Friday, June 12, 2009

Georgia (IV) Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.

Today I continue with Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Democrat, representative of Georgia's 2nd Congressional District:

Dear Congressman Bishop,

I write to urge you to support the struggle for marriage equality for all Americans. In the past you have crossed party lines to vote in favor of a constitutional amendment that would have denied the right of same-sex couples to marry across the U.S. This attempt to use our basic law to discriminate against a substantial portion of our citizenry was a shameful episode in our history, and your part in it will tarnish your reputation. Your recent record, however, shows a steadily improving stance regarding the rights of LGBT citizens, holding out hope that your understanding on these issues is evolving. If you will recant your former views and reverse your past actions there is yet time to repair your legacy.

The freedom to marry the consenting partner of one's choice is undeniably a basic right. This was the principle established by the Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia in 1967. The same logic that applied in the case of discrimination on the basis of race applies today in the case of discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. A citizen who cannot form a family and maintain a legally protected household with the individual he or she loves is denied the American promise of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." To hold millions of citizens in such a state of exclusion and deprivation is a form of apartheid deeply unworthy of our great Republic.

To redress the current injustice, I and others propose that the U.S. 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." Only when our constitution is thus amended or interpreted will justice and fairness be established within our institutions of family law.

I have set out to write every member of Congress seeking support for this amendment. Perhaps on reflection you will lend this campaign your voice, if only by way of atoning for your past support of discrimination. 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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