As you might know, the California legislature has again passed a marriage equality bill, and it awaits Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s signature. The governor vetoed it last time around, and there’s every expectation, unfortunately, that he will do so again.
Rex Wockner posted an open letter to the governor at his pad.
Read a healthy snippet after the jump.
Dear Gov. Schwarzenegger,
As the bill legalizing same-sex marriage in California sits on your desk for the second time in three years, I wonder…
How do you want to be remembered?
What do you want people to say about you 20 or 50 years from now?
Do you want to be remembered like Gov. Pete Wilson? As someone who did the wrong thing when presented with a historic opportunity? As someone who, for purely political reasons, blocked, for a few more years, an inevitable civil rights advance?
Surely you remember Pete’s veto of California’s first gay anti-discrimination bill in 1991. You were here in California then.
I know you know Pete did the wrong thing, because you have signed a whole bunch of gay rights bills since you’ve been governor — making California a fairer place where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people finally now are almost equal citizens.
Almost. Because we still can’t get married. Because you vetoed the same-sex marriage bill that our elected Assembly members and senators passed in 2005.
Now they’ve passed it yet again, and there it sits on your desk beside your beautiful humidor.
I hope you realize this is likely the last thing of any significance that we gays are going to ask of you. Because when you let us get married, our 40-year battle for equal rights will have come to an end in California. Because we’ll finally have full legal equality. And it’s all up to you, Sir.
You know, when Pete vetoed that gay rights bill in 1991, gays rioted in San Francisco and Los Angeles. And there were huge protests in San Diego, West Hollywood and Sacramento.
We should have taken to the streets again in 2005 (peacefully, of course) when you decided, for your own political reasons, to veto a bill passed by our elected representatives that finally would have allowed us to no longer be second-class citizens.
I say political reasons because you must have vetoed that bill to avoid upsetting that certain percentage of anti-gay bigots who cling to the California Republican Party. You must want something from them down the road.
I don’t know what that might be. Some folks have said you might want to run for the U.S. Senate, and don’t want to provoke the anti-gay bigots to run someone against you in a Republican primary election.
But when the history books are written, Governor, the anti-gay bigots are going to be remembered in the same way we remember racists today. As an embarrassment from a less-enlightened, less-evolved era of U.S. history. I know you don’t want to be in the same chapter as George Wallace in a textbook students will read 50 years from now.
It’s a great missive. Go read the rest at Rex’s.