About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view anne226's profile
    Posted February 26, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Arizona's 'religious freedom' bill vetoed

    More from anne226

    Open Letter to Arizona Senator Al Melvin


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Anne Yates and her family left the United States six years ago, after a group of families with children enrolled in the same Catholic school as her sons asked that the boys be removed from the school because they had two mothers. "We ended up leaving the school because our children were told they were not allowed to discuss their family during school, and our children were being moved away from the others in the classroom," she said.

    While she is not a resident of Arizona, she was moved to write this letter to Arizona Senator Al Melvin, opposing an "anti-gay" bill that has now been vetoed. Yates told us, "I felt the need to write [this] letter because I see the level of religious persecution raising at an alarming rate. The laws at the federal level seem to be trying to protect, but the laws at the state levels are increasingly more and more harmful. I am tired of feeling like a second-class citizen as an American."

    Yates did not see what the bill would accomplish, citing it as more harmful than productive. "I worry that a passage of this law will be copied by many of the Bible Belt states," she said. She worried for the "thousands of gay youth that are struggling with their sexuality, trapped in these homophobic states. They are going to feel trapped."

    Read more about the vetoed bill on CNN.
    - Verybecoming, CNN iReport producer

    Dear Senator Melvin,


    I saw your interview with Anderson Cooper this morning. I wanted to reach out to you about the proposed bill that you are supporting. My wife and I adopted our 2 children from Ukraine and the Republic of Georgia. They were infants from orphanages, due to being abandoned at birth. They have grown into amazing young men, now 11 and 13. We have taught them to love ALL people without judgement of their race, religion, wealth class, or sexual orientation.


    Under your bill, if I walked into a restaurant in Arizona, you would be able to turn my family away. I don't think you fully understand the pain that you are inflicting on gays and lesbians. Why is it your "job" to try to punish us, "in the name of God".? Me feeding my children a hamburger does not take away a business owner's ability to love God, practice their faith, or serve the Lord. Allowing business owners to openly discriminate is the most un-Christian act that I have ever heard of.


    I assume you have a perfect family with no gay or lesbian members. Let's say for a moment that you had a grandchild come to you and told you that they were gay. Would you no longer be able to go out to dinner with your grandchild anymore? Would you no longer take your grandchild to the local coffee house to have a bite to eat, just to have some time to bond? The local coffee house would have the legal ability to turn you away, just because you are with a person who is gay.


    There are privately owned health clinics in Arizona. If I broke my arm and took went to this clinic, they would legally have the ability to turn me away. Giving a gay person a cast an attack on a doctor's religious freedom?


    I understand that you TRULY believe that religion is under attack by the LGBT community. It is not under attack. It has nothing to do with religion. It simply has to do with human rights. We are all human beings who have the innate ability to love. I would never CHOOSE to be a lesbian. I would never CHOOSE to live in a world that is filled with hatred and discrimination. My sexuality is not my choice. My sexuality is not unChristian. My sexuality is not a sin. My sexuality is just part of who I am, just like being left handed....it just HAPPENS. I assume you would never have a bill that allowed business owners to kick out left handed people. Why let them discriminate against someone who is gay?


    I hope that this email actually gets to you. It is sent with the utmost respect for you as a senator and someone who genuinely cares about the state they are representing. I hope it compels you to think before you start another example of hatred and law supported bigotry.


    Kind Regards,
    Anne Y-L
    Calgary, Alberta
    A U.S.. Citizen, living in Canada to protect our family from hatred.

    Add your Story Add your Story