Jan Angel Thinks I am A Second-Class Citizen

My Email To Rep. Jan Angel (R) 26th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT

Olympia Office:
434 John L. O’Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7964
District Office:
(360) 443-2409

District Office:
1700 SE Mile Hill Drive, Suite 236
(In the South Kitsap Towne Square Mall – Second floor)
Port Orchard, WA 98366
(360) 443-2409

Committee to Elect Jan Angel:
5184 Granada Place SE
Port Orchard, WA 98367
360-204-0776
Hello,To:  jan.angel@leg.wa.gov, info@janangel.com
You had the chance today to be on the right side of history, to stand up and be recognized as someone who represents all the citizens in her district.  You failed to do so.

It is no one else’s business if two men or two women want to get married. Two people of the same sex who love each other should be allowed to publicly celebrate their commitment and receive the same benefits of marriage as opposite sex couples.

There is no such thing as traditional marriage. Given the prevalence of modern and ancient examples of family arrangements based on polygamy, communal child-rearing, the use of concubines and mistresses and the commonality of prostitution, heterosexual monogamy can be considered “unnatural” in evolutionary terms.

Gay marriage is protected by the Constitution’s commitments to liberty and equality. The US Supreme Court declared in 1974’s Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur that the “freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause.” US District Judge Vaughn Walker wrote on Aug. 4, 2010 that Prop. 8 in California banning gay marriage was “unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses (343 KB) .”

Denying same-sex couples the right to marry stigmatizes gay and lesbian families  as inferior and sends the message that it is acceptable to discriminate against them. The Massachusetts Supreme Court wrote in an opinion to the state Senate on Feb. 3, 2004 that offering civil unions was not an acceptable alternative to gay marriage because “…it is a considered choice of language that reflects a demonstrable assigning of same-sex, largely homosexual, couples to second-class status.”

Gay marriages can bring financial gain to state and local governments. Revenue from gay marriage comes from marriage licenses, higher income taxes (the so-called “marriage penalty”), and decreases in costs for state benefit programs. The Comptroller for New York City found that legalizing gay marriage would bring $142 million to the City’s economy and $184 million to the State’s economy over three years.

Gay marriage will make it easier for same-sex couples to adopt children. In the US, 100,000 children are waiting to be adopted . A longitudinal study published in Pediatrics on June 7, 2010 found that children of lesbian mothers were rated higher than children of heterosexual parents in social and academic competence and had fewer social problems. A July 2010 study found that children of gay fathers were “as well-adjusted as those adopted by heterosexual parents (144 KB) .”

Marriage provides both physical and psychological health benefits and recent research suggests that refusing to allow same-sex couples to marry has resulted in harmful psychological effects. The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, and others wrote in a Sep. 2007 amicus brief, “…allowing same-sex couples to marry would give them access to the social support that already facilitates and strengthens heterosexual marriages, with all of the psychological and physical health benefits associated with that support.”

Allowing same-sex couples to marry will give them access to basic rights such as hospital visitation during an illness, taxation and inheritance rights, access to family health coverage, and protection in the event of the relationship ending. An Oct. 2, 2009 analysis by the New York Times estimates that a same-sex couple denied marriage benefits will incur an additional $41,196 to $467,562 in expenses over their lifetime compared to a married heterosexual couple.

The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association found that more than a century of research has shown “no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.”

Marriage in the US is a secular and dynamic institution that has gone under several major transformations. Interracial marriage was illegal in many US states until a 1967 Supreme Court decision. Coverture, where a woman’s legal rights and economic identity were subsumed by her husband upon marriage, was commonplace in 19th century America. No-fault divorce has changed the institution of marriage since its introduction in California on Jan. 1, 1970. Nancy Cott, PhD, testified in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that “[c]ivil law has always been supreme in defining and regulating marriage” and that religious leaders are accustomed to performing marriages only because the state has given them that authority.

Legalizing gay marriage will not harm heterosexual marriages or “family values.” A study published on Apr. 13, 2009 in Social Science Quarterly found that “[l]aws permitting same-sex marriage or civil unions have no adverse effect on marriage, divorce, and abortion rates, [or] the percent of children born out of wedlock…”

Massachusetts, which became the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004, had the lowest divorce rate in the country in 2008. Its divorce rate declined 21% between 2003 and 2008. Alaska, the first state to alter its constitution to prohibit gay marriage in 1998, saw a 17.2% increase in its divorce rate. The seven states with the highest divorce rates between 2003 and 2008 all had constitutional prohibitions to gay marriage.

If marriage is about reproduction, then infertile couples would not be allowed to marry. Ability or desire to create offspring has never been a qualification for marriage. George Washington, often referred to as “the Father of Our Country,” did not have children with his wife Martha Custis, and neither did four other married US presidents.

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