An open letter to Barbara Boxer
February 20, 2004
Senator Barbara Boxer
1700 Montgomery Street, Suite 240
San Francisco, CA 94111
Dear Senator Boxer:
I am writing to express my extreme anger and disappointment at your
position on same-sex marriage, and at your spurious rationalization for
I would like to make it very clear that, contrary to your stated position,
domestic partnership does not even come close to providing "the full
rights and responsibility of marriage." I don't have space here to give
you the entire extensive laundry list of specific rights and
responsibilities that marriage affords and domestic partnership does not
(although today's Chronicle has an article on exactly this subject, if you
still profess ignorance of it). But I feel it's important to remind you of
First: My spouse and I (who married on Wednesday after six years of being a committed couple) cannot become domestic partners, since we don't
currently choose to live together. There is no law requiring a man and a
woman to live together to become husband and wife -- but the domestic
parternship law invasively forces same-sex couples into this particular
relationship choice if they want their partnerships to be recognized by
the state of California.
Second, and more importantly, marriage is recognized in every state in the country, and every country in the world. Domestic partnership is not. My
spouse and I cannot move freely about the country and the world and expect
to have our partnership legally acknowledged. This is not merely a
symbolic issue -- it affects hospital visitation rights, inheritance,
insurance, taxes, and much more. Even if my spouse and I could become
domestic partners in California, it would do us no good if we were in
Mississippi and one of us became sick or injured.
I am even more disappointed and shocked with you given your previously good record on progressive social issues. I have voted for you in every election, and until you took this position, you were one of the last
Democrats in the state that I felt I could support wholeheartedly. I find
it impossible to believe that your statements on same-sex marriage
actually reflect your real beliefs and opinions, and I can only assume
that you have taken this position for craven political expedience. I am
guessing that, along with many Democrats, you believe that you must take a
"centrist" position on this issue in order to avoid alienating moderate
voters. But I am telling you today that you are mistaken. It is this
cowardly, weak-willed, cynical false pragmatism that has alienated people
from the Democratic party, and made many voters and potential voters feel
that the party does not represent us and never will.
And I am telling you today that you have permanently lost my vote. I will be giving my vote (and donating money if I can) to your Green Party
opponent, in the next election and all future elections, for as long as
you continue to oppose same-sex marriage. If you believe that gays and
lesbians will continue to support you no matter what, simply because
you're a Democrat and we have no choice, I am telling you today that you
are gravely mistaken.
Shame on you.
Copyright 2004 Greta Christina.