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Reform Jewish Movement Calls for Greater Steps Toward Equality

Saperstein: “Discrimination against any person because of his or her sexual orientation is deplorable and we remain disappointed that our government continues to condone such unequal treatment.”

Contact: Kate Bigam or Jason Fenster
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 18, 2009 – In response to President Obama’s memorandum on Federal Benefits and Non-Discrimination, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We welcome today’s action by the Obama Administration to remove discrimination from the federal workplace. Gay federal employees are no less worthy of domestic partnership benefits than their heterosexual counterparts, and it is past time that progress is made toward equality.

Yet, despite today’s steps forward, today’s memorandum does not include coverage of health care benefits for the partners of federal employees and we find the policy wanting.  We are also in want of a clear indication from the Administration that earnest efforts are being made toward a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. And we continue to wait for gay and lesbian members of our armed services to be permitted to serve openly.

Discrimination against any person because of his or her sexual orientation is deplorable, and we remain disappointed that our government continues to condone such unequal treatment. President Obama’s memorandum is the first in a long series of needed reforms and we hope this Administration will strive to make true the American promise of liberty and justice for all.

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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 1,800 Reform rabbis.



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