Reform Jewish Leader Responds to New York Court of Appeals Ruling on Same Sex Marriage
Saperstein: The Court’s ruling is an opportunity for the state legislature to ensure the right to civil marriage via legislation and we call on its members to do so.
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Washington, DC, July 6, 2006 – In response to today’s ruling by the New York Court of Appeals, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
As amici on the plaintiff’s behalf, we are deeply disappointed by this morning’s ruling from the New York State Court of Appeals, which rejected the plaintiff’s efforts to ensure the right of gay and lesbian Americans to civil marriage. The Reform Jewish Movement has long sought to ensure equality for all of God’s children, regardless of sexual orientation. As Jews, we are taught in the very beginning of the Torah that God created humans B’tselem Elohim, in the Divine Image, and therefore the diversity of creation represents the vastness of the Eternal (Genesis 1:27). We oppose discrimination against all individuals, including gays and lesbians, for the stamp of the Divine is present in each and every human being.
The court’s ruling is an opportunity for the state legislature to ensure the right to civil marriage via legislation and we call on its members to do so. Americans of all sexual orientations should be allowed the rights, privileges, joys and responsibilities of marriage. The continued denial of the right to civil marriage for gays and lesbians denigrates those faiths that celebrate the unions of loving same-sex couples and, as a matter of religious principle, consider such partnerships worthy of not only blessing, but of affirmation by civil authorities.
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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.