I was talking with a young woman last Sunday afternoon. She had called me because she read the column I wrote here last month, about Sinai Temple’s decision to perform same-sex weddings.
Most Americans do not realize that, as large as the issue of same-sex marriage is (and it is very large), there is an even larger issue at stake in the same-sex marriage debate.
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:
With public acceptance of same-sex marriage growing, liberal Jewish groups are hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down the Defense of Marriage Act that they have long opposed.
The Mormon Church doesn’t endorse candidates or political parties, and although most American Mormons are Republicans, a Mormon Democrat has served as the Senate Majority Leader for the last five years. Owing to our history of persecution and emphasis on self-reliance, there is also a noteworthy group of Mormons with libertarian sympathies who do not easily identify with either party.
Jewish leaders praised President Barack Obama’s statement that he personally supports gay marriage.
A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday found California's gay marriage ban unconstitutional in a case that is likely to lead to a showdown on the issue in the U.S. Supreme Court. Proponents of the ban said they would appeal the ruling, and the Protect Marriage coalition that sponsored the ban called the judgment "out of step with every other federal appellate and Supreme Court decision." The appeal is likely to keep gay marriage on hold pending future proceedings.
Barney Frank, a gay 16-term U.S. congressman from Massachusetts, plans to marry his partner, his office said on Thursday.
A well-funded coalition of realtors and landlords, intent on protecting white neighborhoods and their attendant property values from feared black incursions, immediately mounted a campaign to amend the state Constitution and guarantee property owners' continued ability to deny minorities equal access to housing.
"People choose to remain gay, and people choose to remain Jewish," said an organizer. "Why should the majority of us be forced to honor that choice?"
The presidential race makes the headlines, but there's lots of emotion, energy and money left for the 12 statewide propositions on the California ballot. As in McCain-Obama contest, Jewish voters are sharply split between the Democratic/liberal majority and the Republican/conservative minority.
Same-sex marriage is likely to remain a hot-button issue in the presidential race, with Prop. 8 backers looking to Sen. John McCain for ideological support, and opponents to Sen. Barack Obama.