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 – silly laws harm real people

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

I just read about Synchronized Swimming sensation Kenyon Smith of the Santa Clara Aquamaids. A man in a women’s sport, his ability to advance is hampered not by his ability, but by his gender: college scholarships and Olympic Games both bar his participation.

I am a gay dad, and as such I have to be both father and mother to my two young kids. I empathize with Mr. Smith not because the rules limit our options, but because we both weather the attacks by people who assume that we are less capable or less talented simply because of our gender.

The people who say men can’t be nurses and women can’t be pilots keep telling me that I can’t be a mother. But I know and you know that nurturing and caring for your kids isn’t something that depends on your gender – it depends on your love.

There is a law that is holding me back from being an excellent parent, the special law that prevents my kids from having two parents who are married. You vetoed two attempts to fix this law, and now the Opponents of Equality are trying to get a Constitutional Amendment to reinforce the silly law.

Please help me educate the public that a man can be both a father and – when he has to – a mother too. Please support the freedom to marry for us and all Californians.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Times have Changed, Love has Not

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Actor Heath Ledger died today in his Manhattan apartment. He will always be remembered for his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain – a man married to a woman but in love with a man. Not “one night in Bangkok” Larry Craig kind of sex-on-the-side kind of love, but devoted, loyal Jane Austen kind of love. You cannot see that movie and think that Ennis and Jack were less than soul mates, and deserved anything less than a life together.

Back then, society didn’t accept anything but man-on-woman relationships, and used both violence and government to keep that power structure intact. Children born out of wedlock were shunned; women without husbands were shameful and powerless.

Nowadays, Mr. Ledger’s own child was born out of wedlock, and women without husbands are considered powerful and shrewd. Oprah Winfrey could never exist in 1963 Wyoming.

Governor, if “Love Is A Force Of Nature,” you are obliged to set it free. Please support the freedom for all committed couples to choose the commitment of marriage.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Stand up for tolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Author Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson is a black conservative leader who believes that immorality and the collapse of the family are the biggest problems in the black community. How does he want to fix the problem? By blocking gay marriages.

Reverend Peterson has been spending the past decade fighting against same-sex marriage and gay hate crimes bills. Such legislation, apparently, gives special rights to homosexuals and takes away the rights of Christians, and fighting against other Americans is way more important to him than actually fixing the problems in his community.

“I can absolutely guarantee you that if [gay hate crimes] should pass, then it’s over for Christians,” he states. “We will not be able to speak out against homosexuality.”

Clearly, this guy is a whacko. His reasoning is faulty and his motivation is questionable. What puzzles me is why he is able to get your ear, Governor? Tell me – why are people like Reverend Peterson able to convince you and the Republican Assembly to deprive a group of people their liberty?

I wish you would stand up to bullies like Reverend Peterson, because while there ought to be room for belief in our society, there should be no allowance for intolerance.

Yours,

Today’s letter – Stories from the Trenches

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

Here is a little story from a May 2006 meeting of the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County that shows a sampling of what’s going on “in the trenches” of the GOP.

Author Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson was the speaker for the evening. He explained that more black Americans would enter into marriages if there were a constitutional amendment redefining it as between only one man and one woman.

A member of the audience stood up to ask why, if marriage creates stability in society and is good for children, that a whole group of Americans should be denied the opportunity to marry. The Reverend responded by explaining that Christian beliefs are very important to black Americans and capped it off with a quote from Leviticus.

Another audience member then stood up and asked if the Reverend supported slavery, since, after all, it is in the Bible, too.

The Chairman of the meeting interrupted the discourse to call for tolerance from party members, a call that was honored by the objectors but not by Reverend Peterson, who continued to fabricate reasons for excluding lesbian and gay Americans from the party and from society.

You wonder why Republicans can’t get elected in this state – well look no further than your local chapter meetings, where tolerance of hatred alienates any voter of conscience.

You could change this, Governor, by telling your party that whatever they think of gay marriage, “freedom” means that all Californians should have the freedom to choose who they marry.

Yours,