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December 2, 2015 / 20 Kislev, 5776
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Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: What If Government Recognized Civil Unions, Left Marriage to Religion?

Participants in a gay pride parade in Jerusalem

Participants in a gay pride parade in Jerusalem
Photo Credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90

American marriage statistics tell a sad and increasingly grim story of the health of the marital institution that is at the heart of any healthy society and the national dialogue is currently unable to address the real roots of the unraveling of these unions because of the obsession of whether gay marriages are legal or legitimate.  USA Today recently reported that forty percent of all American women are single. Something in the region of seventy percent of African-American births, sixty percent of Latino births, and forty percent of white births, are out of wedlock. And as is well known, about one out of two marriages end in divorce.

As we ruminate on this detail, we lose the bigger picture that we need to focus on healing these unions, prevent families from breaking apart, and address the impotence of romantic love in our time.

Written in memory of Machla Dabakarov, the mother of a dear friend of Rabbi Shmuley, who passed away last year.

About the Author: Shmuley Boteach, whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous rabbi in America,” is the founder of The World Values Network and the international bestselling author of 30 books, including “The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering.” Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

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11 Responses to “Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: What If Government Recognized Civil Unions, Left Marriage to Religion?”

  1. Chayim Goldberg says:

    This is something I have felt since the gay marriage issue became a hot button topic and finally a politician is saying it. Marriage is a purely religious issue that government has no business getting involved in. It should only be able to regulate civil unions in order to determine inheritance, end of life issues, etc., which have nothing to do with religious union. I hope this gets accepted as a platform by other politicians even if Shmuely doesn't get elected.

  2. I agree with Rabbi Boteach, God will not go against our will, He lets us choose right or wrong, in the end we will be judged for going against His word because that is what sin is "going against the word of YHVH. He lets us do our will, we as man can not stop homsexuality, if that is what they chose, it is their choice and even God will not stop them in this presnt life. I agree out of a heart of love and kindness the "gay people need their rights as a couple in legal matters etc. Some of them even believe they are religious so even they could have a ceremony in a religious ibstitute if they have one that would unite them , but I my self would hope they would out of kindness do it at a civil ceremony.

  3. I have been suggesting exactly this for years…nice to hear a religious leader/ voice saying the same thing.

  4. Mike and I have talked about this for a few years. I agree with Rabbi Boteach 100%!

  5. Dustin J Cooper says:


  6. Tony Flynn says:

    what a MASSIVE boon to society that would be and also telling religious fanactics to get the hell out of our respective undies and STAY OUT….

  7. Seems to me this would solve a lot of issues in regards to human beings living the lives we should be allowed to live, for our own individual happiness. And really isn't that what we all want, to be respected for whatever our choices are! :)

  8. Uri Netzer says:

    First of I think Rabbi Boteach is an awesome Rabbi! Though I would imagine that marriage should not be controlled by religion or government it is a societal institution… Government needs to recognize it because there are legal issues tied to it… If any particular religion doesn't want to recognize someone else's marriage thereby causing them pain and shame for a real or imagined reason there is nothing the law can do… It just might mean their compass got stuck, a bump or to will set it on it's feet – or not… In the end it is the compass inside every individual that triumphs and it is that innate sense of morality that has brought us to abolish slavery fight tribalism let woman vote etc… That compass is far from perfect but in the end it has done far more for mankind than any holy book… One day we will look back with incredulity at this day and say " You mean gay people weren't allowed to marry?"

  9. This is a very simple approach and solution, our would be nice to have [Un]Common Sense prevail.

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