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To a mayor from a mayor in exile

J.W. Lown is the former mayor of San Angelo, Texas. Earlier this year he was forced to choose between his home and the community that had just re-elected him as mayor, and his partner. He now lives in exile in Mexico because his relationship with his same-sex partner is not recognized under US immigration law. US family reunification law does not yet include gay and lesbian families – something groups such as Immigration Equality are working hard to change via the comprehensive immigration reform bill expected in 2010.
Mr. Lown wrote this moving letter to the Mayor of Mexico City from his home in exile, as Mexico City considers granting equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Lic. Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubon
Head of Government of the Federal District
Plaza de la Constitucion No. 1, 4to piso
Centro Historico, C.P. 06068
Delegacion Cuauhtemoc, D.F.
Mexico

Reference: 03122009/BS

Subject: Support the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the Federal District

Estimado Mr. Ebrard Casaubon,

I write to you as a Mexican citizen, as an American citizen, as a former mayor, and as a concerned individual.

It has come to my attention that the Mexico City Legislature will soon consider an initiative introduced by Mr. David Razu, legalizing marriage between people of the same sex in the Federal District.

I write to you as a Mexican citizen beginning a life with my partner in Mexico. I write to you as an American citizen that had to leave my home in Texas in order to legally live with my loved one. I write to you as a former mayor who understands the importance of equal treatment of all under the law.

The struggle for equal protection under the law is a very real cause for me, my partner and countless other same sex couples. We seek a just civil society that respects our dignity as human beings, values our contributions as citizens, and grants us the same legal right to enjoy fully the equal rights to found a family. We should ask ourselves the question: What would we do for our families?

The legal abyss for same sex couples is real. We trust you will stand on the side of liberty for all and correct a legal injustice.

We hope a law to legalize marriage between same sex couples will receive your support. After all, what can an official truly hope for other than to leave one’s “pueblo” a little more just? I remain…

Respectfully yours,
Joseph W. Lown Booth Elizondo

cc. Dip. David Razu Aznar
Dip. María Alejandra Barrales Magdaleno

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2 comments on “To a mayor from a mayor in exile

  1. Lin McDevitt-Pugh
    December 8, 2009

    This is the message I sent to the Mayor:

    Lic. Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubon
    Jefe de Gobierno del Distrito Federal
    Plaza de la Constitución y 5 de Febrero, 1er. Piso, Oficina 103 Col. Centro, C.P. 06068 Del Cuauhtémoc, México, D.F.
    MEXICO
    mebrard@df.gob.mx

    8 December 2009

    Dear Mr Ebrard,

    Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Mr David Razu and learning of the initiative he has presented to the Mexico City legislature to make it possible for two people of the same sex to marry.

    With this letter I want to encourage you to do all that is in your power to have this initiative pass into law.

    Only in a few countries have brave governments taken on giving all their citizens the right to family life, something I regard as a basic human need. I have the honour of living in the first country in the world to accept that lesbian women and gay men are equal to all other citizens under the law and therefore should have the same right to form families. On May 4th 2001, in the presence of my family and friends, my partner and I promised to be present to the love in our relationship every day of our lives. 8 years later we are living this vow, grateful for the richness married life has afforded us.

    My wife is American and our relationship is not recognized in the United States. While we live as first class citizens in the Netherlands, in the United States we are legal strangers and, because I am Dutch, we are unable to live together in the United States. This is an outrage, yet thousands of US citizens find themselves being exiled from their own country because they cannot live there with their same sex, non-US partners.

    What your law will do will have a greater impact than simply making equal citizens of the gays and lesbians of Mexico City. You will send a message to the Federal government, to other countries in the region and to the world that the time for countries to treat their lesbian and gay citizens as anything less than equal before the law is past. Thank you for taking an extraordinary leadership in this.

    Yours sincerely

    Lin McDevitt-Pugh
    Interim Executive Director, ILGA – International Lesbian and Gay Association

    Cc:
    Dip. María Alejandra Barrales Magdaleno abarralesm@asambleadf.gob.mx

    Mr David Razu drazua@asambleadf.gob.mx

    Gloria Careaga careaga@servidor.unam.mx

  2. Pingback: The Marriage Metaphor – Why we should know the meaning behind words « LGBT IMMIGRATION STORIES

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This entry was posted on December 6, 2009 by in equal rights for families.

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