To the Editor:
An Open Letter To The Honorable Judge Robert J. Shelby,
It’s Christmas Eve morning and I just read a tiny article in today’s Killeen Daily Herald: “Judge allows gay marriage in Utah to continue.”
I’m stopping to write a big THANK YOU to you!
If I were in Salt Lake City right now, I’d be holding a sign on the street corner hailing you as a champion for justice and equality, with the words: “Thank You to Federal Judge Shelby, a man of courage.” No matter what happens to your ruling, you stood for justice and equality. Never doubt the difference your ruling made.
In Texas, we are denied the right to marry. We are denied equal respect under the law. We are thousands of second-class Texans paying first-class taxes, held to the same standards of state laws, while denied the rights and protections most Texans enjoy.
After 29 years together, my partner and I were finally married in Washington state in July, only to return to Central Texas where our marriage license means nothing. Yet according to federal law, we are indeed legally married.
As a public school teacher, I understand that love knows no color, or disability, or religion. What a miracle LOVE is! Conditions like age, status, power, or even gender, are NOT prerequisites to love. No barriers or state boundaries and legislative laws can control, minimize or exclude the love of committed same-sex couples and families. Love is love.
You understand this, Your Honor, and my hope for 2014 is that the good people of Texas will also understand and be courageous enough to bring equal justice to all its families and citizens, through the courts, the legislative process and by their vote.
It is time for Texas to follow federal law.