OU Decries NY Assembly’s Passing of To’eivah Marriage Bill


ou-emblem2The OU has released the following statement:

The Orthodox Union, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization representing hundreds of synagogues and their members in New York State, is gravely disappointed by the New York State Assembly’s passage of legislation legalizing [to’eivah] marriage.

The Orthodox Union opposes in principle the recognition of [to’eivah] marriage based on Jewish religious tradition, and we reiterate our opposition to this radical change to a timeless institution today. Additionally, we take this occasion to particularly note the grave threat to a fundamental civil right – that of religious freedom – this legislation poses. Legal scholars on both sides of the [to’eivah] marriage debate agree that codifying [to’eivah]marriage without providing robust religious accommodations and exemptions will create widespread and unnecessary legal conflict that will “reverberate across the legal and religious landscape.” We have already seen religious congregations, social welfare agencies and youth groups which object to same-sex unions penalized by authorities in states where such unions have been legalized. In recognition of this reality, two states that have recently enacted [to’eivah] marriage – Connecticut and Vermont – have incorporated robust and thorough protections of religious liberty in their laws. New York’s legislation has no such protections. Irrespective of one’s view on [to’eivah] marriage, it should be extremely troubling to all that New York’s legislation poses a grave, unprecedented threat to religious liberty. Without modifying the legislation to include proper protections for religious liberty, such as those enacted in other states, New York State is about to expand the legal rights of some New Yorkers at the expense of the rights of other New Yorkers.

{Elisha Ferber-Matzav.com Newscenter}