Reform Jewish Leader Reacts to President’s Endorsement of the Federal Marriage Amendment; Calls on Senate to “Overwhelmingly Reject” Amendment
Saperstein: From women’s suffrage, to civil rights, to today’s struggle to prevent discrimination against gays and lesbians, the history of the United States is marked by the expansion of rights under the Constitution - not their restriction.
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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 5, 2006 - In response to President Bush’s White House appeal for the Federal Marriage Amendment being considered this week by the Senate, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
In a country created on the basis of freedom and equal rights for all people, it is dismaying that for the second time in 2 years, the Senate is voting on an amendment that would codify discrimination in our Constitution. In a country created to protect the rights of all people, it is tragic that those who advocate on behalf of this amendment would codify in the Constitution the religious teachings of some rather than protect the religious freedoms of all. And in a country that has, since its creation, been a beacon of hope to which men, women, and children have come seeking liberty, we are troubled by an amendment which would limit rights and relegate a segment of Americans to second class citizenship.
The struggle for equality is the defining narrative of our nation. From women’s suffrage, to civil rights, to today’s struggle to prevent discrimination against gays and lesbians, the history of the United States is marked by the expansion of rights under the Constitution - not their restriction.
We are all God's children. We are all one people. Let us ensure that in this nation, none will ever again be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or religious conviction. We call on Senators to overwhelmingly reject this effort to enshrine homophobia, intolerance, and inequality in our Constitution and instead focus on legislation and policies that will foster healthy, loving, caring, and committed relationships and families.
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.