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October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
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OU Disagrees With But Respects Supreme Ct’s Rejection of Defense of Marriage Act

The United States Supreme Court struck down a key part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, instructing that gay couples married in states where it is legal must receive the same federal health, tax, Social Security and other benefits that heterosexual couples receive.

In other words, where a state has passed a law that gay marriage is legal, gay couples residing in those states are entitled to equal treatment.  The Court declined to state, however, that gay couples have the fundamental right to marry wherever they live.

The Court’s opinion, Windsor v. United States, was delivered on Wednesday, June 25.

The leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America Union issued a statement in response to the ruling by the United States Supreme Court rejecting as unconstitutional the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.

we reiterate the historical position of the Jewish faith, enunciated unequivocally in our Bible, Talmud and Codes, which forbids homosexual relationships and condemns the institutionalization of such relationships as marriages. Our religion is emphatic in defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. Our beliefs in this regard are unalterable. At the same time, we note that Judaism teaches respect for others and we condemn discrimination against individuals.

We are grateful that we live in a democratic society, in which all religions are free to express their opinions about social issues and to advocate vigorously for those opinions.

While the OU leadership believes that its conception of morality, which has long been embraced in what is widely known as the Judeo-Christian ethic, has long been the predominant view regarding what constitutes marriage, they recognized that no religion has the right to dictate its views and demand that those views be accepted by everyone.

Ultimately, decisions on social policy remain with the democratic process, and today the process has spoken and we accord the process and its result the utmost respect.

 

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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12 Responses to “OU Disagrees With But Respects Supreme Ct’s Rejection of Defense of Marriage Act”

  1. John Keytack says:

    What is this? How can we have it both ways? They disagree with their decision, but they respect it? What is this…a political tap dance? I saw earlier today that the Reform congregations embraced the decision. I am sick and tired of everyone trying to be “politically correct!” My opinion, your opinion, or public opinion means nothing. What about the Law? Are we all just supposed to pick and choose what we will observe?

  2. Judaism should condemn the Supreme Court decision, there is no way in the bible to compromise God’s principle.

  3. Miriam Goodman says:

    There is nothing to respect OU. This is a terrible ruling. Goes to show how low America's morality really is…

  4. Sarah Graber Nehrer says:

    All this ruling does is forbid the federal government from not recognizing marriages allowed by the states. It doesn't dictate that all states must legalize such marriages. It's basically a ruling in favor of less involvement of the federal government and more power to individual states.

  5. Miriam Goodman says:

    Sarah Graber Nehrer I realize this..only the states that allow gay marriage are affected by this ruling…it is a terrible ruling for those states…and OU should say so…

  6. Sarah Graber Nehrer says:

    How is it terrible for those states? They already made such a marriage legal.

  7. Miriam Goodman says:

    Can states cancel laws Sarah Graber Nehrer?

  8. Torah condemns toeiva behavior and rabanim have no business changing H's rules. What a messup. Bootlickers.

  9. I was listening to a talk show in the US. The host asked what's next – father-daughter marriage? Mother-son? siblings? me and my dog? Where does it end?

  10. Sarah Graber Nehrer says:

    This is a good perspective on the subject, IMO: http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2013/06/the-supreme-court-decision-on-doma.html?spref=fb

  11. Sarah Graber Nehrer says:

    Miriam Goodman, states can change laws, not exactly cancel them.

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