Monday, January 12, 2009

California (XI) Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Today I continue my correspondence with California's Congressional delegation with Congresswoman Barbara Lee, representative of California's 9th Congressional District:

Dear Congresswoman Lee,

I write you as a concerned citizen to solicit your support for a Marriage Equality Amendment recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry. You have long been a staunch defendant of civil rights, both home and abroad. On July 18, 2006, you spoke out on the floor of the House against the so-called "Federal Marriage Amendment," which would have obstructed marriage rights throughout the Union, saying:

"Of course I stand in strong opposition to H. J. Res 88. This amendment seeks to enshrine and it does enshrine discrimination into our Constitution.

“And as an African-American woman, and as a person of faith, there is no way that I can support discriminating against anybody. The history of our nation has been a long process of bringing people of different backgrounds together. This amendment would take everything that this nation stands for as, a beacon of hope, a land of opportunity, and a tolerant democratic society, and turn it all on its head."

Even as I applaud your unequivocal and principled stand, I sense a new urgency for action on this issue. Without passage of the discriminatory amendment you so rightly derided, the status quo operation of our laws and institutions still daily deprives same-sex couples of rights and protections that the majority may take for granted. Despite long struggle by civil-rights activists, moreover, setbacks and disappointments abound. The recent passage of Proposition 8 in California, for example, has stripped thousands of same-sex couples of recognition of rights they briefly enjoyed thanks to the wise and just ruling of your state's Supreme Court.

The campaign for marriage equality is the civil rights struggle of our time. Its goals will never be thoroughly and securely realized, however, until the U.S. Constitution is amended in precisely the opposite manner to that proposed by President Bush, 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." Will you take the lead in this fight as you have in so many others Congresswoman? I have determined to write every member of Congress pleading support for this reform, I hope you will express approval of it in discussion with your colleagues in the House and Senate.

Thank you for your attention on this matter, I hope this message finds you well.


Andrew Meyer

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