Today I conclude my correspondence with Arkansas' congressional delegation with Congressman Mike Ross, Democrat, representative of Arkansas' 4th Congressional District:
Dear Congressman Ross,
I write you as a fellow Democrat and a concerned citizen to urge you to change your stance on the issue of same-sex marriage. You have twice crossed party lines to vote in favor of the so-called "Federal Marriage Amendment" that would ban same-sex marriage across the United States, even in states where it is currently legal. I can not help but be surprised that you or any other legislator would vote to inscribe the curtailment of existing rights into our Republic's basic law.
The rights you would have taken from our fellow citizens are more than incidental, moreover. The protections and benefits being enjoyed by same-sex couples in Connecticut and Massachusetts (and, until recently, California) are, no more and no less, the fundamental civil rights that are due to all citizens without regard to sex or sexual orientation. The Government Accountability Office lists 1,138 legal benefits and privileges that flow from married status. Marriage is thus the most profound and powerful way (short of becoming a parent) that a citizen may voluntarily shape his or her own position in society and the world. As a devoted husband and parent yourself you must understand the enormously consequential impact of this life change. Why then would you deny millions of our compatriots entry into the marital state? To grant these couples legal marriage would not be an act of extraordinary grace or toleration, but the simple recognition of their already intrinsic and inalienable rights. The current state of our laws is discriminatory and unjust, to speak nothing of the execrable amendment to which you lent your support.
Our laws and institutions will not be brought into alignment with the basic and natural rights of our citizens 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." Please give this matter due consideration, Congressman. I appeal to your proven sense of fairness, patriotism, and concern for the public good.
Thank you for your attention on this issue. I hope this message finds you well.