Did you know that, just like blacks, not all Jews are in complete agreement on same-sex marriage? It is true! See, I was of the understanding that everyone sharing similar cultural characteristics would agree on everything. In a Jerusalem Post article my boss made me skim, I learn that reaction to President Obama’s decision to stop defending DOMA’s Section 3 is different among Reform and Orthodox Jews. Sukkot will never be the same!
Soon after the decision was made public, the Reform Movement’s Religious Action Center issued a statement calling the move “as welcome as it is overdue.” “We know that the stamp of the divine is present in each and every human being. Loving, committed couples gay no less than straight deserve the opportunity to celebrate their relationships and have them recognized in the eyes of the law,” said Mark Pelavin, the RAC’s associate director. “Now is the time for Congress to repeal the discriminatory law once and for all.” Though the American Jewish community is generally broadly supportive of gay rights and the administration’s new policy was mostly positively received, not everyone was pleased by the stance.
The Orthodox Agudath Israel of America, for one, released a statement taking “strong exception” to the administration’s reversal on the 15-year-old act, which it had defended in court until this week. Agudath charged that Holder, in criticizing the “moral disapproval” of gay behavior, which he cited as a rationale for no longer enforcing the act, among other statements, used rhetoric that “demonstrates the kind of anti-religious hostility disallowed by the First Amendment. Religious values, ethical imperatives, historical tradition are all swept away no, disparaged by this destructive characterization.” The group noted that it had taken an active role in crafting the act and “has been among the groups in the forefront of efforts to maintain the traditional definition of marriage in law and society.”
Well I guess this one is pretty easy to sum up: Members of religious groups who are generally intolerant of change and the viewpoints of other people have a problem with Obama’s new stance on DOMA, while reasonable people do not. Lelakek Et Ha’etzba’ot!