As people of faith and leaders of the Jewish community, we applaud your editorial advocating that Americans be able to serve in our military regardless of sexual orientation.

Expressions of patriotism and dedication to national service, not to mention participation in all facets of everyday life, should know no boundaries.

Jewish tradition teaches that all people are created in the image of God. As such, all human beings should be valued and respected, and their contributions to society honored.

While it is true that the Hebrew Bible condemned homosexual behavior, our Scripture did not understand what we know today about sexual orientation - that both heterosexuality and homosexuality are inherent, inborn traits, natural parts of the wide spectrum of human behavior. Accordingly, distinctions based on sexual orientation should never form barriers to military service.

We urge Congress to overturn the outdated and unjust policy known as "don't ask, don't tell" and welcome our LGBT brothers and sisters into the military family with open arms.

- Rabbi Jonathan Biatch and

Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, Madison

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