Tuesday, June 15, 2004

My Heart is Warmed

I decided to send out a letter to some people here at work explaining the impact of the proposed Utah Constitutional Amendment banning recognition of same-sex couples and common law spouses. I figured they would read it, agree and delete it. Here are two of the responses I received:

Hey, I actually have never voted in my life, but I am registered and I will be there to vote!

I sent this to as many people as I could. My husband will forward it to the "family values" crowd at his work. Your letter was very beautiful and nearly brought me to tears. This is an issue that I feel very strongly about. I would like to be more politically involved on this issue (I am registered to vote and only death could keep my democrat/liberal/homo-loving ass from the polls in Nov.!) Please let me know if there is any other way I could get involved to keep this from happening ok?


They made me smile.

I can't tell you how many people I registered to vote on Sunday. And I will continue to do so up until the elections to prevent this horrid amendment from being placed in my State Constitution.

Here is the letter I wrote. Feel free to cut, paste and distribute at will:

I wanted to take a moment of your time to tell you about a proposed amendment to the Utah Constitution that will be on the ballot November 2nd. Please read the following. Don't delete, as this will effect more than just me and my family.

This Amendment to the Utah Constitution states the following, exactly as written:

1. Marriage consist only of the legal union between a man and a woman.
2. No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substatioally equivilent legal effect.

The author of the resolution intended this Amendment to, once and for all, define marriage and limit the rights of those who cannot legally marry. If this Amendment in placed in our Consitution, it will impact only two groups of people: same-sex partners and common law spouses.

1. We already have a law that states that marriage is between a man and a woman. To write it into our Constitution is unecessary. It is also law that Utah does not recognize same-sex or common law marriages.

2. By passing this amendment, those whose employers grant them sick leave, funeral leave, medical benefits or anything "resembling" marriage benefits will have to stop that practice.

3. It will effect legal documents such as power of attorneys, wills, inheritance rights, hospital visitation - even child custody - for same-sex and common law couples.

In essence, it strips all of my rights away.

I urge you, regardless of how you feel about same-sex couples, to understand that if an Amendment like this is written into our Utah Constitution, the document which exists to grant us all our rights, it will impact my life in an astounding way. I may be barred from visiting my partner, even my step daughter, in the hospital or making medical decisions for them. How would you feel if you could not be at the side of your spouse or child in their time of need? And this is simply one of the many rights that will be stripped from me and my family.

Utahns are open and loving people. No one wants to hurt another person. You can support your faith and still support the right of people to make homes and families and allow them to live their lives honorably without making them second-class citizens.

To pass this Amendment is unnecessary and will harm many. If we have to change our Constitution to support discrimination and hatred, what kind of people have we become?

I urge you to PLEASE VOTE NO on November 2nd. I encourage you to talk to friends and neighbors who support this about what it really means. If you have never voted before, please register to vote (I can help you to register to vote - I have all the forms necessary).

Vote against changing our Constitution to suit the frivilous desires of some lawmakers.

Make your voice heard - the Consitution is a document of ALL the people.

Thank you for your love and support of me, Lindi and Sarah.



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