Saturday, March 14, 2009

California (LI) Congressman Brian Bilbray

Today I continue with Congressman Brian Bilbray, Republican, representative of California's 50th Congressional District:

Dear Congressman Bilbray,

I write in protest of your opposition to marriage equality. You were a co-sponsor of the so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment" that would have banned same-sex marriage throughout the United States, even in those few states where it is now legal. Moreover, your proposed change to our basic law would have closed off the potential for even inadequate "separate but equal" compromises such as domestic partnerships and civil unions.

You thus have the distinction of co-authoring one of the most egregious monstrosities in the constitutional history of our nation. Rarely have lawmakers attempted to use our founding charter as an instrument for depriving citizens of rights they have already won. The basic genius of our Republic has been that rights tend to deepen and broaden over time; our Founders established a historical mandate for liberty that they understood would continue to expand as human understanding unfolded. You and your colleagues bear the shame of trying to stem that progressive tide.

Marriage to the partner of one's choice is undoubtedly among what our Founders identified as humanity's "inalienable rights," a fact that the Supreme Court has repeatedly acknowledged in Loving v. Virginia and numerous other decisions. Any group which is systematically denied the 1,138 legal benefits and protections that flow from the marital bond cannot be said to enjoy what the 14th Amendment terms "equal protection of the law." Our current state of marital apartheid is thus an injustice that cannot stand within a democracy dedicated to the preservation of individual rights, as ours is.

Because the kind of prejudice and discrimination exemplified by your amendment and other measures like it is obviously rife, the normal safeguards that protect individual liberties are clearly inadequate to securing full rights of marriage equality for all American citizens. For that reason I have set out to write every member of Congress seeking the following amendment to the U.S. constitution: "The right to marry shall not be abridged or denied by the United States or any state on account of sex or sexual orientation." You may disagree with the principles underlying such a Marriage Equality Amendment, but please understand that millions of Americans hold these rights to be sacred and inviolable and will fight ceaselessly until they are realized for all people.

I hope that in time you will see the error of your current stance, Congressman. In any case I thank you for your attention on this matter.


Andrew Meyer

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