a letter a day to governor schwarzenegger

When we came across California resident Jim Smith’s story, we
knew we had to share it with all of you. Here’s what Jim has been
doing in the Golden State – in his own words.

My ‘same-sex domestic partner’ and I moved to California almost
ten years ago and had twins by surrogacy five months ago. When the
legislature passed AB 849, the “Religious Freedom and Civil
Marriage Protection Act” in 2005, I called the Governor’s
office several dozen times, but each conversation ended when the
call was digested into a tally mark.

When I heard that he might be getting another chance this
September, I wanted to do something more substantial – something
I could share with other people and the press, and something that
might actually get through to the Governor. If he knew me and my
family, it would be a lot harder to veto us. So I started to send a
brief letter to the Governor every day, asking him to sign AB 43
for a different reason. Some are typewritten, some I do by hand,
and occasionally I slip in a picture of my family for him to

I’ve been keeping copies and documenting the process on my
blog. I have only
received one reply – a form letter – which gave me fodder for
July 28 that you can read

I’m not sure where this will take me, but I do know that it has
helped build my debating and writing skills along with my knowledge
of the issues. For instance, before I started, I didn’t know what
to say to staffers who said signing it would be illegal, or even
the gay community’s concern that we will just get backlash. I
know that the simple answer to both of those is that if the
Governor vetoes this bill, he is telling the people of California
that discrimination is OK. We can’t have the Governor emboldening
the Opponents of Equality right before a petition initiative.
Spending fifteen minutes a day trying to figure out how to get him
on our side seems like a small investment to make for some big
payback later.

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