Rabbi Saperstein: "We oppose DOMA because of our unequivocal support for equal rights for all people, including the right to a civil marriage license, reflecting our understanding that the stamp of the Divine is present in each and every human being."
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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 18, 2012 -- In response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit striking down the "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA) as unconstitutional, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
"We commend the Second Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in Windsor vs. The United States, striking down the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. The Act's provisions denying federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples is an affront to the values of justice and freedom to which our nation is committed. In doing so, this court joins the First Circuit Court of Appeals and numerous District Courts in holding that DOMA unconstitutionally and unfairly relegates same-sex couples to a different, lesser status under the law. Today's ruling also took the historic step of applying to DOMA the standard of heightened scrutiny, the same standard traditionally used to evaluate legislation that, for example, potentially discriminates against women.
The Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Women of Reform Judaism joined an amicus brief, spearheaded by the Anti-Defamation League, in support of Edith Windsor. We oppose DOMA because of our unequivocal support for equal rights for all people, including the right to a civil marriage license, reflecting our understanding that the stamp of the Divine is present in each and every human being.
We recognize from our experiences as a people and as advocates for social justice the importance of fighting unjust and discriminatory laws, and enthusiastically endorse this ruling.
This is a vital moment in the struggle toward marriage equality nationwide, a struggle in which the Reform Jewish Movement continues to be a proud participant."