,” and “White-Christian” in 1950, the Red Cross told him that the South wouldn’t accept “mixed blood.” Eisenhower replied “then the South will not get any blood!” and issued an executive order ending the practice.

You had a chance to stamp out the traditional practice of segregating marriage into “heterosexual” and “homosexual” varieties with AB 849 in 2005 and again with AB 43 in 2007. Instead of stepping up, you forced the people to ask the Supreme Court to get rid of the practice. They said what we all know: “An individual’s sexual orientation … does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.” You have been spared the political embarrassment of doing the right thing, and the Supreme Court gets history’s nod for making the change that will improve life for so many Californians, including me.

Won’t you at least see that the court’s decision is respected and implemented as soon as possible? Change has arrived. Embrace it or move aside.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – don’t just wash your hands

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In Church today we heard the Gospel of the Passion of Christ according to Matthew. In it, the Governor asks the people what prisoner they would like to free, thinking they would release Jesus (who had done nothing wrong). However, the chief priests had persuaded the people to ask for Barab’bas and destroy Jesus, who threatened their credibility. Pilate – despite his conscience and even the pleas of his wife – heeds the cries of the people, washes his hands and proceeds to crucify Jesus.

History repeats itself. These days, the Opponents of Equality are working overtime to convince the people to specially exclude same-sex couples from marriage, not for doing anything wrong, but because they have built their careers by defiling homosexuals. Legitimate Christian families like mine prove them wrong – and that could be costly to their credibility.

“So, when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying ‘’I am innocent of this man’s blood.’’”

Governor Schwarzenegger, are you going to stand by while today’s so-called leaders crucify my family? Or are you going to do something to help people who have done nothing wrong to fully participate in our economy and society?

I wish you would support the freedom to marry, because it is the right thing to do.

Yours,

Today’s letter – there is no armageddon

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

In July of 2004, with marriages erupting in Massachusetts and California, your Republican nominee for President John McCain argued against a Federal Marriage Amendment to permanently ban gay marriage. He said the states should decide and that “We will have to wait a little longer to see if Armageddon has arrived.”

It has been four years, Governor. Massachusetts won the World Series and California hasn’t fallen into the ocean. Canada, South Africa and Spain are all economically outperforming the United States. There is no Armageddon.

You can spot a false prophet by their false prophesies. The Opponents of Equality are wrong – again. I wish you would improve marriage by letting the people make the personal and individual choice of who they marry for themselves.

Yours,

Today’s letter – don’t protect marriage, improve it

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Marriage sure has gone through a lot of changes in the past centuries.

A girl’s father used to decide who his daughter would marry. Then there were bans on interfaith and interracial marriages. Nowadays, almost everybody can choose who they marry – except for me. A special ban on same-sex couples takes away my right to choose who I marry and gives it to the government.

The only person who should be making the choice of who I marry is me.

Governor, it is time to stop “protecting” marriage, and start improving it.

Yours,

Today’s letter – agents of intolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

As a gay dad, I believe you are almost on the verge of having the change of heart that we need so I can finally get married. Your endorsement of John McCain was a really big step for two reasons.

First, Senator McCain shares my opinion of Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, Pat Robertson and their ilk, saying “neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance.”

As you know, Sen. McCain’s “Agents of Intolerance” are the same as my “Opponents of Equality” – they’re the people who say, without having met me or knowing anything about me, that I’m not worthy of marriage just because of who I want to marry. So that’s a plus.

Second, Senator McCain believes that the Federal government should not make the most intimate decision of who can marry who. “The constitutional amendment [banning gay marriage] strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans, [because] it usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them.”

It is a short stretch for you, Governor, to realize that the State of California is no better than the Federal government at deciding who can marry who. To paraphrase Senator McCain, it usurps from individuals a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes it instead on a state remedy for a problem that most people do not believe confronts them.

So, Governor, I’m hoping that you get a chance to talk to Senator McCain about same-sex marriage, and I hope enough of his centrist rhetoric rubs off on you that you will finally realize that California would be a better place if we all had the freedom to marry.

Yours,