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You've Got Gay Mail!
Here is what I want you to do. And not to just think about it, but to get off your ass and do something about gay marriage in the United States.

Step 1: Go to the list published today of the people who made financial contributions to Proposition 8. Pick five of them. Not a lot, just five.

Step 2: Go to the free online white pages and find the donor's name and address

Step 3: Write a letter. Mine is listed below. Please be polite but honest. Explain how the lack of gay rights in the US has affected your life

Step 4: Actually print out five copies of your letter, address five envelopes, and mail them

Step 5: See change happen. No, seriously. Change will happen. And not a pollyanna idea that the recipient of your letter will have an epiphany and suddenly become a gay rights supporter. The change will come from something else. Maybe you'll become more of an activist. Maybe someone will write an article about your letter when they receive it and it will start a discussion. Maybe you'll just feel good doing something tangible for gay rights instead of passively waiting for the courts to decide your fate for you.

I had a friend who was living in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1960s. I asked her what it was like to be at the heart of the black civil rights movement. She said she didn't know... she didn't think about it much. Now she had every right to be detatched: she was raising three kids and working hard. She was too busy to care, and I think her history is somewhat lessened for it. What a wasted opportunity.

Dear XXX,

I am writing this letter to you because of your support for Proposition 8. Please understand that I will never contact you again, nor would I ever threaten or harm you or your family.

However, your beliefs directly threaten and harm me and my family.

I was in a fourteen year relationship. That's a long time. By the way, how is *your* first marriage going? But even though we were deeply committed and loved each other dearly, we couldn't get married. That meant that if I was to die, my partner wouldn't be able to inherit my estate. To pay the huge gift taxes, he would probably have to sell the house he and I lived in.

Please read that last sentence again. Thanks to you and your vote on Proposition 8, widowers are kicked out of their homes.

There are other things too, like the fact that without marriage, gay people can't make medical decisions for their partner, share a pension, safely adopt children, or any other over one thousand federal protections that you have but that you don't want to share with gay people. But you don't care about any of that.

I realize you hate us. I understand that you think you need to legislate your personal religious bigotry through the government and the laws. I just wish you would leave us alone.

Why are you so concerned about gay people? Why do you care?

A gay man that you hate


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really good - until the next to last paragraph. You make 'you' statements which usually to incite feelings of being threatened and cause anger.

Thank You for Your comments. (See? You are dominant, so i can capitalize the word "You") {grin}

Yes, i'm confusing two points i want to make. Maybe i should leave the lasat one out. My first comment is that their vote hurts me directly. The second snark is asking why non-gay people would care. The implied idea is, "What, are you a closeted fag?"

smile...yes, exactly... to be effective, (if it can be...that remains to be seen), appraoching with a loving attitude and with compassion, will perhaps make them think rather than feel attacked... shrug...just my perspective

(Deleted comment)
That's billionaire John Templeton. He won't miss any money given in increments of less than six figures. Since he's giving money as himself and not on behalf of the foundation, it's ok. Though it makes you wonder how much he's pulling in for a salary as president of the foundation.

The Templeton Foundation gives grants to writers and philosophers trying to reconcile science and religion. Usually the amount is around $1.4 million. They've given money to agnostics such as John Horgan, as well as Mother Theresa and Billy Graham. I guess they're also giving money to fight against homosexuals.

Edited at 2009-02-02 11:46 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Feel free to use my name and as direct link

Thanks, you have inspired me. I wrote my letter and am going to sleep on it tonight, and perhaps another edit in the morning. I will then find 5 to mail it to.

The writing was cathartic. I'll post it tomorrow once I'm satisfied with the final draft, along with your challange to us all.

That's one! *One* person on LiveJournal took up my challenge. Thanks!

Edited at 2009-02-03 10:53 pm (UTC)

How about contacting business run and owned by Yes on 8 donors, and telling them you and many you know will not do business with them?

As a gay man, your letter doesn't sit well with me. I am all for trying to connect with people who feel fundamentally differently than I do when it comes to the issue of gay marriage. I think the "in your face" approach would leave an extremely bad taste in my mouth if I were to receive that letter.

Thanks for your thoughts. The idea behind the letter is not to instill fear. I was trying to be non-threatening and honest: your beliefs are causing me direct harm. You might think that donating money is vicitmless and has no consequences, but you're wrong.

I think contacting businesses is far more insidious. It's a form of boycotting, and I don't think that works.

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