Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –
Next week, three generations of our family will gather around the dinner table: us, our newborn twins, and all four of our parents. It is amazing to watch our parents glow in the pride of their grandchildren – the first on both sides of the family.
Yet, this joy remains tinged with sadness. Unlike our parents, my fiancée and I are blocked from marriage. I am upset at being excluded from the time-tested security the law provides married couples, but what really makes me sad is that it deprives our parents of the hope of seeing their children’s wedding. All of the gratitude, joy and unqualified support that will be in that room that day are not going to create a world where we are free to marry.
We will be the only unwed couple at the table – the ones who had our kids out of wedlock – and until we can wed, we will always be thinking there is a small sense of shame when we – despite all our hard work – are grouped with Anna Nicole and Larry Birkhead as our parents shake their heads and cluck their tongues about the fallout from their unwed escapades.
I have been finding ways to convert the shame into anger, and I was surprised at how easy it is: we simply blame the fact that we are treated as less than equal, less perfect and less human than other couples directly on you, Governor.
You could have signed AB 849 in 2005; you could have signed AB 43 this past October; you could have said that you think all Californians should have the same freedom to marry. But you did none of those things.
It will take a lot more than you to spoil our Thanksgiving, but I don’t think I’m being greedy to say that I wish your support could have been one more thing for which to be thankful, rather than one more thing over which to shake our heads and cluck our tongues.