Waldlaw Blog

Monday, October 12, 2009

An Open Letter to Governor Schwarzenegger

Thank you, Governor Schwarzenegger, for signing The Marriage Recognition and Family Protection Act into law today. It has been a bruising couple of years for lesbian and gay families in California. We saw our dignity and equality recognized by the California Supreme Court in May of 2008, only to have the voters decide at the ballot box in November -- in passing Prop 8 -- that our families do not deserve the full equality afforded different-sex families after all. We saw the same Supreme Court that said that "[w]hile retention of the limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples is not needed to preserve the rights and benefits of opposite-sex couples, the exclusion of same-sex couples from the designation of marriage works a real and appreciable harm upon same-sex couples and their children," turn around and state only a year later that "marriage" is just a name, and that denying same-sex couples access to the nomenclature of marriage does not violate equal protection. Well, SB 54 -- The Family Protection and Marriage Recognition Act -- codifies the best of the Supreme Court's Prop 8 ruling, clarifying that same-sex couples unequivocally have the right to fully recognized unions in the state of California, whatever we call them. It makes clear that folks who married out of state prior to passage of Prop 8 remain legally married in California; and, in part two, it clarifies that same-sex couples that marry outside of California after passage of Prop 8 will have their unions legally recognized in this state -- and be entitled to all of the rights, benefits and responsibilities of marriage inside this state -- whatever we call that union. Analogies to Prince (as in "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince") and Lord Voldemort ("He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named") aside, it means a lot to know that California really is a state that believes in equality. Your decision to sign SB 54 into law allows for a level of clarify and security for same-sex couples that has been lacking for many months now. I understand that it took courage and conviction to stand up to the onslaught of negativity thrown your way by the Yes on 8 folks; and I wanted to say Thank You -- what you did today has made a difference. Sincerely, Deborah Wald Now, back to Prince.... 'Cuz they say two thousand zero zero party over Oops out of time So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999


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