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Where Do Religions Stand on Marriage Equality

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Marriage Equality and Religion

The Pew Research Center has a great chart on where the major religions are these days on marriage equality.

Pew reports:

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) plans to hold a historic vote on same-sex marriage this week that could reverberate beyond the church’s nearly 2 million members. Church leaders gathering in Detroit are expected to decide as early as today whether to allow gay marriage or to continue to prohibit it, a move some Christian leaders believe could influence other centrist and liberal mainline Protestant churches as they also grapple with the issue. In the last two decades, several religious groups have moved to allow same-sex couples to marry within their traditions. This includes the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements, Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.

Will the Presbyterians come around tomorrow?

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USA, Arizona: Amazing Letter from A Scottsdale Rabbi to Governor Brewer

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Just got this from my Aunt in Tucson who is following the whole Right to Discriminate law with great interest and disgust. It was written by Rabbi Stephen Kahn, of Scottsdale’s Congregation Beth Israel.

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Rabbi Stephen KahnFebruary 21, 2014

The Honorable Janice K. Brewer
Arizona Governor
Executive Tower
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Dear Governor Brewer:

I am the Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel, founded in 1920. I write this with a heavy heart on behalf of our 750 families (roughly 2,000 members). Today, I respectfully implore you to act with bold and courageous leadership by vetoing House Bill 2153 and Senate Bill 1062 without delay.

Simply put, these bills are beyond “controversial”. Among many things, the final version of the legislation enables a business owner to refuse services to any patron based on their own personal religious proclivities, or even worse, a very loose definition of religious freedom. I cannot help but recall the spirit of the Third Reich’s laws established in 1935 at Nuremberg which legally permitted discrimination and anti-Semitism under the same implicit legislative construct as the bills passed earlier this week. As a Jew, I cannot help but feel that if a business owner, who is “informed” by their interpretation of “scripture” that a Jewish person cannot eat at their restaurant because I do not accept Christ as “Savior” that they would indeed have the legally supported permission to deny me service in their place of business.

As an American, I will always fully support the constitutionally protected rights of every citizen; the right of free expression of their own religious beliefs and convictions whether or not I personally/theologically agree with their beliefs or practices. However, as an American, a Jew and a Rabbi, I know that religious freedom does not permit me the right to oppress or discriminate against others because I think their theology or way of life is wrong. This is the antithesis of constitutional freedoms and the foundation of our country. The potential – both implicitly and explicitly – of legalizing a person or person’s right to persecute and discriminate against others under the guise of religious freedom is both intellectually objectionable and theologically corrupt of any scriptural justification I know of, especially in a free society.

Please do no sign this legislation which – based on historic precedent for our people in 1930’s Nazi Germany – could become THE seminal moment which will lead to horrifying consequences for the People of Arizona.

Respectfully,

Rabbi Stephen Kahn

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Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Arizona.

5 Reasons Being an Orthodox Rabbi Compelled Me to Support Gay Marriage

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Jewish Star of DavidI am coming out of the closet. I am an Orthodox rabbi and an advocate for gay marriage.

The history of the theological issue is complicated, but the moral issue is increasingly clear. Faith leaders must stand as public allies; private support is no longer enough. Fifteen states and counting have formally approved marriage equality. It’s time that traditional faith leaders stand for gay rights, including the right to marriage.

As an Orthodox Jew, I believe the Bible was given by G-d, that Jewish law is binding, and that change in our religious practice cannot happen impetuously. It also means that I take the pervasive biblical call for justice very seriously. I am pro-gay-rights because I am an Orthodox rabbi, not in spite of it.

Authored By Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz – See the Full Story at The Huffington Post

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USA, Oregon: Teen Uses Bar Mitzvah Speech to Call for Marriage Equality

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Duncan McAlpine SennettA little happy for your Sunday morning – watch as a teenager speaks out for marriage equality at his Bar Mitzvah.

The Advocate reports:

The case for marriage equality is so important to 13-year-old Duncan McAlpine Sennett that he used his Bar Mitzvah to deliver a persuasive argument to his guests. It’s been such a success that more than 20,000 people have already watched his five-minute talk at the Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, Oregon. Voters there will soon consider whether to make same-sex marriage legal.

I think it’s amazing to see kids like this speaking out for us – Duncan links the Torah to support for marriage equality. And he’s cute as a button. Made me a little misty eyed watching it.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.