Wednesday, March 11, 2009

California (L) Congressman Darrell Issa

Today I continue with Congressman Darrell Issa, Republican, representative of California's 49th Congressional District:

Dear Congressman Issa,

I write to protest your opposition to marriage equality. You have shown yourself consistently hostile to the rights of LGBT citizens, typically earning a rating of "zero" from the Human Rights Campaign for your voting record. You voted twice for the so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment" that would have banned same-sex marriage throughout the nation. In 2004 you issued this statement:

"Congressman Darrell Issa has voted to protect the sanctity of marriage and to uphold the right of states to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The House of Representatives voted 233-194 to pass H.R. 3313, the Marriage Protection Act of 2004, which denies federal activist judges jurisdiction to hear or determine any question pertaining to the interpretation of the right of states to define marriage as a union between and man and a woman or the Federal statute defining marriage."

Such rhetoric betrays prejudice and insensitivity unworthy of the office you hold in trust, Congressman. Admitting same-sex couples into the marital bond poses no threat to the "sanctity of marriage." Marriage is made sacred by a couple's mutual love, respect, and care for one-another, none of which depend upon their respective genders. Moreover, as a United States legislator the "sanctity" of marriage is not genuinely your concern.

The sanctity of a marriage is a private matter, the legal status of a marriage is a civil concern. As in all legal affairs, the first responsibility of the government and its officials is to see that the law is applied fairly, to ensure that all citizens enjoy what the 14th amendment calls "the equal protection of the law." When two adults make a lifelong commitment to love, honor and protect one-another but are denied the 1,138 legal benefits and protections that the state ordinarily grants to such a union, they can not be said to enjoy the equal protection of the law by any stretch of the imagination.

This is what the Supreme Court found in Loving v. Virginia in 1967, when it struck down the so-called "anti-miscegenation" laws that banned interracial marriage in much of the U.S. Would you call that an act of "judicial activism," Congressman? The same principle of marriage equality that held true in the case of the Lovings holds true for same-sex couples today.

I have set out to write every member of Congress promoting an amendment to the U.S. constitution diametrically opposed to the one for which you twice voted. Such a Marriage Equality Amendment would 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." This change to or basic law would be the surest and most durable assurance of the "sanctity of marriage," as it would replace the state of unjust marital apartheid we have today with an institution grounded in basic fairness and equity.

I hope that you will have a change of heart and cease supporting discriminatory and oppressive laws. In any case I thank you for your attention on this matter.


Andrew Meyer

No comments: