On Rosh Hashanah in 1992, Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis stood before his Conservative congregation at Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) in Encino and declared that despite the words of Leviticus, homosexuality is not an abomination. He argued that the same understanding and compassion Jews afford all human beings should be extended to those attracted to others of their own sex, and he told his congregation:
Attitudes toward same sex marriage in Judaism have undergone a dramatic change in the last quarter century. The prohibition recorded in Leviticus 18 has been affirmed by some, negated by others and reinterpreted by still others. Did the Torah intend loving same sex relationships? Did it understand homosexuality as a fundamental orientation rather than a choice?
Thousands of people came to West Hollywood on June 26 to celebrate expanded rights for the LGBT community.
Doors opened early this morning at the Abbey, a gay bar in West Hollywood where people gathered to watch the Supreme Court rule that part of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional by denying federal benefits to same-sex couples.
In the early 1970s, while I was CEO of the Seagram Company, public dialogue about gay rights was largely nonexistent in corporate America. Social discourse had not yet even evolved into the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ethos that dominated the following decades. Homosexuality was simply not discussed and therefore, by implication, was shameful.
Leaders of the area’s Jewish LGBT community rejoiced today after the Supreme Court ruled that part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples, was unconstitutional. The court also paved the way for a return of same-sex marriage to California in a separate case by dismissing an appeal to Proposition 8 that banned such marriages.
Much of the Jewish world is celebrating today’s Supreme Court ruling on two same-sex marriage cases.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed today’s landmark decision by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Windsor declaring Section 3 of the 1996 “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) unconstitutional. In its 5-4 decision, the Court found that same-sex couples who are legally married are entitled to equal treatment under federal law. ADL filed amicus briefs in both cases.
Today is a true historic day! A moment when you can feel the chains of bondage breaking. The Supreme Court has ruled that DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act is dead.
The first of what will likely be many Jewish responses to the Supreme Court’s decision today, the Charedi Orthodox Agudath Israel of America was brief and to the point:
A slight bump up on affirmative action, a plunge on voting rights, and on gay marriage, the mountaintop: federal legitimacy.
American Jewish World Service President Ruth Messinger released the following statement today after the Supreme Court ruled in two cases related to marriage equality.
The Supreme Court upheld the federal rights of same sex couples in states that allow same sex marriages.
Last year, I officiated at the first same-sex wedding in the 145-year history of my synagogue. For a Conservative congregation, this was quite a break with tradition.
Jewish leaders praised President Barack Obama’s statement that he personally supports gay marriage.
Jewish groups split on a federal appeals court ruling that allows same-sex couples to marry in California. The 2-1 decision Tuesday by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot measure that said same-sex marriages violated the state constitution. Prop 8 had reversed a decision the same year by the California state Supreme Court that had allowed same-sex marriage.
A federal judge who ruled against a ban on same-sex marriage in California and later revealed that he is gay showed no evidence he was prejudiced in the case, according to a ruling Tuesday.
While voting to keep intact the marriages of approximately 18,000 Californians, including many Jewish couples, the California Supreme Court voted today to uphold Proposition 8, an initiative that amended California's Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Another chapter in the longer story of same-gender marriage in California has ended, and yet another is already beginning. Here in Los Angeles County, demonstrations against the ban are already underway in Leimert Park and more are planned for East Los Angeles and West Hollywood. Activists on both sides of the issue are mobilizing in anticipation of another ballot initiative in 2010 or 2012.
On Tuesday May 26, 2009, we stood in Leimert Park, together with clergy of many faiths, awaiting our fate, awaiting a verdict on our humanity. Outrage, sorrow and a renewed sense of purpose swept across the crowd as news spread that the California Supreme Court had made a Solomon’s choice – upholding as legal the marriages entered into by same-sex couples last summer while preserving the travesty of justice that is Proposition 8.
[UPDATE] The newsletter sent out last month by Temple Israel of New Rochelle contained the usual sort of announcements, including a reminder about the synagogue’s upcoming Purim carnival, mazal tovs and condolences, and information about a social event at a local steakhouse.
" . . . Now that a mensch will be moving into the White House, I hope that Judea Pearl's words are brought to his attention . . . "
A Reform rabbi (No on 8) and an Orthodox rabbi (Yes on 8) offer their opinions on the controversial ballot measure
Proposition 8 is California ballot initiative that legally restricts marriage to only a relationship between a man and a woman, depriving gays and lesbians a state mandated constitutional civil right. In opposing this ballot-measure, I know I am optimistically standing on firm religious ground.