Do Ask! Do Tell!
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.
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…
Joseph W. Lown Booth Elizondo
cc. Dip. David Razu Aznar
Dip. María Alejandra Barrales Magdaleno