Today I continue with Congressman David Dreier, Republican, representative of California's 26th Congressional District:
Dear Congressman Dreier,
I write seeking your support for a Marriage Equality Amendment that would recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry throughout the Union. You took an independent stand with regard to President George W. Bush's campaign to inscribe the denial of marriage equality into the U.S. Constitution, saying: "I'm not supportive of amending the Constitution on this issue. I believe that this should go through the courts, and I think that we're at a point where it's not necessary (USA Today, February 25, 2004, p. 6A)."
That last qualifier, and your fluctuating record with regard to general issues of LGBT rights (the Human Rights Campaign gave you a rating of 22, 38, and 10, respectively, for the last three Congresses) do not augur well for your support of a Marriage Equality Amendment. The fact that you broke with the majority of your party gives me hope that you might be persuadable, however. Indeed, I hope to convince you that not only was the profanity proposed by President Bush "not necessary," but its polar opposite is in fact urgently required.
Marriage is undeniably one of the most important civil institutions in our nation. It is for good reason that we grant 1, 138 distinct benefits, privileges, and protections to married couples under federal law. Denying these to same-sex couples is grossly unfair, a clear breach of our constitutional obligation to grant all citizens "equal protection of the law." Leaving these millions of citizens to the arbitrary whims of the individual states is not only cruel to them, it injures the thousands of children who are in the care of same-sex couples and who enjoy none of the stable safeguards that would flow from state sanction of their guardians' marriages.
The surest remedy of this unjust situation would be 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." I have set out to write every member of Congress appealing their support for this change to our basic law. My letters are collected on a weblog online (http://marriageequalityamendment.blogspot.com/). As a long time leader of the Republican caucus you could give this cause much impetus if you lent it your endorsement.
On reflection I hope that you will support this needed reform. In any case I thank you for your attention on this matter and I extend you my best wishes for the success of the 111th Congress.