Today I continue with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican, representative of Florida's 18th Congressional District:
Dear Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen,
I write seeking your support for a Marriage Equality Amendment recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry throughout the United States. 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." Such a change to the federal constitution is the surest and most durable means to ending the unjust state of marital apartheid that currently prevails in most of the nation.
You have already shown outstanding leadership on the issue of marriage equality. You crossed party lines to vote against the so-called "Marriage Equality Amendment" and are currently the only Republican member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. Last year you spoke out forcefully against Florida's "Amendment 2," declaring: "[A]lthough some proponents would like to phrase this debate as a gay versus straight issue, it is not that at all. We're talking about basic, fundamental rights that could be in jeopardy."
A Marriage Equality Amendment would obviously attract strident opposition. As your wise obsevation implies, however, the risks of such a campaign are dwarfed by what is at stake. Though a constitutional amendment might not be achieved for many years (if ever), in advocating it we declare what we know to be true, that the freedom to marry the consenting partner of one's choice is a basic and inalienable right, one that cannot be taken away from any citizen even by a vote of the majority.
Your unimpeachable credibility and proven integrity would greatly aid the campaign for a Marriage Equality Amendment. I and others would be most grateful if you would take up the cause of this reform in the House. In any case I thank you for your attention and your service, and hope that this message finds you well.