Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Keep those cards and letters coming

Scot recently expressed disappointment that the LDS Church reneged on its initial words of support for gay domestic partnership benefits. When I first read those words I didn’t interpret the Church’s profession of support of some DP rights as being sincere. It seemed to me that they were simply trying to avoid being labeled as anti-gay in the context of a particular political campaign. I saw it as "strategic communication" in the finest tradition of Karl Rove.

It's a bad feeling when one's suspicion of another's motives is later borne out by the course of events.

The fact is that the LDS Church is profoundly hostile to same-sex couples and their children and is willing to use the political process to enforce its views. I don’t see this changing in the near future, although I do see many rank-and-file Mormons becoming less and less comfortable about it. If anything the success of their Prop 8 efforts may embolden rather than moderate the LDS leadership's political activity. I would not hold my breath for the Church to allow any action by the Utah legislature that would help our cause.

It’s time to appeal to the Feds.

I’m a believer in Federally recognized civil unions as an intermediate step along the road to full marriage equality. The Obama transition team has recently updated their website to include LGBT issues. See here for more. The support for our rights is unlike any we've seen from a previous administration, including those headed by Democrats. One of their agenda items is this:
Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

I encourage people to write a letter to Vice President-elect Biden and remind him of "Biden’s promise" from the VP debate. (Including a family photo can’t hurt, especially if you have a partner and/or kids.) NOW is the time to get these letters out. They should be personal, to-the-point and clear about the practical need for legal protections for same-sex couples and their children. Briefly describe your personal situation and ask for the administration's support.

The mailing address is

Office of Vice President-elect Joe Biden
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

P.S. Letters of support from straight allies or folks in mixed-orientation marriages are also extremely helpful. This is for everyone who believes in marriage equality.

If you are an Internet-only kind of person, you can send your letter via Web form at change.gov.

1 comment:

playasinmar said...

Money/Mouth Is

Can Obama pull that off? I guess we'll see.