Today I continue with Congressman Alcee L. Hastings, Democrat, representative of Florida's 23rd Congressional District:
Dear Congressman Hastings,
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." Your record suggests that you may understand and agree, this is the surest and most durable way to bring fairness to our society and basic dignity to our citizens.
You have been an outspoken advocate for civil rights in the House, and have consistently earned perfect scores from the Human Rights Campaign for your support of the rights of LGBT Americans. You voted against George W. Bush's execrable, so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment" and before that broke with Bill Clinton in rejecting the deplorable, so-called "Defense of Marriage Act." Surely you have been aware that agitation for these forms of discrimination is on the rise. California's "Proposition 8" and your own state's Hate Amendment are only two of the worst examples to have appeared recently.
Such a climate calls for robust action. Despite hopeful developments in Iowa, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire the tide of discrimination continues to threaten to overtake progress. I have set out to write every member of Congress seeking support for a Marriage Equality Amendment to protect the basic rights of all Americans from those who would relegate their compatriots to second-class citizenship. The campaign for this reform would obviously entail political risk, but you have not shown yourself shy of such risks in the past. Perhaps you will lend your voice to this effort in the House. In any case I thank you for your attention on this matter and hope that this message finds you well.