PS. Fantastic surname or what?
A letter to the editor
Dear Editor: As a representative of the biblical tradition that has been often cited as being antithetical to homosexuality and understandably so I would like to provide this viewpoint of a religious leader who believes that our historical approach to this issue must give way to an even greater truth that we find in Scripture.
A fundamental value of the Bible is that each and every member of the human family is made in the image of God. We learn this from the first chapter of the book of Genesis [Genesis 1:27]: "God created humanity in God's image; in the image of God, God created them; male and female God created them." That includes the estimated 3 percent to 10 percent of Wisconsin citizens who are homosexual.
And so, if we believe that all people are made in the image of God, and, therefore, that each member of the human family reflects the goodness of the Eternal One, then we must act accordingly toward each person. Each individual is inherently valuable, and in this spirit, we must embrace our human diversity, and demand equality for all.
This problematic constitutional amendment would permanently deny equal rights to Wisconsin's lesbian and gay couples, people who have dedicated their lives to one another in love. As we know, a marriage license extends over 1,000 federally granted rights and benefits, and close to 200 state-granted entitlements. Denying these important legal protections, which is the practical result of this proposal, will hurt real families who live in every part of our state.
I have worked with gay and lesbian individuals, couples and families, and I know firsthand of the rights that they have been denied because of their sexual orientation. Our society has, sadly, habitually refused to recognize the emotional ties that bind together members of the same gender, simply because they are of the same gender. And this discrimination whether on the individual or official level is just wrong.
There are, thankfully, many religious leaders standing up to the bigotry inherent in this proposal, and I wish us all success in helping to defeat it in November.
Rabbi Jonathan Biatch
Temple Beth El