Tuesday, January 20, 2009

California (XVII) Congressman Mike Honda

Today I continue with Congressman Mike Honda, Democrat, representative of California's 15th Congressional District:

Dear Congressman Honda,

I write you as a concerned citizen to solicit your support of a Marriage Equality Amendment that would recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry throughout the Union. Since your election to the House in 2000 you have been an outspoken champion of civil rights in the Congress, fighting to protect the voting rights of soldiers, immigrants, and language minorities. You have also been an outspoken advocate for families, most recently sponsoring House Resolution 6938, the Reuniting Families Act, that would ease the task of immigrants seeking to reunite with family members still overseas. Few members of Congress have displayed such candor, independence of mind, and dedication to even-handedness as you. Your efforts to both hold the U.S. government accountable for the internment of Japanese-Americans (including your own family) and the Japanese government accountable for atrocities committed by its military during World War II are exemplary of the unflinching integrity and dedication to principle that have guided your conduct in office.

On the issue of same-sex marriage, true to form, you have been admirably unequivocal, declaring: “Only full marriage rights will guarantee same-sex couples equal protection under the law and provide them access to the same rights and benefits enjoyed by all other families.” The fact that this is a statement of the simple truth does not detract from the political courage it took to say it. The recent passage of Proposition 8 in California well demonstrated the power of the forces arrayed to oppose any recognition of the rights of same-sex couples. It also testified to the need for robust action if the principles for which you bore witness will ever be realized as a matter of law and policy in our nation.

The surest way to guarantee all Americans the equal protection under the law of which you spoke is to amend the U.S. Constitution 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, in keeping with your record of forthright advocacy, take up the cause of this amendment among your colleagues in the House and Senate? Although the obstacles to such a reform are obviously many and profound, the support of a public servant with your reputation for integrity would give it purchase in our political process.

I have set out to write every member of Congress, at the rate of about one a day, pleading their support for this amendment. My messages to each (including this one) are displayed at a weblog: http://marriageequalityamendment.blogspot.com/. I hope that you will lend this cause your proven energy and dedication. In any case, I thank you for your attention on this matter, and extend you my best wishes for the success of the 111th Congress.


Andrew Meyer

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