Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –
When you vetoed AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, you said that you couldn’t sign it because it would have been illegal and you would have gone to jail.
I believe you committed a more criminal act by failing to uphold the Constitution to which you swore allegiance. The Constitution, as you know, says that you are not supposed to pick out a whole group of people because of what they believe or how they were born, and force them to follow a different set of laws than everybody else.
You should have signed AB 43 because it was the right thing to do, and if you went to prison for following your Constitution obligation to protect Californians from discrimination for their religion, gender or sexual orientation, that too would be the right thing to do.
Martin Luther King Jr. explains:
“I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
“Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: – ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
It is too late for you to sign AB 43, but it is not too late for you to end your silence and protect the Constitution by saying everybody deserves the same freedom to marry.