Today I conclude my correspondence with Colorado's Congressional delegation with Congressman Ed Perlmutter, Democrat, representative of Colorado's 7th Congressional District:
Dear Congressman Perlmutter,
I write seeking your support for a Marriage Equality Amendment that would recognize the right of same-sex couples throughout the United States to marry. Your record shows you sympathetic to the cause of marriage equality. As a state senator in Colorado you supported legislation granting spousal rights to same-sex partners, declaring: "It is without reservation that I am proud to endorse the Colorado Domestic Partnership Benefits and Responsibilities Act. My friends in the GLBT community deserve the dignity to be able to make their own decisions concerning matters such as hospital visitation, inheritance, health care decisions, and end-of-life decision." Despite this stance, however, you have declared yourself opposed to the recognition of full marriage equality. It is my hope that you may be persuaded to change your position on this issue.
Experience shows that separate is never equal. Married status affords citizens 1,138 benefits and protections under federal law. That full range of safeguards cannot be engineered into a "second track" institution reserved for same-sex couples, nor should such a feat be attempted. Please do not be taken in by those who would confuse the religious and civil institutions of marriage. If you are genuinely concerned for the dignity of friends and compatriots in the GLBT community you should not desire them to be relegated to the status of second-class citizens. Forming kinship ties and building a family with the partner of one's choice is indispensible to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Marriage Equality is thus a right that cannot be denied to any citizen, even by a vote of the majority. If our Republic is to remain true to the principles of its founding mandate, the institution of civil marriage cannot arbitrarily exclude millions of Americans.
Until rights of marriage are federally protected for all citizens, the forces of intolerance and injustice will continue to spread discriminatory measures like Proposition 8 in California. The surest and most durable way to bring our laws into alignment with the basic rights of our citizens is to amend the U.S. Constitution to read: "The right to marry shall not be abridged or denied on account of sex or sexual orientation." I have set out to write every member of Congress soliciting support for such a reform.
I hope that you see the justice of this campaign and will lend the amendment your support. In any case I thank you for your attention on this matter and extend my best wishes.