Contribute Now to Equality for All!

by john Leone

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(since September 28, 2008)

To my friends and family,

I'm asking you for your help with something that is very important to me. I know you’ve never received something like this from me, so that should give you a sense of how vital it is to get your help. There is an amendment to the California constitution up for vote this November that will eliminate my rights as a gay man. Please read the rest of my letter so you can get an understanding of what this means..

One of the founding values of America is equality for all. It's an intrinsic part of our culture and institutionalized in our most cherished document, the Constitution of the United States. And our California state constitution shares that same spirit- that all are created equal under the law.

However, there are people in this world who believe that I should be treated differently, in fact treated as less than others, because of who I am as a gay man. Currently I have the right to marry in California, but this November

Californians will be voting on an amendment to the state constitution that will, in effect, eliminate my right to get married. Proposition 8 says that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Marriage is the institution that conveys dignity, respect and numerous protections to the lifetime commitment of any couple, but this amendment would deny me that that right. Prop 8 separates one group of Californians from another and excludes me from enjoying the same rights as other loving couples.

They say domestic partnership conveys the same rights, but in fact as American history has proven, separate but equal doesn't work. When you're married and your spouse is sick or hurt, there is no confusion: you get into the ambulance or hospital room with no questions asked. In everyday life and especially in emergency situations, domestic partnerships are simply not enough. Only marriage provides the certainty and the security that people know they can count on in their times of greatest need. But above that, there are still numerous other protections that aren't available in a domestic partnership.

This amendment, if passed, would only directly affect people like me. But if it is struck down it will reinforce and strengthen the value that is so fundamental to our society- that regardless of our differences, people should not be singled out for unfair treatment under the law. Despite what many would assume about California, the polls conducted so far predict this will be a very close race that will only be won by getting the word out and educating Californians. If you are a Californian, make sure to vote NO on prop 8. Also, we need an incredible amount of resources to fight the opposition, which has raised millions of dollars to ensure the proposition passes. Whether or not you live in California, I'm asking you to help me defeat this amendment with a contribution to the organization Equality For All. They are a very well-organized, effective group with a solid strategy and plan to win this, so you're contribution won't be wasted and will make a difference. Through my site here you can make a contribution directly to the organization. And if you want more information, visit www.noonprop8.com.

This really is an historical moment and, at the same time, very personal for me. Please help me to ensure that everyone, including myself, is treated equally and has the right to marriage. I sincerely thank you for helping to defeat this amendment and ensuring that I can get married in the future to the person I love.

John



Equality for All