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FORD
03-05-2004, 10:46 PM
http://www.komotv.com/stories/30155.htm

'Mr. President, Please Come Spend A Day With Us'

March 5, 2004

By Michelle Esteban

SEATTLE - A gay Seattle man says the president trashed his family when he said same-sex marriages should be banned.

Steve Davis says instead of getting mad, he wrote to the president and invited him to spend a day with his family.

His letter is getting global attention:

"Dear Mr. President."

Steve Davis was compelled to write to the president. Not only to tell him how he feels, but to show him. "So I invite you, Laura and your daughters to spend a day with my family," says Davis.

After Bush proposed a constitutional amendment that would ban same sex marriages, Steve Davis took it personally.

"When the President gets up in front of the country and says things that will make my son, our child, feel his family is less valuable, as far as I'm concerned you just don't mess with my kid."

"Spend a day with our energetic and cheerful 7-year-old son, Ben," reads Steve.

Steve and Bob, his life partner of 24 years, feel good about their lives, the home they've built and the contributions they're making. Steve is the CEO of Corbis, a digital media company. Bob is a school teacher.

Their 7-year-old has his own opinion.

"He just says why would anybody say that he says all families are different and all families are cool?" says Bob.

If the president came to visit, Steve says Mr. Bush would see a family. "What did Ben do today? Complained about piano. So piano lessons in the next hour or so?" he said.

A typical day? Work, school, who makes dinner, what's in the mail and who's taking Ben to piano practice.

"See you later, have a good piano practice," says Steve.

He thinks the president is afraid of him and his choices and feels discriminated against. "People hate for silly reasons," he writes.

Steve's letter has taken on a life of its own. He emailed it to 20 friends, but now it's made the rounds and it's been read worldwide. He gets about 200 e-mails a day and he's up to about 1,500 letters, mostly positive.

"Mr. President...explain to this same sex household just what family values you are defending for the future of America," the letter continues.

He doesn't really expect the President to read his letter, but that's OK, everyone else has.

The Full Text Of The Letter:

Here is the full letter Steve Davis sent to President Bush:


February 24, 2004
President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. President,

I could not avoid you tonight as your support for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage blared throughout the airport lounge via CNN. As I listened to your confusing messages about family and values and politics, I shared sadness with my fellow travelers about your continuing fear-driven approach to leadership. Your defense of traditional marriage rang hollow; rather, it was a poor endorsement for discrimination, ignorance and your conservative political base.

Uncharacteristically, I decided not to be angry, offended or cynical. Rather, I desperately want to understand you and your allies on this issue, and take the high road in that engagement.

So I invite you, Laura and your daughters to spend a day with my family and explain why you are championing such a cause.

Spend a day with my life partner of 24 years who is one of the most remarkable human beings you'll ever have the privilege of meeting. A public school teacher, Bob has spent his life inspiring students and parents alike with his commitment to a values-laden and creative approach to learning, serving as a strong life-changing role model for countless young at-risk city kids over the years.

Spend a day with our energetic and cheerful seven year-old son Ben. Ben will treat you to an active day full of homework, piano lessons, lego projects, friends, chores, soccer and baseball. Fully steeped in the values of love, sharing, friendship and learning, Ben is immensely proud of his two adoring and engaged parents, and wonderfully enriched by a diverse and supportive neighborhood.

Spend a day with our extraordinary community of friends and neighbors, who reflect the America of today and the future - mixed in race, language, background, family structures and ideas - but united in their deep commitment to our children, to creating a better future, to loving our country and to enjoying the richness of life.

Spend a day with our extended family that has supported us with unconditional love through good times and bad. Our parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews spread around the country form the foundation of our world. Over the years we have celebrated countless joyous holidays and celebrations together, as well as helping them in endless ways through illnesses, financial problems, divorces, and other family dramas.

Spend a day with us as we engage in our community as a family and as individuals, as we actively volunteer at Ben's school, as we have headed up the local United Way, and as we have worked tirelessly with many community organizations to improve the lives of our less-fortunate neighbors. Come join us as we sing and pray in church together.

Spend the day with me as the CEO of a fast-growing global digital media company who understands the economic interests of supporting stable communities and families, who must create a vibrant 21st century inclusive workforce through rigorous recruiting and non-discriminatory practices, and who is forever seeking that elusive family-life-work balance.

Spend the day with us as we explain to our son, his friends and cousins, why the world can be a fragile place where people do bad things out of ignorance and fear, where people hate people for silly reasons, where leaders abuse power for political gain at the expense of innocent folks, and where people waste enormous emotion and energy on side issues when domestic and child abuse, poverty, racism, divorce and inadequate health care - the issues truly threatening the American family - go unattended.

Mr. President, please come spend a day with us. And then, over our evening family meal, after we have given our nightly thanks to our loving and hate-free God, explain to this same-sex household just what family values you are defending for the future of America.

Sincerely,
Steve Davis
Seattle, Washington