Monday, December 1, 2008

Alaska (I) Senator Lisa Murkowski

Ted Stevens, Republican, the senior senator from Alaska, lost his reelection bid to Mark Begich, Democrat. I thus begin my correspondence with Alaska's congressional delegation with Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican:

Dear Senator Murkowski,

I write as a concerned citizen to urge you to change your stance on same-sex marriage. During your 2004 campaign against Republican contender Mike Miller, you declared that your one reservation about the so-called "Federal Marriage Amendment" was that it did not contain sufficient guarantees of state rights. Ultimately, however, you voted in favor of a federal ban on same-sex marriage.

It is not the rights of our states that are of greatest concern with regard to this issue, but rather the rights and welfare of our citizens. May the basic definition of marriage really be allowed to differ from state to state? Marriage to the partner of one's choice is a basic civil right, one that cannot be negotiated or reworked on a local basis. A couple who is married in Connecticut is married in Alaska, and is entitled to expect the same rights and protections there and in any other part of our great Union. Think of the problem from the perspective of another fundamental human relationship- parenthood. If states were allowed to pick and choose which adoptions of other states each would recognize, an entire family could find itself torn apart upon moving from one state to another. Your expressed concern for states rights seems to indicate that you would tolerate the legalization of same-sex marriage in some states. But pragmatic concerns like those above force you to ask yourself, if it is fair and just for some states to license same-sex marriages, is it fair or just for any state not to recognize them?

Until the U.S. Constitution is amended to read "The right to marry shall not be abridged or denied by the United States or any state on account of sex or sexual orientation," the civil rights of all Americans will continue to be curtailed by unjust and discriminatory laws. You have demonstrated some independence of mind on social issues in the past, Senator, and have gotten into trouble with your more radical conservative constituents for your willingness to embrace moderation and tolerance. Please reconsider your position on this issue. In any case, I trust you to act conscientiously.

Thank you for your attention, I hope this letter finds you well.


Andrew Meyer

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