Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Think All Religions and Religious Leaders are Opposed to Same Sex Marriage – Think Again

Jewish Rabbis and Christian Churches Oppose Amendment in Minnesota to Ban Equality

[Editor’s note:  The Dismal Political Economist is Jewish, has been Jewish and expects to always be Jewish.  It’s his thing.]

If one listened only to the press one would get the impression that all religious leaders oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, and that it was only the heathen godless people in the country who wanted government to stay out of deciding which couples can get married and which cannot.  So it will come as a surprise to many that the idea of a monolithic religious opposition to marriage equality does not exist.

In Minnesota the issue has accomplished something that many people have thought to be impossible.  The issue has united non-Orthodox Jewish congregations, they are almost unanimously opposed to amending the Minnesota Constitution to prohibit same sex marriage.

The Minnesota Rabbinical Association, made up of 35 rabbis and 15 synagogues and groups representing the majority of the state's Jewish population, announced Monday they had signed the statement that was adopted on Jan. 18. Orthodox rabbis did not sign it.
The statement is the latest indication of the intense debate ahead of the vote on the marriage amendment in November.
The rabbis' statement says the amendment "seeks to continue the practice of leaving individual families within the LGBT community vulnerable and unprotected by the law. To honor an individual is to fight against discrimination in society for any reason, including race, religion, natural origin, gender, age or sexual orientation.
"Throughout history the Jewish community has faced discrimination, and therefore we will not stand by while others are targeted."
             Now anyone who has been associated with Jewish congregations (as this author has) knows that getting Jewish congregations to agree on anything is just about impossible.  So it is somewhat of a miracle (pun intended) that the rabbis and their congregations are united on this one issue.  Furthermore this is not confined to the Jewish community

One of the more recent examples involves the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, which passed a resolution in October at its annual convention opposing the marriage amendment. There are about 22,000 Episcopalians in Minnesota

As far as the Orthodox Jewish community is concerned, they have taken this position

"By definition an Orthodox Jewish congregation is in favor of defining marriage as the relationship of a man to a woman," said Rabbi Chaim Goldberger, with Kenesseth Israel Orthodox congregation in St. Louis Park. Goldberger estimates there are about 500 to 1,000 Orthodox Jewish families in Minnesota. He adds that his congregation doesn't plan to release statements in favor of the amendment, nor does he plan to address it during services.
"Our feeling is individuals need to vote their conscience and should vote as they see fit.

which actually is very close to the position of The Dismal Political Economist.  His position is that if one is opposed to same sex marriage, then one should not marry a person of the same sex.

See, it’s not that hard to please everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment