State Rep. Greg Harris, (D) 13th District, released the following letter to President Barack Obama regarding the motion filed by the Department of Justice in the matter of Smelt and Hammer versus the United States of America and the State of California. Harris shared the letter on his Facebook page. We reproduce it here with his permission.
Dear Mr. President,
I am writing to express my profound disappointment at the tone and content of the motion filed by the Department of Justice in the matter of Smelt and Hammer versus the United States of America and the State of California. While I understand that the Department of Justice had an obligation to respond to the Court, the arguments they used in their response are profoundly disturbing to me and the people that I represent.
Our Nation has become one of the greatest countries on the face of the earth because of our embrace of freedom, liberty and justice for all our citizens. Some of the proudest moments in the history of America have been when we have overturned and put aside “centuries old,” “historical” and “traditional” ways of our forebears, recognizing them as discriminatory, oppressive and contrary to the founding principles of our country. The abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, interracial marriage and integration of our public schools immediately leap to mind as “centuries old,” “historical” and “traditional” ways of doing things that our People are glad to see the end of, and in fact are proud to have done away with.
The arguments put forth in the motion regarding taxpayers subsidizing a form of marriage they don’t recognize is also appalling to me. To imply that the United States has a federal duty to protect those who wish to discriminate against lesbian and gay citizens is a very dangerous precedent for our Nation.
I could go on through the entire text of this motion, but I will not. Suffice it to say that when your administration had an opportunity to reach out and embrace “liberty and justice for all,” they chose instead to give encouragement to those who wish to hold back the evolution of liberty and freedom in our Nation.
Very truly yours,
Gregory S. Harris
Representative, 13th District