Today I continue with Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, Democrat, representative of California's 38th Congressional District:
Dear Congresswoman Napolitano,
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 co-chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus you have built an outstanding record of advocacy for the rights of mental health patients. This concern for civil liberties extends into all aspects of your work as an elected leader: you earned positive ratings of 100% from both the ACLU and the Human Rights Campaign for the 110th Congress.
Given your record I am sure you would agree that marriage equality is among the most pressing civil rights issues of our generation. The Government Accountability Office lists 1, 138 benefits, privileges, and protections that accrue to citizens as a result of married status. These are systematically denied to same-sex couples in forty-eight states of the Union. Most dispiriting to contemplate is the situation in California, in which same-sex couples were granted recognition of their natural rights by the wise ruling of the state Supreme Court, only to be oppressed anew by the discriminatory and unjust machinations of Proposition 8.
The current state of marital apartheid in this country is both impractical and immoral, it cannot abide. The surest way to bring our institutions into alignment with the basic rights of our citizens 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 seeking support for this change to our basic law.
The campaign for marriage equality will no doubt be long and hard and fraught with political risks. It cannot succeed without leaders like you who have shown the courage to stand up for the rights of people that society habitually ignores or abuses. Would you lend your voice to the call for a Marriage Equality Amendment, Congresswoman? I appeal to your proven sense of fairness and civic duty. In any case I thank you for your attention on this matter, and hope that this message finds you well.