The Honorable John Glenn
United States Senate
Washington D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Glenn:
You inspire us with the excellence apparent in your high profile accomplishments. Your "first" in space was most dramatic. But many of us value more the ongoing benefits of your wisdom and sensitivity in legislative matters. We hope that will not be obscured by your second dramatic "first" in space in October.
You probably give little thought to the affinity felt by your contemporaries, who have vicariously shared your victories over decades and who feel special pride in what you represent. We add our voices to that of President Clinton in his State of the Union address God speed, John Glenn.
But your contemporaries seek even more.
Since you and I were toddlers it has been our hope that Equal Justice Under Law might become more than a slogan above the U.S. Supreme Court entrance. For that reason an amendment to the Constitution was proposed seventy five years ago. It stated simply:
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Reasonable people believe that guarantee of constitutional protection for every citizen is essential for a valid democracy. However, that amendment was kept bottled up in congressional committees for 49 years before being sent to the states for ratification in 1972. You know the history of the struggle to obtain ratification by the necessary 38 states. We hope you also know that resolutions presently before both houses of Congress have been denied press coverage; hence, are unknown to the general public. As the Fiftieth Anniversary of the International Declaration of Human Rights approaches, what can be more appropriate than for respected leaders to further the cause of human rights by acquainting the populace with those 24 words that will enable every citizen (women and men, girls and boys) to go into the XXI century proud that, at last, we have equality of rights under the law.
We need your voice, as a renowned leader, who can't be ignored by media, to bring to the public knowledge of the existence of current legislation and the text of this human rights amendment to the U.S. constitution not be withheld from a deserving populace.
We long to say that while our John Glenn's head was above the clouds his heart was with the human family. Could there be a greater gift than Equal Justice Under Law for every American? How we would love knowing that our contemporary, who has no need for greater acclaim, so loved his human siblings that he ensured the gift of true democracy for every one of us. It's enough to make a guy Man Of The Century.
I can think of no more effective antidote to the demoralizing pundits who negate human expectations than assurance from the nation's most revered explorer/scientist/legislator that Equal Justice Under Law is everybody's issue, that every citizen should become acquainted with the 24 words that will align us with the United Nations Charter and the Declaration of Human Rights.