Saturday, February 14, 2009

Addressing the issue

It's the last day of Freedom to Marry Week. The action for today is to take local action; the specific suggestion is writing a letter to the editor. Given the number of times I have taken pen to paper (or keyboard to screen) over the past two or three weeks, it would be a bit redundant to do that here, so I thought I'd recount the letters I've written so far.

I began by writing a couple letters to the elected officials who represent me where the domestic partnerships are currently being debated. I wrote to both of them last year; neither responded then and neither has responded so far this year. I recently wrote an email to the one who was the deciding vote against the legislation. Apparently there's a chance for another vote on the issue, so it's worth it to keep writing. But I have to admit that it's beyond frustrating to deal with this official since he won't acknowledge my correspondence (which I have kept quite civil) and he has explained quite clearly that he is voting based entirely on his religious beliefs.

I have also written a letter to the editor of two different newspapers: the local rag and the paper in Capital City. The first letter is the one I wrote about before. I adapted it, shortened it, removed the specific response to the father of my son's friend, and emailed that to the bigger newspaper.

As I explained in a follow-up, I was pleasantly surprised by the positive reception from the local paper's editor. My son's teacher and his assistant also went out of their way to make sure I knew they had read it and found it a welcome change from the usual rants appearing in that section. A few days later, another teacher at the school approached me, confirmed my identity, and then told me she was glad to see my letter.

About a week ago, another letter appeared on domestic partnerships. It did not refer to mine at all and took a very different approach. It seemed to me that the writer is not entirely comfortable with same-sex relationships, yet he explained why allowing them was necessary in a society founded on the particular ideals of our constitution. He specifically addressed the problem of legislators voting based strictly on the morals of their own religions when we are not supposed to have an established state religion. Perhaps a small thing to see, but I am glad to know that there are people in my community who can understand that the right action in regards to our society is not always the comfortable one.

One final letter I wrote--since I was in a groove--was to President Obama. It is too soon to expect an answer, as it is the last of the letters I completed, but I hope to hear something back eventually. In that letter, I addressed domestic partnerships from a different angle than the one I used in my other letters: financial. Seemed pertinent, given the biggest issues our country faces right now. I gave him a list of immediate ways in which not having a federally-recognized relationship costs us extra money. I don't think we made it into the stimulus bill, but I can certainly hope we'll be headed that way soon.

1 comment:

Lisa b said...

good work. :)