UJO Letter to NYS Senate in Opposition of Same Gender Marriage Bill

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rabbi-david-niedermanDear Matzav.com,

While I normally do not distribute our internal communications, because of the possible nearing of the New York State Senate vote on the same gender marriage bill, I am sharing with you the below for distribution.

One is a letter urging our Mosdos to individually contact the Senate, the other a letter the UJO sent to all members of the NYS State Senate.

Thanks.

Rabbi David Niederman
President
United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg
Brooklyn, NY

Dear Mosdos:

Please find below the text of a letter we have sent to all members of the New York State Senate as per the direction of our Rabbinic leadership regarding our opposition to the legalization of same gender marriage in New York. I hope all our Mosdos will individually take the opportunity to contact the New York State Senate to voice your Mosod’s opposition to the legalization of same gender marriage.

As it appears that this bill will be voted on soon, now is the time for us to be heard on this issue.

Sincerely,
Rabbi David Niederman
President

Dear Senator:

The United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg represents a consortium of nearly 200 local community organizations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with a constituency of 70,000 people. It is on their behalf and at the direction of our Rabbinic leadership that we are contacting you to sympathize with the strong and united opposition to the legalization of same gender marriage in the State New York.

While in Albany on Monday, I met with many of our honorable Senators to discuss two issues, one was ensure no reduction to mandated services funding which would have greatly impacted the ability of our private schools to function over the course of the academic year. This cut would have forced schools to raise our community’s low school tuition which many parents already cannot afford. The other issue was our opposition to the legalization of same gender marriage in New York At the time it did not look like the same gender marriage bill would come to a vote, however now it appears that a vote might be near and so I am contacting you again with a sense of real urgency and a repeat of my request.

This issue has been hotly debated and you have heard many arguments on both sides. I am sure you are aware of the seemingly countless and correct, religious, social and legal reasons to oppose same gender marriage in the State of New York. We want to advise you that as a community, this bill is an affront to what we stand for, and as a community the impact of this bill will be locally felt despite our religiously mandated opposition to same gender marriage. This bill will force us to accept the State’s definition of marriage in ways that we are religiously unable to comply with.

For thousands of years, marriage across the globe was defined as a union between a man and a woman. This is not and never was a discriminatory practice. Universally, marriage is an affirmation of human biology and the sanctity of the family. Same gender marriage fails to meet both of these universalistic values. There is no need to change the institution of marriage, rather we should proudly speak for the valued and cherished marriage structure that most of humanity for all of history was born into.

I respectfully urge you and your colleagues in the Senate to please vote no on the same gender marriage bill. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely and respectfully,
Rabbi David Niederman
President

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Rabbi Levin Shlit”a warned us and we didn’t take him serious.

    He knows politics inside out, and he can basically predict what’s up next.

  2. “the impact of this bill will be locally felt despite our religiously mandated opposition to same gender marriage.”

    How?

    I hear this argument repeatedly, but there seems to be a step missing in the logic. I understand that it’s against the Torah, but how does that translate into it affecting our personal lives?

    “This bill will force us to accept the State’s definition of marriage in ways that we are religiously unable to comply with.”

    Forcing in what way? It won’t force Rabbis to preform same gender marriage. It won’t change the religious definition.

    “For thousands of years, marriage across the globe was defined as a union between a man and a woman.”

    This is flawed logic. Just because we’ve been doing something for thousands of years doesn’t make it right. One could use this argument to justify slavery (“we’ve been doing it since forever! Trust me! It’s not discriminatory, it’s simply the way the world works.”)

    Can someone help me understand this?

  3. #2:

    EVERYTHING done in this world affects us. When someone moves his pinky in Australia, it affects us in NY. Obviously this issue, so much more so.

  4. Can you please be specific?

    I’m looking for one way that this will affect us – not some answer about an ultimate spiritual balance and butterfly effects.

    Please provide one specific realistic case where passing this legislation will have a negative effect on you.

  5. To #2
    As employers, we would be forced to provide benefits for same gender employees’ spouses. We would be forced to allow them to our holiday parties. Years ago, R’ Sherer ZT’L was the only one to oppose Ed Koch on religous reasons for his order to force NYC employers to allow openly deviant employees in their offices, and R’ Sherer was successful.

  6. So it’s a matter of money? Don’t you think slave owners made the same argument (“If you free the slaves, I’ll have to PAY for my workers.”)

    The response to the slave-owners is obvious – you’ve been saving money because of an injustice. So too here, you won’t be paying more than you should. Rather, you’re paying less now that what is right.

    Your second point is about being forced to invite them to holiday parties. If I understand you, you’re saying that you don’t even want to be around homosexuals? There is no halachic injunction against this. You’re creating a category of law based on your homophobia and disgust.

    The truth is that you won’t have that problem because with views like those, they won’t want to come to your parties. Indeed, very few people will.

  7. To #2
    It’s more than money. We will be forced to give recognition and acceptance in areas where it would not be acceptable.
    It’s not just a matter of allowing people with alternate lifestyles to live their lives the way they want. That’s not nearly the problem. It’s the way it will affect our lives and our families and our children.

  8. Once again (assuming this is the same person each time), you’re being very vague. Saying it will “affect our lives and our families and our children” sounds serious, but I really don’t see the link.

    Isn’t this just a scare tactic?

    Who is forcing you to give recognition? This would have zero effect on Jewish Law, Jewish Marriage, and (most relevant) zero effect on YOU.

    What areas would you be “forced to give recognition and acceptance”?

  9. Ikh vill moh-dee-ah zine az #8 iz
    ah mushkhus vos halt gor nisht fun unzre Torah un er vill ah-reyn-feern dee Sdom un Amora shee-tuh far unz vos men darf vee ah lukh
    in kup!
    Marriage is between a man and woman;
    only the lowest dregs of society favor the perversion of Sodomy which is wicked in the sight of the Lord.

    Good people from all walks of life
    oppose sodomite lunacy.

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