Wisconsin governor’s veto applaudable

Last week, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed a redundant law by the Legislature that stated marriage is solely a union between a man and a woman. Such laws, which are a current legislative fad, are hateful political attacks on a minority group. We applaud Doyle’s compassionate and rational decision and take this opportunity to support civil unions between homosexuals.

We also explicitly ask no faith, denomination or church to recognize homosexual civil unions or gay marriages, for only their beliefs and consciences can guide them in such a matter.

This is an issue of equality before the law. Allowing homosexual civil unions extends basic civil and human rights to parts of the population currently denied those rights. Civil unions extend benefits to homosexual couples that their more traditional counterparts take for granted, including dependant health benefits, certain life insurance benefits, intestate survivor rights, loss of society and companionship damages in wrongful death suits, property rights similar to marital property rights and access to legal dissolution of the union. Finally, civil unions give all people the right to commit their lives to each other before the state.

To refuse such benefits is to discriminate. For a state to do so against a group of people, it must serve a valid, or at times compelling, societal good. That discrimination should go no further than the situation requires.

State-sanctioned discrimination against homosexuals has gone too far for too long and serves no valid societal good. Furthermore, bills such as the one in Wisconsin, a state that already defines marriage as a contract between a husband and a wife, are redundant and used solely to divide a population and insult a minority.

We hope this recent fad will end and states will put aside past prejudices and recognize homosexual civil unions.