Today I resume my correspondence with Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat, senior senator from Illinois:
To the Honorable Senator Richard Durbin,
I write to you seeking your support for a constitutional amendment that would end the discriminatory practice of marriage in our country. Such a Marriage Equality 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."
During the Bush administration, you repeatedly voted against proposed amendments that would have permanently institutionalized marital discrimination in the United States. That defense of basic civil rights was laudatory, but it is not enough to defend against travesties such as the so-called "marriage protection amendment," for the status quo as it stands in most of the Union is an intolerable breach of the rights of millions of Americans. The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees "equal protection of the laws" to all citizens, yet thousands of couples and their children are denied the 1,138 protections and benefits deriving from married status under federal law in deference to the social prejudices of a portion of the population. The constitution must be newly amended, therefore, to clarify the scope of the "equal protection" clause and secure the basic rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" for all Americans.
You have been an outstanding leader in the cause of promoting American support for human rights abroad, please consider joining this fight to promote civil rights here at home. I thank you for your attention and hope that this message finds you well.