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Reform Jewish Movement Urges Senate to Oppose Federal Marriage Amendment

Feldman: Religious institutions have the right to decide which partnerships they will and will not sanctify in their houses of worship. The government, however, should not codify the religious views of some…

Contact: Emily Kane or Jennifer Gubitz, 202.387.2800, news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 19, 2006 – Yesterday, in response to the Senate Judiciary Committee approval of the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, Rabbi Marla Feldman, Director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism issued the following statement:

The Reform Jewish Movement calls on Senators to oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment when it comes to the Senate floor in an expected early June vote. S.J. Res. 1 would permanently enshrine discrimination into the Constitution by defining marriage “as a union between a man and a woman,” and thus denying same-sex couples the same government rights and responsibilities afforded to heterosexual couples.
 
The Federal Marriage Amendment constitutionally fetters an entire community of Americans, relegating them to second class citizenship. Religious institutions have the right to decide which partnerships they will and will not sanctify in their houses of worship. The government, however, should not codify the religious views of some, nor should it deny equal rights to all of its citizens.
 
The Reform Jewish Movement, inspired by the teaching in Genesis that all human beings are created “b’tzelem Elohim” -- in the Divine image, has a long history of welcoming gay and lesbian Jews into its congregations and communal life. The Reform Jewish Movement’s advocacy on behalf of the GLBT community includes legislative and judicial efforts to secure equal rights and opportunity, including the right to marry.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.



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