Reform Jewish Movement Applauds Rabbinical Assembly's Same-Sex Marriage Guidelines
Rabbi David Saperstein: The Reform Movement's experience sanctifying same-sex marriage has made it absolutely clear that, like heterosexual couples, gay, bisexual, and lesbian men and women find happiness and strength in the holiness of their relationships.
Washington, D.C. June 4th, 2012 - In response to the Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards' approval of guidelines for performing same-sex marriages, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
"We welcome approval of guidelines for same-sex weddings by the Rabbinical Assembly, the rabbinic arm of the Conservative Movement. These guidelines are the first time that Conservative Judaism has provided materials for rabbis who officiate at such ceremonies and reflect practical support for the sanctification of same-sex marriages that the Movement sanctioned in 2006.
"This step forward by the Rabbinical Assembly is a recognition that we are all created b'tselem Elohim - in the image of the Divine - and as such are entitled to be treated with equal dignity and respect, including the right to marry someone whom we love. Marriage is, after all, among the most important relationships in life, as it is written in Ecclesiastes (4:9-12), 'Two are better off than one, in that they have greater benefit from their earnings. For should they fall, one can raise up the other; but woe betide him who is alone and falls with no companion to raise him. Further, when two lie together they are warm; but how can he who is alone get warm? Also, if one attacks, two can stand up to him.'
"The Reform Movement's experience sanctifying same-sex marriage has made it absolutely clear that, like heterosexual couples, gay, bisexual, and lesbian men and women find happiness and strength in the holiness of their relationships. That holiness is reflected in stronger ties to God and to their Jewish faith, both of which the Rabbinical Assembly has now helped further."