Bil Browning

Another one for us!!!!

Filed By Bil Browning | March 04, 2006 1:15 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, The Movement

I am proud to be a member of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America. This organization is the largest women's, largest Zionist, and largest Jewish membership organization in the United States, with over 300,000 members. In Israel, it supports medical care and research, education, and youth institutions, and reforestation and parks projects. In the US, Hadassah promotes health education, social action and advocacy, volunteerism, Jewish education and research, Young Judaea and connections with Israel.

Hadassah recently passed a resolution in support of rights of non-traditional partners, and also supports passage of legislation to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Below is the statement:

(New York, NY -- January 30, 2006) -- In keeping with its belief that discrimination based on race, religion, ethnic background or gender is immoral, Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, has taken a strong stand in support of partnership rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender relationships. At meetings held recently in Florida, the national board of Hadassah passed a resolution, which also supported the passage of state and federal civil rights legislation to protect against hate crimes and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The resolution, passed overwhelmingly by the 225 board members in attendance, stated: "Hadassah strongly opposes efforts at the federal and state level, whether through legislation, referendum or constitutional amendment, that would selectively limit or deny civil rights to same-sex couples and their families, thereby abusing the spirit of the amendment process and discouraging further expansion of gay rights.

"Hadassah believes that same-sex couples deserve equal protections under the law, comparable to those afforded to heterosexual couples. Therefore, Hadassah supports government action that provides civil status to committed same-sex couples and their families equal to the civil status provided to the committed relationships of men and women and their families, with all associated legal rights and obligations, both federal and state."

National President June Walker made the following statement after the resolution passed: "I am very proud of this board, which has once again demonstrated its compassion. Since this organization's inception, we have stood for the preservation of rights for all people and deeply abhor discrimination of any kind. We encourage our grass root membership around the country to work with their legislators to protect these rights. As Jews and women, we understand the dangers of bigotry."

Over the years, the national board has passed numerous policy statements and resolutions related to civil rights and social justice. For a full list of policy statements and resolutions pertaining to these issues, please consult the Hadassah website at:

As a Jewish woman and mother of a gay son, I believe strongly that the Jewish community support equal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people. The Jewish people know first-hand what discrimination is. It was very easy for Hitler to exterminate the Jews - he began by passing laws and issuing sanctions against Jewish shopkeepers, doctors, educators and students. He did it slowly and methodically and he had the full support of the citizens of Germany. I see a distinct parallel with the policies and laws that are being proposed in this country today. We cannot allow narrow-minded, bigoted legislators and citizens to take us down that road. Again, I am proud that Hadassah has taken this step to endorse full equality for our GLBT friends and family members!

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