A LetterI finally got around to writing an email to my friends and family asking them to vote no on Proposition 2. I'll let you guys know what kind of response I get once people email me back. This particular letter went to those that know I'm gay. I will be sending out a slightly altered one for some other family members soon.
Here it is:
Let me start by apologizing for this mass email. I normally don't like to write such large group emails, but I figure the topic of this email is very personal for me, so getting this message to as many people as I can is most important.
As some of you may know, there is an election coming up here in Texas on November 8th. However, early voting started Monday, so many people are already heading to the ballot boxes. Most people generally ignore elections like this because there really isn't much going on. No national elections at all, and only a couple of local and state issues. However, this year is different, especially for any gay people that you may know. This year there is an issue on the ballot called Proposition 2. This Proposition is a proposed Constitutional Amendment that is designed to change the state Constitution to permanently ban gay marriages, civil unions, domestic partnerships, and many other legal relationships between loving couples in our state.
Now, I know some of you may be opposed to gay marriage. However, this proposed Amendment is certainly not the way to go about banning gay marriage in Texas. In addition to gay marriage, the Amendment will also ban any type of civil unions, domestic partnerships, and any type of legal status "similar to marriage" forever. Many lawyers also worry that it will invalidate common law marriage among heterosexuals, and living wills, hospital visitations, medical directives, and many other legal arrangements among all unmarried couples. The idea is that if the Constitution outlaws any relationship "similar to" marriage, the upset family of a gay person would have a much easier time fighting to invalidate a will that this gay person may have set up with his or her partner by claiming that the will was the result of an illegal relationship.
Gay marriage is also already against the law in Texas, and right now it is unreasonable to believe that a judge in Texas would opt to overturn the existing law especially considering that we elect judges in our state. Unfortunately it appears that some of the legislators in Austin are more interested in painting gay people as scapegoats than actually having a law protecting marriage. Since heterosexual marriage is already protected here in Texas, their motives are fairly clear. This Amendment is divisive and mean-spirited, and shouldn't be part of our Constitution.
Not only is gay marriage already illegal in Texas, but passing a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage would do nothing to protect the current state of marriage. Marriage in Texas has been floundering as a result of no-fault divorce, adultery, and other problems for decades. Rather than take a stance against these problems, our legislators and our society have opted to go after gay people, one of the few groups that have never done anything to affect the institution of marriage. Sometimes, it really is easier to rally against the sin of others rather than look at and try to fix our own sins. I believe this is the case with this Amendment in Texas, and I am sad that hundreds of thousands (even millions) of gay and straight couples across the state will have to be punished as a result.
So, to sum up my email, I encourage (plead really--I'm serious, this is important) you to vote NO on Proposition 2 for the following reasons:
-The Amendment is overly broad and would outlaw civil unions, domestic partnerships, and even living wills, hospital visitations, and many other legal arrangements made between all unmarried couples. There is even speculation that the Amendment is so broad that sly divorce lawyers could use it to argue that the state of Texas does not honor any marriages at all (you can see this argument at www.savetexasmarriage.com).
-The Amendment is repetitive and unnecessary. Gay marriage is already illegal in Texas and is not in danger of being challenged. This Proposition does nothing more than pick on innocent gay people.
-The Amendment will do nothing to save marriage. No-fault divorce, serial-marriages and a host of other issues do much more damage to marriage than gay marriage ever will. Marriage should be protected by looking at the problems that already exist within it, not by scapegoating gays as a group to blame for its problems.
For those of you that are against gay marriage, please keep in mind that a NO vote on Proposition 2 will not create gay marriage in Texas. It will only protect other rights that all couples currently enjoy and will send a message to Texas lawmakers that gay people cannot continue to be scapegoats and victims of inequality. This is more about decency and fairness than it is about marriage.
I know not all of you vote regularly, especially in elections this small. However, this issue is extremely important to me. I have already donated money, attended fundraisers, and I plan to volunteer on election day. I'm asking each of you to vote (now through November 8th). Please vote NO on Proposition 2. I know this may not be as huge of an issue for some of you as it is for me, but it would mean so much for me if you would vote with me on this. These types of issues have been landslides against gay people like me all over the country. The only way for Texas to avoid the same fate is for all of us to get out, vote, and spread the word to everyone you know.
Thanks for reading all of this. In case I haven't made myself clear, I really want--no NEED--you and anyone you know to help with this issue and vote NO on Proposition 2. Please don't let politics punish your gay friends and family.