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Reform Jewish Movement Urges Members of Congress to Vote Against the Federal Marriage Amendment
In anticipation of the upcoming vote in the House of Representatives on the Federal Marriage Amendment, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement calling on members of Congress to oppose the amendment.

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Saperstein: This amendment is plainly about discrimination and homophobia, and as Jews we cannot allow prejudice and intolerance to be canonized in our nation's laws.

WASHINGTON, September 28, 2004 - In anticipation of the upcoming vote in the House of Representatives on the Federal Marriage Amendment, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement calling on members of Congress to oppose the amendment:

    The Reform Jewish Movement strongly condemns the Federal Marriage Amendment and urges members of Congress to vote against the amendment and express their opposition to enshrining discrimination in our Constitution. At a time when our national security is threatened, when millions of Americans cannot afford health care and when millions more are sending their children to broken schools, we deplore this attempt to drive a political wedge between our nation's citizens. The remaining days of this Congressional session are few. To spend any amount of time on this divisive amendment is a gross misconception of our nation's priorities.

    The passage of this amendment would threaten the ability of individual religious denominations to decide for themselves which relationships are worthy of sanctification. And just as the amendment itself shows insensitivity to the diversity of religious traditions in the U.S., the fact that this vote has been scheduled to take place during the first day of Sukkot, a Jewish holy day, shows similar insensitivity to the religious faith of millions of Americans. This amendment would undermine the right, guaranteed by the First Amendment, and held sacred by all people of faith, to practice religion free from government coercion.

    This amendment is not about protecting children and families. Expanding equal marriage rights and benefits to loving and committed gay and lesbian couples can only strengthen America's families. Instead, this amendment is plainly about discrimination and homophobia, and as Jews we cannot allow prejudice and intolerance to be canonized in our nation's laws.

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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(CCAR) whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.



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