Saturday, May 2, 2009

Florida (VI) Congressman Ander Crenshaw

Today I continue with Congressman Ander Crenshaw, Republican, representative of Florida's 4th Congressional District:

Dear Congressman Crenshaw,

I write in protest of your opposition to marriage equality. You twice voted in favor of the so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment" that would have banned same-sex marriage throughout the United States, and have consistently received a rating of "zero" from the Human Rights Campaign. These facts are no surprise, as you have been quite open about your antipathy towards LGBT citizens. During a campaign for governor in 1994 you declared that you would not hire gay individuals for your personal staff and would support a landlord's refusal to rent to gay tenants (St. Petersburg Times 7/19/94, "The State" p. 4B).

As long as you hold such prejudices it is difficult to imagine your being persuaded of the justice of marriage equality. If you feel that a person's sexual orientation justifies denying them a roof under which to sleep, could you sympathize with that person's desire to form a family? Still, perhaps even you can yet see the logic underlying the campaign for marriage equality. After all, it was once quite common for elected leaders to eschew the employment and promote the exclusion of Jews, yet even those legislators would never have dreamed of forbidding Jews to marry one-another.

Or take yet another example, that of so-called "interracial marriage." At the time of their wedding, our President's parents would have been criminals in much of the Union thanks to "anti-miscegenation" laws favored by large majorities in many states. In 1967 the Supreme Court ruled that marriage to the consenting partner of one's choice was such a basic condition of human happiness that it could not be proscribed on such arbitrary criteria as race, and the same principle of marriage equality imbues same-sex couples with rights that are as inalienable as they are unrecognized in 46 states.

Because your views are all too widespread, robust action will obviously be required to secure recognition of marriage equality rights across the U.S. For that reason, I and others propose that the federal constitution 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." I have set out to write every member of Congress seeking support for this change to our basic law.

I hope that on reflection you will see the error of your previously stated views and come over to the side of justice and fairness, Congressman. In any case I thank you for your attention on this matter.


Andrew Meyer

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