Statement Of Mark Pelavin Associate Director, Religious Action Center Of Reform Judaism On The Decision Of The Circuit Court Of Hawaii To Recognize Same-Sex Marriages
December 3, 1996- We commend the Circuit Court of the First Circuit of Hawaii forrecognizing that it is the right of all individuals, regardless of sexualorientation, to enter into governmentally recognized unions. Thishistoric decision affirms a fundamental tenet of all religious faiths --that every human being, regardless of sexual orientation, is emblazonedwith the stamp of the divine. The love that God calls us to, the lovethat binds two people together in a loving and devoted commitment, isaccessible to all of God's children. Gay and lesbian couples should havethe legal right, as heterosexual couples do, to form such lastingpartnerships.
This decision also marks an important day in the history of civil rights.Twenty years from now, after same-sex marriage has been legalized on abroader scale, we will see this moment as a turning point for acceptanceof gays and lesbians. We are confident that the decision to legallyrecognize same-sex marriages will be a positive step towards the publicand political acceptance of gays and lesbians, and hope that other stateswill use the example set by Hawaii to enact their own legislation. Onlythen will public leaders endorse what we as people of faith have longknown, that we are all -- gay, lesbian and straight -- created betselemelohim, in the divine image.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office ofthe Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference ofAmerican Rabbis representing 1.5 million Reform Jews and 1800 Reformrabbis in more than 850 congregations throughout North America.