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A Letter to My Congressman

Copyright © 2004 by David E. Ross

When President Bush announced his support for an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting same-gender marriage, I immediately wrote to my Congressman — Elton Gallegly (R) — about this issue. I delayed a week putting this on my Web so that Congressman Gallegly could first receive my actual letter via postal mail.

my letterhead: name, E-mail address, Oak Park

24 February 2004

Congressman Elton Gallegly
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Congressman Gallegly:

Today, President Bush announced his support for an amendment to the Constitution to prohibit same-gender marriage. Effectively, the President wants to insert religious dogma into the fundamental basis of our nation's civil laws. And you must be aware that not all religions support such a prohibition.

The largest movement among Jews in the United States is Reform Judaism. Although lacking a central hierarchy (as is found in some Christian denominations), there is the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ, formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations or UAHC), which is a representative body of congregations across North America, from Canada to the southern Caribbean. Rabbis within Reform Judaism generally belong to the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR).

Both the URJ (when it was still the UAHC) and the CCAR adopted formal resolutions in support of legal, civil marriages for same-gender couples. Further, the CCAR subsequently adopted a formal resolution in support of religious wedding ceremonies for same-gender couples. Copies of those resolutions are attached.

My wife and I support our religion's position on this issue. We do not want the Constitution amended contrary to our religious beliefs. Celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary later this year, we do not feel our marriage is threatened when a same-gender couple seeks legal recognition of their commitment to each other.

While I fully expect you to support President Bush's re-election campaign, I ask you not to climb onto this particular bandwagon. Do not relegate gays and lesbians into second-class citizenship.

David E. Ross

The three attached items may be seen at

What I did not put into my letter to my very Republican Representative were the following points: Safe Space: Select this symbol to learn about its significance.

In the meantime, California Governor Schwarzenegger (also a Republican) declared his opposition to amending the Constitution regarding same-gender marriages. Further, Schwarzenegger indicated he would not oppose changing California laws to permit such marriages. His current concern is that existing laws — including Proposition 22, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman — should be enforced until changed.

Of course, some may question why I — a "straight" man — am so very concerned about gay rights.

2 March 2004

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