Today I continue with Congressman Dennis Cardoza, Democrat, representative of California's 18th Congressional District:
Dear Congressman Cardoza,
I write to solicit your support for a Marriage Equality Amendment that would recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry throughout the United States. As a Blue Dog Democrat you have been a moderate presence in the House, and your record on issues of LGBT rights has reflected your generally centrist disposition (you were given a positive rating of 63% by the Human Rights Campaign). One legislative project to which you lent your support suggests your potential sympathy for the cause of marriage equality, however.
You co-sponsored a bill authorizing the reintroduction of the Equal Rights Amendment for ratification by the states. Since that amendment provides that "equal treatment under the law" can not be denied or abridged on account of sex, it would almost certainly entail a move toward universal marriage equality in time. Nothing is more egregiously exemplary of the denial of "equal treatment under the law" on account of sex than the denial of entry into the marriage bond to inviduals merely because they are the same sex. The Government Accountability Office lists 1, 138 privileges, protections, and changes in legal status that derive from marriage. Denial of those safeguards due to gender, sex, or sexual orientation is among the most blatantly arbitrary forms of discrimination being practiced in our nation today. The injury is not limited to same-sex couples whose rights have been violated, moreover, but extends to their children and to the institution of marriage itself, the cogency and integrity of which is impaired by the erratic impositions of social prejudice.
To protect the rights of individual citizens, the security of the American family, and the resilience of the marital bond itself, the U.S. Constitution should be 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." If you believe in the rightness of the principles of the ERA, I hope you will see the urgency and justness of this less ambitious but no less necessary reform.
I have set out to write every member of Congress seeking support for this amendment or one like it. I hope that on reflection you will lend this cause your voice and your efforts. In any case I thank you for your attention and extend my best wishes for success in the 111th Congress.