Dear Friends & Family,
I am writing this letter to urge you to vote NO on Prop 8, which seeks to eliminate marriage for same-sex couples.
Prop 8 will take away the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state of California. They have had the right to marry in California since June 18, 2008. Their marriage licenses are valid, legal, and no different than yours and mine.
Having a marriage recognized by your church or religion is different from civil marriage. If you attend a specific church, you probably have both a civil marriage and a marriage recognized by the church you attend. I only have a civil marriage. Nobody is trying to force any church or religion to marry same-sex couples, nor are they asking churches or religions to recognize civil marriages as fulfilling the requirements of marriage of a particular religion.
Taking away the fundamental civil rights of otherwise qualified adults is wrong. Don't use your religious beliefs, which are arguably the most precious thing in your life, as an excuse to descriminate. You may not like to hear it, but if you support Prop 8 that is exactly what you're doing. What if someone was trying to deny you the right to legally marry the person you love because you don't share their religious beliefs or because your marriage is not recognized by any religious body? Or if you do belong to a specific religion, is my marriage any less valid than yours, just because I am not married in a church? Or because I don't have children? Of course not. In the state of California, my marriage is just as legal and just as valid. So should it be for same-sex couples, whose relationships deserve the same respect and validation as ours, regardless of religious beliefs. Marriage brings emotional, social, and financial benefits that are being denied to thousands of American citizens every day. That descrimination cannot continue.
My marriage is the most important thing in my life. That is why I am so passionately in favor of the rights of same-sex couples to marry if they choose to. I know how wonderful marriage can be and don't want other loving couples to be denied that right. I can't imagine how it would feel if someone was trying to take that away from me, can you? That's exactly what Prop 8 is trying to do to same-sex couples.
I'm asking you to do the right thing and not use your religious beliefs as an excuse to descriminate. Your beliefs are too important to lessen by doing that.