Monday, May 11, 2009

Florida (XI) Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Today I continue with Congressman Gus Bilirakis, Republican, representative of Florida's 9th Congressional District:

Dear Congressman Bilirakis,

I write in protest of your opposition to marriage equality. Since your election in 2006 you have been a consistent opponent of marriage equality, endorsing Florida's Amendment 2 and voting in favor of a federal constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The passage of Amendment 2 in Florida was especially objectionable, as it not only denied rights of marriage equality to same-sex couples but also barred the legalization of civil unions and domestic partnerships, thus refusing any semblance of family rights to LGBT citizens. It is no wonder that in your first term you received a rating of 0% from the Human Rights Campaign.

As recent events in Maine, Vermont, and Iowa demonstrate, you are on the wrong side of history, Congressman. Marriage to the consenting partner of one's choice is an inviolable right, one that is being progressively recognized throughout an ever-expanding portion of the U.S. electorate. Americans are coming to realize that whatever one's personal beliefs may be, it is unjust and unfair to refuse the 1,138 legal benefits and protections of marriage to fellow citizens for no crime other than loving someone of the same gender. This injustice is compounded when children in the care of same-sex guardians are denied the safeguards of family law simply to satisfy the prejudices of the community.

Future generations will look back on this day and find the current level of opposition to marriage equality difficult to comprehend, in the same way that we today look back and find opposition to emancipation or female suffrage misguided. There is no way to escape the harsh judgment of history unless you search your conscience and emend your position. I have set out to write every member of Congress seeking support for a Marriage Equality Amendment to the federal constitution, which 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." This change to our basic law is the surest and most durable means to protect all American citizens from depredations like Florida's Amendment 2.

Perhaps on reflection you will see the wisdom of this reform and lend it your support. In any case I thank you for your attention on this matter and hope this letter finds you well.


Andrew Meyer

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