Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Letter from Senator McCain

I love politics. I enjoy contacting my elected officials by email, phone, letters, etc. I want to participate in the governing process. I believe it is one of our most import responsibilities as citizens to do. We must do more than just vote. We must make sure that our elected officials know how we, as their constituents feel on the issues that matter most to us.

The tough part is I live in Arizona. I am happy to say that I live in a district where I actually feel the representation I have in the State Legislature is good. I am also very pleased with my Congressman, Ed Pastor.

Then you come to Senator Jon Kyl and Senator John McCain. I would say their representation lately couldn't be farther from my views. Although I know when I call their offices or write to them it is a long shot that they will be on my side, I do it anyway. You see, for me, these are the people it is most important I reach out to. I must continue to let them know I am here and they represent me.

I recently emailed Sen. McCain and asked him to support the Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). I know of two other constituents that support this - Cindy McCain and Meghan McCain. Since these two constituents are family and can't seem to sway him on this I know it's a long shot. Plus this is not the first time I have engaged the Senator on this issue. I have met with his D.C. staff in the past to discuss this issue on several occasions. I have also called his office and sent other emails on numerous occasions over the years.

Today I got a response from Sen. McCain.

Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 1:07 PM
To: Kathy Young
Subject: Correspondence from Senator McCain

June 15, 2011

        Dear Ms. Young:

        Thank you for contacting me to express your views on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). I appreciate hearing from you.

        Recently, I was saddened to learn that the Obama administration instructed the Department of Justice not to defend any legal challenges to DOMA. I believe, like most Americans, that the institution of marriage should be protected and defined as a union between a man and a woman. It is this definition and only this definition that acknowledges and supports the vital and unique roles played by mothers and fathers in the important job of raising children.

        For this reason, I do not support the dismantling of an institution that is the very foundation of our society, and replacing it with newer and more flexible understandings that are of questionable public value. I will continue to promote unions that have traditionally provided the basis for stable families and committed relationships.

        Again, thank you sharing your thoughts on this issue. You can be assured that I will keep your concerns in mind should any legislation pertaining to DOMA be considered by the full Senate. Please feel free to contact me in the future regarding this or any other issue of concern.


                                          John McCain
                                          United States Senator

There was no surprises in this response. Still hard to read. Still hurtful. In no way surprising.
In the future Senator McCain will get another email from me asking him to support the repeal of DOMA. It won't surprise him. It may annoy him that I didn't seem to hear his answer. 
Because the thing is it's his job to listen to me. It's my job to keep speaking to him. I will use different words and I will try different stories to convince him that recognizing my relationship has great public value instead of  something that to him is "of questionable public value." The point is, when my kids are old enough to understand the fight for equality and they ask me what I did to help protect my family, giving up will not be part of the story.


  1. I can imagine that would be hard to read. As a straight mother with a legally recognized marriage, it was still hard to hear. I'm sorry. I also think he is factually wrong about his statement regarding the way most American's feel about same-sex marriage. I don't think recent polling reflects that statement. Keep e-mailing him. I don't think it will help, but I'm proud of you for doing it, and your children will be too.

  2. You know: if he could explain, or even describe, how extending marriage to gay people "dismantled the institution", then his position wouldn't be quite so hard to tolerate.

    But, alas, as with most other older stuck-in-their-ways politicians, I'm afraid that--as sticky as it will get our karma--we're just going to have to wait for him to lose an election, die, or tweet pictures of his junk.

  3. It's obvious from the reading of this, that rather than whomever answers his mail taking into consideration your viewpoint & forwarding a message which directly reflected a response based upon your stance...that they opted instead to simply send a blanket statement letter. Keep writing though, as we can never let them feel as though we can, nor will be silenced by their nonsensical worries.

  4. Kristin, thanks for your support. You are right the polling data has moved to over 50% in support of marriage equality for the first time in history.

  5. Baylink, please God don't let him tweet pictures of his junk...

  6. ReeCee, you are absolutely right it is a form letter. I have some other friends that received the same thing. I will continue to bug the Senator :)

  7. Well, good for you for sending the letter! And his form letter is disappointing if not surprising. Apparently we gay people are gonna bring down civilization. Caveman.

    I am Canadian, happily married to my husband, and hey Senator McCain, the frigging world hasnt imploded yet...!

  8. Brahm, thanks for reading. My wife says at least once a month that we just need to move to Canada! Thanks so much for reading and leaving your comment.