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.