Thursday, September 08, 2005

Open Letter to Governor Schwarzenegger

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

I urge you to reconsider your just-announced decision to veto the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act. While I understand your stated reason -- respecting the will of the people as expressed five years ago in Prop 22 -- I hope you will consider a couple of points. On this issue, people have been evolving. As a gay man, I can tell you from experience that our society has changed dramatically in the last five years, and even more in ten years. A new Public Policy Institute poll found Californians equally split on this issue, 46% in favor of marriage equality, 46% opposed. This is a big chnge from five years ago when Prop 22 was passed. More importantly, you can see the direction it is moving. An increasing number of Californians recognize marriage equality for same-sex couples as the right thing to do. (And I believe that you in your heart know it is the right thing.) Given the changes of the last five years, it's not hard to predict the next five. Consider how you will be viewed only five years from now. If you veto this bill today, people looking back will see you as they now look back on Gov. Wallace of Alabama, blocking the university door to black students. On the other hand, signing this bill today is an opportunity to demonstrate your independence and leadership (the reasons I and many others voted for you). You will be leading the people, slightly ahead of them but not too far ahead, just where a leader should be. You'll be on the right side of justice and history. And you'll make a huge difference for California's nearly one hundred thousand same-sex couples (including my domestic partner husband and me).

Respectfully yours,
Thomas R. Chatt

1 comment:

KipEsquire said...

P.S. You are no doubt aware, Governor, that California is experiencing a significant "retiree-drain" to neighboring states such as Nevada and Arizona. Older people tend to oppose same-sex marriage; younger people tend to support it.

It is therefore especially unwise to rely on election results from over five years ago.