Reform Jewish Movement Expresses Dismay Over Introduction of Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment
Pelavin: "The proposed "Federal Marriage Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution unveiled today would defile the Constitution, enshrining homophia and intolerance in a document which protects the rights of all Americans."
Contact: Alexis Rice or Rachel Orkand (202) 387-2800
WASHINGTON, July 12, 2001 - In response to the proposal today by numerous conservative groups of a Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that seeks to define marriage as only the union between a man and a woman, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following response. The complete text of their letter follows:
The proposed "Federal Marriage Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution unveiled today would defile the Constitution, enshrining homophobia and intolerance in a document which protects the rights of all Americans. We believe as a fundamental tenant of our faith that all human beings are created b'tselem Elohim (in the Divine image), as it says in Genesis 1:27, "And God created humans in God's own image, in the image of God, God created them; male and female God created them." Over and above the legal issues, we find it difficult to understand why some feel threatened by the loving and committed relationships of gay and lesbian couples throughout the United States. As others today seek to increase the chasm between individuals within this great country, we seek to recommit ourselves to ensuring that no one-whether male, female, straight, or gay-be excluded from right to establish and maintain lasting and loving partnerships. The proponents of this offensive Amendment are right to point to the need to strengthen America's family, but we believe that loving and committed family relationship for gay men and lesbians are part of the solution, not part of the problem.
We understand how controversial marriage between same-sex couples is in the eyes of some; but how can a committed relationship between two individuals be constitutionally wrong? How can two loving adults coming together to form a family harm family values? Are America's families and marriages and communities so fragile and shallow that they are threatened by the love between two adults of the same sex?
We are confident that this Amendment will find little support among the American public, and commit ourselves to work against its ratification.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), whose 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) whose membership includes over 1700 Reform rabbis.