One of the advantages of undertaking a project like this is that one learns a great deal about Congress and our government in general. In researching my letter to Congressman Raul Grijalva I first learned of the recently formed LGBT Equality Caucus, formed this June to advocate for issues of concern to LGBT citizens. The Caucus is co-chaired by Congressman Barney Frank (Democrat, MA) and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (Democrat, WI) and currently lists 77 members. I have written an email to the Caucus pleading their support for a Marriage Equality Amendment and would encourage anyone who feels similarly about this issue to do so as well. Concerned citizens can email the Caucus here.
Below is the text of the email I sent using the contact address provided on the Caucus' website:
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the LGBT Equality Caucus,
I write you as a concerned citizen to request your support for a Marriage Equality Amendment recognizing same-sex couples' right to marry. Recent events in California have demonstrated how precarious any safeguards of these liberties may be. The only sure and stable guarantee of same-sex couples' right to marry would be an amendment to the U.S. Constitution reading: "The right to marry shall not be abridged or denied by the United States or any state on account of sex or sexual orientation." No political action short of such a reform to our basic law can genuinely serve the cause of justice in this instance.
Some may say that the nation is not ready for this radical step. That may well be so, but refraining from its advocacy will not make the nation any more ready. The shameful passage of Proposition 8 in California is a call to arms. We need leaders who will set the terms of our national discourse rather than merely responding to it. Even if it evoked passionate disapproval in the short term, advocacy of a Constitutional amendment legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the Union would force citizens to begin thinking about the issue differently. Too many voters, even those sympathetic to (or members of) the LGBT community, conceive of marriage as some form of extraordinary "gift" that might be granted to same sex couples. It is time to dispel that fallacy and give full-throated voice to the truth: marriage to the partner of one's choice is an inalienable civil right, and the current state of our laws amounts to a constant assault upon the basic freedoms of millions of our citizens.
I have started a group on Facebook, named "Gay Marriage Amendment (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=44515717994) that has attracted over 700 members in the few weeks since the election. I have also started a blog, "Marriage Equality Amendment (http://marriageequalityamendment.blogspot.com/)," on which I intend to post a letter to every member of Congress pleading the case for this reform.
You have all shown great courage in forming this caucus in the face of resilient social prejudice. Please give due consideration to this further act of political bravery. Leadership and audacity are what is needed in this hour for action.
Thank you for your service and your attention, I hope this message finds you well.