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06/20/2007

Things that make us go 'Oy!'

by Jeremy Hooper

JordanaFour national Orthodox Jewish organizations -- Agudath Israel Of America, National Council Of Young Israel, Rabbinical Council Of America, Union Of Orthodox Jewish Congregations Of America -- have issued the following statement in reaction to the NYS Assembly's passage of gay marriage legislation:

On the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage, the Orthodox Jewish world speaks with one voice, loud and clear:

We oppose the redefinition of the bedrock relationship of the human family.

We approach this issue through the prism of the Jewish religious tradition, which forbids homosexual acts, and sanctions only the union of a man and a woman in matrimony.

The institution of marriage is central to the formation of a healthy society and the raising of children. It is our sincere conviction that discarding the historical definition of marriage would pose a severe danger to society in a variety of ways. Thus, we are compelled to protest the proposed redefinition of marriage for the State of New York.

Moreover, we are deeply concerned that, should any such redefinition occur, citizens of New York who are members of traditional communities like ours will incur moral opprobrium and may risk legal sanction if they refuse to transgress their beliefs. That prospect is chilling, and should be unacceptable.

Society's mores may shift and crumble but eternal verities exist. One is marriage. Its sanctity must be recognized and its integrity preserved.

Fortunately for them, the proposed marriage-legalizing measure approaches this issue through the prism of civil governance, not religious tradition. Even now, these rabbis have every right to deny a marriage ceremony to anyone they choose on the sole basis of their faith convictions. So essentially, these potential marriages have about as much bearing on their "eternal verities" and the enforcement thereof, as do civic laws that currently allow Orthodox Jews to marry Gentiles. If these groups are opposed to that interfaith concept, then that is totally kosher -- THEY ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE! The same exact thing goes for civil gay marriage.

Although we will continue to hold out hope that you will change your outlooks, bubbalahs. After all, you kids should like our weddings, as we too tend to dance solely with those of our own gender!

Joint Statement by Four National Orthodox Jewish Organizations on NYS Gay Marriage Legislation [Jewish Action]

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Your thoughts

It would be nice if they would expound on the variety of ways that gay marriage would pose a severe danger to society. I'd be interested to know in just what ways giving my relationship legal recognition would endanger anyone or anything. They act like we're weapons of mass destruction.

Posted by: Jessica | Jun 20, 2007 1:46:43 PM

I would think that the orthodox jewish community would be hesitant to encourage civil legislation based upon religious tradition. I don't think there are many states where the majority would have religious traditions that are particularly favorable to orthodox jews.

Posted by: Timothy | Jun 20, 2007 3:11:35 PM

I have to agree with Jessica. I have yet to hear a listing of what the actual harm would be.

BTw, I watched last nights debate on the Assmebly fllor online. The angriest I got was when a NYC Orthodox Jew suggested that we should just go the whole way and add incest to the bill. I couldn't help but think about how during the Holocaust, Jews and homosexuals where marched to the concentration camps and killed.

Posted by: Donald | Jun 20, 2007 10:57:52 PM

You're right Donald. But when the allied forces liberated the Jews from the concentration camps they did not free the homosexuals. I'm sure the "pro-family" types would like to see us still there!

Posted by: Jessica | Jun 21, 2007 1:51:53 PM

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