If the bill is passed, it would limit the leeway of Catholic hospitals in choosing not to provide abortions. We’ve witnessed this same intolerance on a national level with the Obamacare mandates on employee access to contraceptive and family-planning services that have caused Catholic organizations such consternation.
We’ve also seen gay marriage pushed to the top of the national agenda by the media and entertainment elites. Recently, the Grammy Awards telecast turned a mass wedding into a gay marriage celebration and the Disney Channel introduced its first ever lesbian couple on a children’s television series. This message has been picked up at the highest level of government. Congratulating the gay former NBA player Jason Collins on “coming out,” President Obama said “I couldn’t be prouder of him” and invited Collins to sit in the presidential box with the first lady at the State of theUnion address.
This embrace by liberals of homosexuality has for years now been a fact of life in New York politics. And while the 2011 Marriage Equality Act passed by the state legislature and signed on the same day by Cuomo allows religious organizations to decline officiating at same-sex ceremonies, religious and conservative New Yorkers fear the creeping influence of the bill, both in the workplace and in educational institutions.
As New York’s Orthodox Jewish community continues to grow, its base of social conservative voters grows with it. We citizens are the ones who elect and reelect our government leaders, notwithstanding their scathing indictment of our beliefs. And the schism between our community’s values and those of the liberal elites will continue to widen, especially if politicians like our governor and mayor continue to use a political yardstick to measure the merit of their fellow New Yorkers.
When the positions taken by government officials conflict with Jewish teachings, it should be incumbent on Jewish leaders who support those officials to speak out. But it’s been awfully quiet in Jewish circles following Cuomo’s remarks and de Blasio’s endorsement of them.
About the Author: Sara Lehmann, a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, was formerly an editor at a major New York publishing house.
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