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Friday, October 20, 2006

Quakers state view on Constitutional Marriage Amendment
(Letter to the Editor- Vernon County Broadcaster, 10/17/06)
By DAVE CHAKOIAN

(PHOTO: Greater Boston PFLAG)


On November’s ballot, Wisconsin will vote on a constitutional ban on same-gender marriages. We of the Religious Society of Friends believe the movement to isolate and scapegoat homosexuals, to promote hatred against them and to impose in law one group’s religious beliefs on us all, is blatantly immoral and contrary to Jesus’ teachings.

With half of marriages ending in divorce, unquestionably the right thing to do is to strengthen marriages. But diverting the question to whether two people of the same sex can have legal rights together, completely loses track of the problem of frail marriages. It is marriages between “one man and one woman” that are having trouble; it is violence within the home, a lack of deep commitment and promiscuity with other heterosexuals that threatens traditional marriage. Heterosexual marriages are not threatened by homosexuals, especially by those gays and lesbians in committed, stable, monogamous relationships - those who would be most targeted by this law.

The proposed constitutional amendment really has nothing to do with marriage; it is a thinly veiled attack on gays and lesbians, part of a pattern of discrimination and institutionalized hatred. They are currently the favorite target to be slandered by our country’s hate groups. By focusing on gays as the “cause” of our society’s troubles, the promoters of intolerance keep the public’s attention away from their own shortcomings. It is a strategy of power practiced by would-be tyrants throughout history.

Some have portrayed persecution and hatred of gays as a Christian thing to do. We can find nowhere that Jesus said anything about homosexuality. Nor did Jesus ever suggest encoding Christian teachings into a Sharia-like law to force religious beliefs on society. The only people Jesus ever spoke against, in fact, were the priests, scribes, and pharisees - those religious leaders who spoke righteous words but put their own power above the well-being of others. Otherwise, he spoke only with love and compassion.

We believe that God loves us all equally, and that we are called to treat each other with the same love in which God created us. We have no need to hate, or to discriminate against, any group for any reason. It is simply not Christian to do so.

David Chakoian, Clerk
Kickapoo Valley Monthly Meeting,
Religious Society of Friends (Quaker)

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