September 16, 2014 · 21 Elul

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Reform Jewish Movement Applauds California Assembly Ruling on Same Sex Marriage
In response to yesterday’s vote by the California Assembly legalizing same sex marriage, Rabbi Michael Berk, Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Pacific Central West Council, and Rabbi Alan Henkin, Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Pacific Southwest Council, issued the following statement noting, "The Reform Jewish Movement has long been committed to welcoming gay and lesbian Jews into our congregations, synagogues and communal life… The Assembly’s vote is a powerful and necessary declaration that people should not be excluded from the institution of marriage and related benefits based on their sexual orientation."

Rabbis Berk and Henkin: The Reform Jewish Movement has long been committed to welcoming gay and lesbian Jews into our congregations, synagogues and communal life… The Assembly’s vote is a powerful and necessary declaration that people should not be excluded from the institution of marriage and related benefits based on their sexual orientation.

Contact: Alexis Rice or Jennifer Gubitz: 202.387.2800

Washington, September 7, 2005 - In response to yesterday’s vote by the California Assembly legalizing same sex marriage, Rabbi Michael Berk, Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Pacific Central West Council, and Rabbi Alan Henkin, Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Pacific Southwest Council, issued the following statement:

Yesterday’s vote by the California Assembly is a monumental stride toward ensuring and ultimately protecting the gay and lesbian community’s right to share in the same personal and legal privileges of civil marriage afforded heterosexual Americans. “The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act” amends the California Family Code to define marriage as “a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between two persons,” instead of between a man and a woman.  This new classification will permit access for same sex couples to over eleven hundred rights, protections, and responsibilities afforded to heterosexual couples.

The California Assembly’s decision reflects the notion that the United States was established with the important belief that all people are equal under the law.  To that end, we must continue to remain steadfast in our intolerance of laws and regulations that do not reflect that equality.  To allow only heterosexual couples the legal protection through marriage relegates the gay and lesbian population to second class citizenship.  As the California Assembly’s vote makes clear, gays and lesbians should enjoy the same fundamental civil marriage rights all other Americans enjoy.  The Assembly’s vote is a powerful and necessary declaration that people should not be excluded from the institution of marriage and related benefits based on their sexual orientation.

The Reform Jewish Movement has long been committed to welcoming gay and lesbian Jews into our congregations, synagogues and communal life and staunchly supports legislative efforts to grant equal opportunity through same sex marriage for the gay and lesbian community.

We applaud the California Assembly’s landmark decision and strongly encourage Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to quickly sign this bill into law and allow gay and lesbian couples to enjoy the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage.

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The Union for Reform Judaism (formerly the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) is the central body of Reform Judaism in North America, uniting 1.5 million Reform Jews in more than 900 synagogues. Union services include camps, music and book publishing, outreach to unaffiliated and intermarried Jews, educational programs, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, DC.

 



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