Today’s letter – it’s gay pride month again

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

It’s old news now, but June is once again Gay Pride month by proclamation of the President of the United States.

I’m tired of having the civil liberties and human dignity of my fellow Americans ebb and flow with the different political parties that happen to be in office at any particular time. I’m tired of having to wait for old Republicans to die off so human rights legislation can advance. I’m tired of being limited to just one political party because the other political party engages in morally reprehensible attacks on its fellow citizens.

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, like New Hampshire just did. I wish you would speak out against Opponents of Equality and their agenda of apartheid against the citizens of our state. I wish you would make the GOP get rid of Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh so Republicans can once again represent America’s promise of freedom and dignity, instead of some warped version of theocracy.

Sincerely,

Letter to GOP Chairman Michael Steele – prove it or apologize

Chairman Michael Steele
Republican National Committee
310 First Street
Washington, D. C. 20003

May 19, 2009

Dear Mr. Steele:

On May 16th you told the Georgia State Republican Convention that gay marriage costs small businesses more money than it makes them, because gay marriage laws force them to spend more on health care and other benefits for their gay-married employees than for their gay-unmarried employees.

As a small business owner and a gay dad, I know the facts, and I know that you are lying. I would like to respectfully ask you to prove what you are saying, or apologize for saying it.

You argued “Now all of a sudden I’ve got someone who wasn’t a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for, So how do I pay for that? Who pays for that? You just cost me money.”

Any small business owner will tell you that we are exempted from state policies that require us to pay different benefits to our married employees than our unmarried employees. In exchange for not discriminating on the basis of marital status, we are protected from having to pay more for married employees than unmarried employees.

Moreover, gay marriage in my state means that I get more business from marriages being performed here, and I have a larger pool of qualified workers to choose from. Massachusetts discovered that five years of same-sex marriage has attracted highly-skilled workers and produced an economic boost of over $110 million – and unlike your assertion, there are real studies that support that.

If you really were concerned about the supposed cost of married employees, you would ban all benefits for married employees, yet you single out the gays to specially deprive them of these benefits.

I am disappointed that you would choose to break the ninth commandment in order to argue that Republicans take a bigger role in the most intimate individual decisions; that my Government should decide who should get married instead my Church; or that fiscal stability depends on whether or not I can get married. And as we saw in the firing of Arabic Linguist Dan Choi because of his sexual orientation, your arguments about the awful gays don’t help national security either.

As a gay dad, I’ve seen your kind of bankrupt arguments before. They are designed to marginalize and dehumanize your neighbors as you advance a moral position at the expense of individual freedom.

Abraham Lincoln pointed out that “those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” Jesus said “treat your neighbor as you would like to be treated.” Would you like it if there was a law preventing you and the person that you love from getting married? If so, then I am happy to step aside, but if not, then you are obliged to grant me at least the same freedom that you enjoy.

I know from the Oreo incident that you are in the habit of speculating without proof. I know from your talk radio record your opinion about Civil Unions. I read about your call today for Republicans to stop apologizing. Well, here is your opportunity to answer that call and redeem yourself: prove how my marriage costs anybody anything.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – world’s most embarassing argument as GOP leader tries to ban all marriage

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

GOP Chairman Michael Steele told a crowd at the state convention in Atlanta that same-sex marriage is costly for small business.

He explained “Now all of a sudden I’ve got someone who wasn’t a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for, So how do I pay for that? Who pays for that? You just cost me money.”

There are two small problems with this argument. The first is that, if Republicans were actually concerned about the costs of having employees who are married, then they should not stop at gays, they should ban marriage altogether. Then employers wouldn’t have to take financial responsibility for anybody’s spouse. I would like to hear Mr. Steele argue that; anything less is simply hypocritical.

Second, Mr. Steele’s comment ignores the small businesses that make money from gay weddings. After 5 years of extending marriage to gay couples, study after study shows Massachusetts has attracted highly-skilled workers and experienced an economic boost of over $110 million from the very practice Mr. Steele would ban.

It is not same-sex marriage that is costly for small business, it is the ban on gay marriage that is costly for small business.

