Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Florida (XXII) Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Today I continue with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat, representative of Florida's 20th Congressional District:

Dear Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz,

I write seeking your support for a Marriage Equality Amendment that would recognize 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." This change to our federal constitution is the surest and most durable means to ending the present state of marital apartheid prevailing in most of the nation.

As a Vice-Chairperson of the LGBT Equality Caucus you have long been a spokesperson for the right of LGBT citizens. At a press conference announcing the founding of the Caucus you declared:

"Equality for our gay, lesbian and transgender friends is not negotiable...Our Constitution demands equal justice under the law, nothing more, nothing less. As a Member of the House Judiciary Committee, I know that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered Americans are awash in a sea of inequality."

No one could give a more concise or cogent summation of the basic rightness and imperative necessity of marriage equality. As you imply, same-sex couples are relegated to second-class citizenship by our current laws and institutions. Though some selective progress has been made on the state level in specific regions, full equality remains a distant goal. Until a same-sex couple married in Maine can be confident that they will remain married should they travel or move to Alabama, Utah, or any other state they will not truly enjoy the "equal protection of the laws" promised by the 14th Amendment. Moreover, despite progress in states like Maine and Iowa, powerful forces have organized to impede or roll back advances in marriage equality, as exemplified by the tragic case of California and your own state's Hate Amendment.

True equality for all citizens waits upon (among other things) the establishment of federal protections for all Americans' right to marry. I have thus set out to write every member of Congress pleading support for a Marriage Equality Amendment to the U.S. constitution. Would you, as an outstanding leader in the cause of civil rights, lend your voice to this cause? Though such a campaign would obviously engender vehement opposition, your proven integrity and sense of civic duty would give it unimpeachable credibility and genuine momentum. In any case, I thank you for your service and attention on this matter, and hope this message finds you well.


Andrew Meyer

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