Promoted from the diaries by Rosi
To Blue Jersey, yes I posted a diary going all Keith Olbermann on Sean Kean before , but this letter is a little more polite because it is also the one I plan on sending to his office. I encourage all in the 11th district that care about equality to do the same. I also encourage anyone on Facebook who wants to see Kean lose his seat in 2011 to become a fan of the following page, Unseat Sean Kean (and Jennifer Beck).
Dear Senator Kean,
I’ve written, called, and emailed you several times over the duration of the marriage equality campaign as it’s an issue that matters to me, even as a single straight woman. During this campaign, I put aside my own partisanship as a Democrat and was willing to open my mind and vote for you in 2011, thus voting for a Republican for the first time in my life. I was even willing to send you a campaign contribution. This is not true anymore.
You spoke on the Senate floor about how the LGBT community increased property values, and drives tourism to your district. Your no vote on Thursday actually decreased tourism to your district. By allowing the LGBT community to get married, your district would have benefited from the many same-sex beach weddings that people from New Jersey and New York (a state which rejected marriage equality yet recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states). Many people spend more on a wedding these days than they do on a vehicle. Think of all the small businesses in your district, such as caterers, banquet halls, florists, bakeries, hotels, bed and breakfasts, tuxedo rental shops, wedding dress shops, salons, limousine companies, etc. that could use the revenue especially on these economic times. Think of it as an economic stimulus without the government spending a dime. All you had to do was to vote yes and allow same-sex couples to get married civilly (the bill provided for religions to refuse same-sex couples the right to get married in that house of worship, just as they already do for heterosexual couples.) Yet you did not, you put your personal beliefs ahead of what was best for your constituents and the communities that you represent.
You’re Catholic. I know the Catholic Church’s stance on marriage equality (they oppose it). You also have a law degree, and any constitutional law class (such as the one I just finished) will discuss the separation of church and state. Civil marriage is a very different institution than religious marriage. The Catholic Church would not be harmed by allowing homosexual couples to marry civilly, as they would have the right not to perform that marriage. As a legislator, you are elected to represent your constituents (think of Asbury Park and Ocean Grove), not the Catholic Church.
You also call yourself a Republican. Your party is traditionally conservative. Lately all one has to do is turn on a cable news channel and within five minutes will hear a Republican saying that he or she wants “big government out of our lives.” Voting against this bill just inserted big government into the lives of many of your constituents. Do you really want big government telling them how they can live their lives? Your no vote on Thursday told your constituents that you do.
I really hope that if this issue ever comes to a vote again that you would reconsider your vote, and talk to members of your own party (including the Governor-Elect) about how this issue affects many of your constituents. One thing that I can tell you is that you will face an uphill battle for re-election come November 2011 as you did not represent us.
Caroline Lastname, aka tabbycat31