Please, Governor, please explain to Californians that it is in our best interest for every Californian to be able to fully participate in the economy and society, and please explain to your party leadership the folly of letting somebody as blatantly ignorant as Mr. Steele steer your ship.

Sincerely,
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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 – April’s Fool

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

April 1, 2009

RE: Civil marriage bill S.115

Dear Governor Douglas,

Today was April Fool’s day, so when I first heard that the Governor of Vermont was going to veto S. 115, “An Act to Protect Religious Freedom and Recognize Equality in Civil Marriage,” I didn’t believe it.

But sure enough, you did promise to veto it. Imagine that – you are just another Republican who thinks that he knows better than I do how to live my life; another Christian who thinks he is more worthy of civil sacraments than I am; another American who does to others as he would not do to himself.

I hope that you are really just fooling and that you will at the end of the day you will do what’s right, and sign S. 115.

Sincerely,

Today’s letter – celebrate with us

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Today was the annual Pride parade through West Hollywood. Why weren’t you there?

California was celebrating a huge victory: the end of tyranny over the personal lives and individual decisions of their people.

175,000 people turned out including just about every elected official up to (but not including) you.

The Unitarians and Episcopalians were there in force – both will be performing same-sex weddings in their churches next week. The parents were there with huge contingents from PFLAG and Pop-luck. The businesses were there, with Time Warner Cable broadcasting the parade and WaMu sponsoring the main entertainment stage with Gelson’s, SAAB, Pepsi and Bud Light rounding out the participation. And celebrities were there and too many to mention.

“I think there’s a renewed energy in the community about gay marriage,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Buddy Goldman, who runs the department’s West Hollywood station. “There really is an upbeat feeling.”

I wish you and your Republican could celebrate with us, about individuals being able to make individual decisions about themselves and their families without being second-guessed by their government and their governor.

Sincerely,

Today’s stamp: “Celebrate”

Today’s letter – Republicans are not acting republican

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I voted Tuesday in my last election as a registered Republican. It is sad for me to resign my membership in the Republican party, but the party has strayed too far from a principle that individuals are empowered to make individual decisions.

In particular, as a gay dad, I was lucky enough to find somebody who I like and love, and who loves me in return. We finally won the freedom to make the intimate decision to commit to marriage. But the Republicans, with you as the exception, continue to fight to take that away.

Your party platform glibly informs that “it is important to define marriage as being between one man and one woman” and “we oppose same-sex partner benefits, child custody, and adoption.” – teachings that are designed deny me my freedom to choose who I marry and make individual decisions about how I live my life.

A moral compass that lets one claim individual freedom, yet ostracize ones neighbors is neither American nor Christian, and I want no part of it.

I urge you, for the future of the Republican party, to help the GOP and California State Republican Assembly overcome their hatred and bias in order to open the tent to all individuals who want to make California a better place.

Sadly,

Today’s letter – a humane and reasonable stance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Syndicated columnist Deb Price, based in my home town of Detroit, Michigan, wrote in her most recent column that “California’s governor has taken a humane and reasonable stance on gay marriage. John McCain should pay attention.”

She points out that your statement “I will always be there to fight against that – because it should never happen” echoes another Republican, Ronald Reagan, who torpedoed the 1978 Briggs initiative that would have banned gay and gay-friendly teachers. Clearly, smart politicians like you and Mr. Reagan, choose to wisely unite rather than recklessly divide.

I wish you explain to your pal John McCain how welcoming California’s gay and lesbian families into marriage (and the Republican party) is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.

Yours,

Today’s letter – not the government, and certainly not the Governor

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

When I was at the Valentine’s Day demonstration last Thursday, holding two adorable kids, I got a lot of questions. One was “what does marriage mean to you?”

I told them what I will tell you: “Marriage is a time-tested legal and social structure uniting two families. The only person who should be making the choice of who to marry is me. Not the government, and certainly not the Governor.”

Governor, giving the people the freedom to choose who they marry would make marriages stronger and last longer, don’t you think? It is time to stop protecting marriage, and start improving it.

Yours,