Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Florida (XXIII) Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart

Today I continue with Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Republican, representative of Florida's 21st Congressional District:

Dear Congressman Diaz-Balart,

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. As a Republican lawmaker, you have consistently taken a moderate stance on the issue of marriage equality. In 2006 you crossed party lines to vote against a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, though you did vote in favor of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" in 1996.

I have not been able to find a public record of your views pertaining to marriage equality, so I do not know if your record reflects an ambivalent stance or a change in outlook over time. You display obvious independence of mind, however, and should give some thought to your legacy as a civic leader. Marriage equality is the great civil rights issue of our generation. As values continue to evolve the achievement of full marriage equality for all Americans is an eventual certainty, at which time public figures will be judged on whether they aided or impeded progress to that point. You should be remembered as someone who stood up for the rights and welfare of your compatriots.

More than the good opinion of posterity is at stake, however. Right now many couples are struggling in the absence of the protections and assistance that marital status affords, some while they work to care for children. If you or your child lack health insurance because you cannot share in your spouse's benefits, or you are denied the right to visit your spouse in hospital, it is cold comfort to know that "eventually" things will change. Marriage equality is an immediate moral imperative, one impacting the lives of millions of Americans as I write these words.

Because of this urgency, 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." Such a reform is the surest means to bringing our laws into alignment with the basic rights of our citizens.

I have set out to write every member of Congress seeking support for this Marriage Equality Amendment. I appeal to your proven sense of fairness and decency, Congressman. Perhaps on reflection you will see the justness of this cause and lend it your voice in the House. In any case I thank you for your attention on this matter and hope this message finds you well.


Andrew Meyer

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