The Jewish Council for Public Affairs was set to discuss (and probably pass) a resolution that supported marriage rights for same sex couples at its annual meeting in DC this week. But after an objection from the Orthodox Union, the Council decided it valued “civility” over civil rights. The Jewish Week reports:
The great majority of these groups and their delegates support the resolution, but one member agency, the Orthodox Union, objected, arguing that this was a religious issue since the Torah forbids homosexual acts. In the weeks leading up to the annual convention there was talk of an OU veto of the resolution — each of the member groups representing the religious streams has the right of veto on matters that it feels goes against its constituents’ religious beliefs — and even the possibility that the OU would withdraw from the JCPA.
So what happened next?
The planned resolution on the issue of discrimination against same-sex couples no doubt would have passed, but when OU officials voiced their concerns to JCPA leaders, a series of private discussions took place. The OU felt the JCPA should not take a position on same-sex couples because, as one OU professional told me, “JCPA is a big-tent organization” and should respect that the OU sees the issue as a religious one. In the end, in the interest of maintaining unity among its member groups, the JCPA decided to refer the resolution on same-sex couples back to a task force.
So one small conservative group managed to hold the rest of the organization hostage to its ideological demands. Hmmm, why does that sound familiar?