As the members of the New York State Legislature consider proposed legislation to legalize same-gender marriage in New York State, the joint statement below from Agudath Israel of America and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America is being circulated to legislators. The statement is being sent as well to Governor Paterson. On the issue of legalizing same-gender marriage, Agudath Israel of America and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, representing a broad spectrum of Orthodox Jews across the state and across the nation, firmly oppose efforts to legalize same-gender marriage.
We approach this issue through the prism of the Jewish religious tradition, which…sanctions only the union of a man and a woman in matrimony, the bedrock relationship of the human family.
The institution of marriage is central to the formation of a healthy society and the raising of children. It is our sincere conviction that discarding the historical definition of marriage would pose a severe danger to society in a variety of ways. Thus, we are compelled to protest the proposed redefinition of marriage for the State of New York.
Moreover, we are deeply concerned that, should any such redefinition occur, citizens of New York who are members of traditional communities like ours will incur moral opprobrium and risk legal sanction if they refuse to transgress their beliefs. That prospect is chilling, and should be unacceptable.
Society’s mores may shift and crumble but eternal verities exist. One is marriage. Its sanctity must be recognized and its integrity preserved.
AGUDATH ISRAEL OF AMERICA
UNION OF ORTHODOX JEWISH CONGREGATIONS OF AMERICA