Subject: What matters to you?

Body:

Hi Family,

I try to resist sending you spam every time I get an action alert from some political group whose email list I'm on. I'm passing this on to you because I think that it's important to send a message that the Constitution, despite its beleaguered state these days, is vital and worth protecting. The link below asks you to list yourself as a constitution voter -- someone for whom the founding principles of this nation are dearly held, and to whom the trend of eroding those rights guaranteed in the constitution is one that must be reversed. You don't have to get the bumper sticker, and you don't have to let the ACLU send you messages or share your address. You don't even have to sign up, but I hope you'll read the following message, just from me.

This next message is not just for Californians, but for anyone who knows a Californian eligible to register and vote (the deadline is October 20). Please feel free to crib if you'd like to pass it on.

For those of you in California, this election is crucial not only because of the assaults on our national constitution, but also because of the current attack on our state constitution in the form of Prop 8.

This summer, the California Supreme Court found that gays and lesbians are a suspect class, and that laws focused on people's rights based on the sex of their partner were deserving of strict scrutiny under the constitution -- the highest level of scrutiny, reserved for those who have historically suffered great oppression and discrimination as a class. They also found that the right to marry is guaranteed by the constitution, on its own and under the constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy. Some debate whether the right to privacy is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, but there is no debate in California - it's explicitly listed as a guaranteed, fundamental right.

No On 8 isn't just a bad idea because it writes discrimination and bigotry into the state constitution. It isn't even a bad idea just because its proponents want it to apply retroactively, to marriages already solemnized and included in the public record. It's a bad idea because the very fact that it is on the ballot assumes that constitutionally protected and guaranteed rights can be voted on.

Whether marriage is the best place to have the fight over rights for GLBT folks is debatable. There are many other issues that even people in long-term, monogamous relationships with someone of the same sex would rather see at the fore. But voting against Prop 8 isn't just about supporting same sex marriage. It's about standing up for the constitution, and it's about reinforcing the notion that in a republic, mob rule cannot be the law of the land, and the lives and rights of minority groups should not be subject to the shifting whims of the many.

For those of you in California, or who know Californians, please tell your friends to register and vote. Please remind them that a vote for Prop 8 is not just a vote against equal treatment under the law, it is a vote against the principles of rule of law, balance of powers, and individual freedoms that this country purports to hold dear.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for voting.

Love, Masscooper

Get your free bumper sticker today.
http://action.aclu.org/bumper_sticker
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