Jewish Leaders Voice Their Opinion Against the Ban

We’ve long had the backing of numerous faith leaders, congregations, and synods including three regional synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the statewide United Methodist Conference. Our education efforts include a lot of faith outreach, and by working with organizations like Christians for Equality, we continue to hear from more and more faith communities and leaders who oppose the ban.

Yesterday, eight members of Madison’s Jewish community, including leaders of Madison’s three synagogues, the Madison Jewish Community Council, and Hillel Foundation at the University of Wisconsin shared the reasons why they oppose the ban in a letter to the editor of The Capital Times.
Our Jewish values impel us to create a society that is democratic, pluralistic and just. This amendment, however, does just the opposite and promotes hatred. As religious people, we cannot be silent. The amendment denies equal rights to a historically persecuted group and relegates them to second-class status. Under federal law, over 1,000 rights, responsibilities and privileges accrue to married couples and their families. The history of the Jewish people compels us to vigorously oppose any attempt to limit the rights of a minority, and this amendment clearly is intended to do just that.

Moreover, with the amendment's preventing the state from recognizing "substantially similar" relationships like civil unions and domestic partnerships, same-sex couples will be denied critical legal protections and rights they currently enjoy or might enjoy in the future from their employers. This will hurt real families who live in every part of our state.

Proponents inform us that it will be the courts that will decide what "substantially similar" means. Yet, it is those same proponents who claim that the purpose of the amendment is to stop "activist judges" from defining marriage. Either they are being hypocritical with respect to the role that they want or don't want the courts to play, or they are being untruthful. Perhaps they are being both.

Many, though not all, of us recognize the religious status of same-sex marriage. However, this amendment seeks to ban civil marriage for same-sex couples, which is an entirely different matter. It is not for the state to define for religions what is or is not permissible.
Read the full letter here.

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A Fair Wisconsin Votes No
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