Monday, March 30, 2009

Colorado (VII) Congressman Doug Lamborn

Today I continue with Congressman Doug Lamborn, Republican, representative of Colorado's 5th Congressional District:

Dear Congressman Lamborn,

I write in protest of your opposition to marriage equality. As a state legislator in Colorado you fought for a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and have carried that agenda forward onto the national stage with your election to Congress. In the past you have spoken of the threat posed by those who would "force homosexual values on Colorado" and "completely redefine the meaning of marriage." These are fallacious principles on which to structure your actions as a legislator.

The demand that one's family enjoy the same basic legal protections extended to others is not a "homosexual value," it is a question of basic fairness. As Jews my wife and I were married by a rabbi. Did this make our desire to hold property in common, share health benefits, file joint tax returns, or enjoy any of the other 1,138 federally guaranteed benefits and protections of marriage a "Jewish" value? Of course not. We simply expected that the "equal protection of the law" that is promised by the 14th amendment would accord our union the same legal force of that performed by a priest or a minister. That is no more a "Jewish value" than Mildred and Richard Loving's expectation of marriage equality was an "interracial value." Marriage equality is, in fact, an American value, one which is profaned by those like you who would arbitrarily deny rights of marriage equality to millions of Americans.

Nor does recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry "redefine" the meaning of marriage. To insist so is to confuse the separate institutions of civil and religious marriage. As a legislator your concern is only for marriage as a legal, not a spiritual entity. Your faith might dictate that my rabbinically sanctioned union is not a "true" marriage, but would refusing my wife and I married status on that basis be anything short of un-American? The definition of "true marriage" will always remain disputed between the diverse confessional communities that inhabit our Republic. As a civil society our only obligation is to decide what legal definition of marriage will extend protection to all citizens fairly and equitably.

Unfortunately, your discriminatory attitudes are widespread in this country, resulting in profound and chronic injustice. For that reason I have set out to write every member of Congress seeking support for a Marriage Equality Amendment that would correct the state of marital apartheid that prevails through most of the country. Such an 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."

I hope that eventually you will see the error of your ways and cease your campaign against the rights of fellow Americans. In any case I thank you for your attention on this matter.


Andrew Meyer

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