Tikkun Olam at Temple Beth Am

Connecting our congregation to social action opportunities

If Obama Will Put His Neck Out, Why Won’t You?

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Today, after many years of tip-toeing around the issue, President Obama finally endorsed marriage for same-sex couples, encouraged, perhaps, by his vice president and secretary of education’s bolder steps in that direction earlier this week, but more likely because he believes that supporting gay marriage is not only the right thing to do, but also smart politics, according to The Atlantic editor Steve Clemons.

So if he can do it, why can’t you?

Washingtonians will soon need to commit themselves one way or another, as opponents are moving to overturn the same-sex marriage law that was enacted by the state legislature earlier this year.  They are collecting signatures to put two separate measures on the ballot this fall that would effectively negate the law. We’ll know if they have enough signatures by early summer.

In the interim, the coalition supporting same-sex marriage in Washington state, which includes the active support of 23 synagogues and Jewish institutions, is asking supporters of the marriage law to match name-for-name the number of signatures opponents need to qualify those measures for the ballot.   We hope to gather at least 2,000 signatures from the Jewish community.

So please sign the cards, which are in a basket in the Temple foyer.  If you signed the previous petition in February, you may sign again.  Alternatively, you can sign an online petition, here.

So when you’re thinking your position on this issue, consider the impact of Obama’s simple action, as described so eloquently by New York Times columnist Frank Bruni:

“I find myself thinking about all the teenagers and young adults out there who cower in silence because they worry about being ostracized if they speak the truth about their sexual orientation. I think about the ones who are bullied, even the ones who contemplate taking their own lives.

And I think about what it will mean to them to hear the president say what he did today, not because they’re focused on marriage but because they’re buoyed by any and every reassurance that there’s nothing wrong with them, nothing inferior about them. Today their president gave them that reassurance.”

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