Today’s letter – revealing somebody’s sexual orientation isn’t nice, but our government does it all the time

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

A new documentary about closeted gay politicians put the issue of “outing” on the front burner. The LA Times’ James Rainey accelerated this by talking about his 1993 outing of City Council Candidate Jackie Goldberg against the desire of her then-partner and then 8-year-old son.

Journalists generally follow a protocol of not revealing somebody’s sexual orientation without their explicit permission, since outing somebody is just too potentially damaging to them and their families.

It is nice that journalists respect this privacy, but why doesn’t our government? As long as we have two – or three – different legal statuses describing relationships in this state, it is impossible for me to be “in the closet.” My car license outs me. Filing taxes outs me. My kids’ vaccination forms out me. As long as our State forms use the terms “married” and “domestic partner” – or “husband/wife” as on EDD forms DE1 (Registration Form for Commercial Employers) and DE1-HW (Registration Form for Employers of Household Workers) STILL do – I am automatically outed whenever I fill out a government form.

The only solution is to have one set of laws describing relationships in this state. I don’t care if it is “married” or “domestic partners” but a house divided cannot stand.

Governor, I wish you would apologize for vetoing AB 43, the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act that would have legalized gay marriage through the legislature. I wish you would stand with fair-minded Californians against the government meddling in personal decisions. I wish you would make the GOP get rid of Michael Steele so Republicans can be electable again.

Sincerely,

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