Today’s letter – driving for change

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

On this day in 1909, Alice Huyler Ramsey arrived in San Francisco to become the first woman to drive the 3,800 miles across the United States from coast to coast, showing the people of the time what was obvious but not taught: that there are no limits inherent to gender.

The twenty-one-year-old Vassar graduate, accompanied by two sisters and a female friend, took fifty-nine days to cross in a green Maxwell 30. She later became a successful author and the first woman inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

At the time of her crossing, it was a “big deal” because it undermined those who were teaching that women were less capable than men and less worthy of making individual decisions simply because of what was between their legs.

Now, 99 years later, we are still having problems understanding that both women and men can be both mothers and fathers. Thank God we have finally understood that there are no limits to marriage.

Sincerely,

Today’s stamp: “Vintage Mahogany Speedboat” The 1915 craft pictured could reach speeds of 30 miles per hour whether driven by a woman or a man.

Today’s letter – history remembers the liberators, not the oppressors

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

History remembers the agents of change. History – for example – remembers Lincoln who freed the slaves. It does not remember the guy before Lincoln who fought for slavery. It remembers Reagan who tore down the Berlin wall. Not so much the guy before him. It remembers Susan B. Anthony who got women to vote, not whomever (Liddy Dole?) who opposed it.

How do you think history is going to remember you, Governor? Do you think you’ll be on a coin or a stamp for vetoing AB 43, the 2007 bill that would have let me and my same-sex domestic partner finally get married? Or do you think that it will be the next person, the one who finally replaces you and banishes that apartheid who will be immortalized?

It is not too late for you to work toward freedom to marry for all Californians instead of simply – and insignificantly – against it. I wish you would support the freedom to marry.

Yours,

Today’s letter – it was we the people, not heterosexual males, who formed the union

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

It has been 135 years since Susan B. Anthony voted in the 1872 presidential election. She was arrested barely two weeks later because it was illegal at the time for women to vote.

In her defense, she argued that the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution said that all “persons” born in the US are citizens who can’t be denied the privileges of citizenship – then she pointed out if she were male, her behavior would have never been questioned.

“It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people – women as well as men. And it is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government: the ballot.”

It took almost fifty years, but Susan B. Anthony managed to “redefine” voting laws to end the exclusion of women.

When you vetoed the Religious Tolerance and Civil Marriage Protection Act you said it was because of Proposition 22, a voter initiative that did not change either the Constitution of this State or this Country. You said I should be happy to enjoy the blessings of Domestic Partnership, and blocked me from making the commitment of marriage just because of the gender of the person I love.

I respectfully ask you to join us in the spirit of Susan B. Anthony and help us to “redefine marriage” so that all committed couples can make the commitment of marriage.

Yours,