Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Florida (II) Senator Mel Martinez

Today I continue with Senator Mel Martinez, Republican, junior senator from the state of Florida:

Dear Senator Martinez,

I write in protest of your stance against marriage equality. In a debate against your electoral opponent on October 24, 2004, you declared: "I believe a marriage should be only between one man and one woman and I will vote for the constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between a man and woman." You made your support of this constitutional ban a fundamental plank of your election campaign, sponsoring television advertisements calling upon other Senators to join you in such an assault on the rights of your fellow citizens.

You are certainly not alone in your beliefs concerning marriage, but that is no test of whether such beliefs are a fair basis for civil law. Many Jews, for example, quite understandably believe that interfaith marriage is wrong. No one would seriously contemplate emending the law to accommodate such beliefs, however, as to do so would deprive interfaith couples of their basic freedom to love whom they choose. On the same principle, it is grossly unfair to prevent consenting adults from sharing property and work benefits, holding joint guardianship of children, visiting one-another in hospital, or enjoying any of the 1,138 protections and benefits of marriage simply because you and others are troubled by the idea of same-sex love. Marriage to the consenting partner of one's choice is a basic and inalienable right. Denying recognition of that right to same-sex couples relegates all LGBT Americans to second-class citizenship, a form of mass discrimination that is totally out of step with the founding principles of our democracy.

Unfortunately, many share your prejudices and have been very active in promoting them on the political scene, militating to not only preserve the current state of marital apartheid in our country but to broaden and deepen its reach. For this reason I and others have proposed that the U.S. constitution should be amended 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." Such a reform would be the surest and most durable means to secure and defend the rights of all Americans.

In time and upon reflection perhaps you will see the error of your current stance. In any case I thank you for your attention on this matter and hope this message finds you well.


Andrew Meyer

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