Weprin: “Same-Gender Marriage Issue Is Not a Religious One”


david-weprinCity Hall News reports: The first New York politician imperiled by voting for same-gender marriage isn’t an upstate Republican senator – it’s a Democratic Assemblyman from New York City scrambling to hold his support in a special election.

Insiders say Assemblyman David Weprin, running in the special election for Anthony Weiner’s congressional seat, is facing a revolt among Orthodox Jews – though he himself is an Orthodox Jew – because he strongly defended same-gender marriage during an Albany debate.

In his June 15 speech, Weprin said his own Orthodox rabbi would not marry a Jew and a non-Jew, which he felt was wrong – and that same-gender marriage was no different.

“My religion is very important to me personally, but this is not a religious issue,” Weprin said. “I think everyone here would agree that we should not be outlawing marriages between Jews and non-Jews or interracial marriages.”

With most of the attention at the time focused on the vote counting in the state Senate, Weprin’s comment garnered little notice in the wider world. But his rhetoric has since gained wide attention by many in the Orthodox Jewish community, and videos of his speech have rocketed across their websites.

Democratic and Republican insiders say that speech, more than former Mayor Ed Koch’s efforts to tie Weprin to President Barack Obama on Israel, has put the Orthodox vote in play – providing a huge boon to his Irish Catholic Republican opponent, Bob Turner.
It was not so much the vote itself, but the way Weprin argued in favor of the bill by tying it to his faith, neighborhood political observers say, noting Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver also voted for the bill but was far less vocal.

And though the Orthodox population in Kew Gardens and especially in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Flatbush does not make up an overwhelming part of the district, the community is full of committed voters who could well make a difference in a low turnout special election.

“What he said in the Assembly has been played over-and-over on YouTube,” said one well-connected neutral observer of the race. “People were really offended that he said he was an Orthodox who was supporting [same-gender] marriage.”

Weprin met Wednesday with the influential leadership of the giant Jewish social services organization Agudath Israel. But he walked out of the room without securing the leadership’s endorsement, despite steering massive Council grants to the group.

The main consultant on Weprin’s campaign is the Parkside Group, which counts most of its clients in Queens. But Weprin has also retained the Friedlander Group, a well-known consulting firm in Brooklyn’s Orthodox community, to help rally support there.
Ezra Friedlander, the firm’s CEO, said Orthodox voters would ultimately support Weprin because of his track record on other issues. Friedlander cited everything from Weprin’s strong stance against the Department of Health’s efforts to ban certain circumcision rites, to the fact Weprin once came under rocket attack in Israel while delivering bulletproof vests, to his extensive efforts to fight autism.

“David Weprin is better qualified to represent this community than probably anyone who has ever run for Congress,” Friedlander said. “Of course you’re not going to see eye-to-eye on every single issue. But if you look at the totality, it’s not even a race.”

In recent days, Weprin also has told community groups and senior centers that Turner and national Republicans would cut entitlements and government funding to key programs in the Orthodox community.

Orthodox Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind has so far stayed neutral in the race, but has indicated he is leaning towards endorsing Turner near the end of the campaign, said one person who has spoken to him.

Weprin’s struggling campaign is scaring Democrats who fear they could lose what should otherwise have been an easy victory. National Democratic officials are considering pouring resources into the race, one source said, while Brooklyn Democrats are ramping up efforts in the 30 percent of the district that lies in their borough.

Two sources said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is poised to record robocalls and make public appearances with Weprin.

Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny has also been asked to summon Russian support for Weprin in his Brighton Beach district. While Brook-Krasny is on a trip to Russia until early September, his organization is getting to work on the election, a source said.

“The Weprin race in Brooklyn is going to be very, very competitive,” said Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the chairman of the Brooklyn Democrats. “At the end of the day Weprin will prevail, but we are facing many challenges we did not foresee, and we are putting plans in place to address those challenges.”

{City Hall News/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Same-Gender Marriage, Abortion and many social issues are not issues to two groups. The first group is the Modern Orthodox who have fallen to such low levels that you almost can’t tell the difference between them and the Conservatives. They’re referred to as Conservadox. The second group is those who place “money” above Torah values. They will justify their actions by saying that “We have to support the Toayva Legislators because they control the purse strings” [An exact quote]
    Can you imagine! What a shame!

  2. How can any frum person stand idly by and not protest the TREMENDOUS chilul hashem by not voting for Weprins opponent? Across the U.S. devout cristians are aware of the vote of an orthodox jew who voted the wrong way. We have to stand up and demonstrate to all that the dictates of Halacha cannot be violated by a frum jew. I am repulsed by the fact that the Friedlander Group has taken on this campain.Is anything sacred?

  3. He made a Chilul Hashem with his speech and vote and it would be a Chilul Hashem for a Torah Jew to support his candidacy, even if it means less money for certain social services. K’vod Shomayim is more important to us than money. Good for Agudas Yisroel not endorsing Weprin, bad for those who are or are running his campaign

  4. Weprin is differentiating between the civil rights implications of same gender marriage law and the exemption for clergymen to participate in same gender marriages if so inclined

    weprin is RIGHT .. this is not a religious issue – nobody expects rebbes to be mesader kidushin for these “marriages”The law does not demand maftir yona be given to such people nor will it force the shul to host an aufroof or shabbos kalah nor shabbos shevabrachos

    the new law is addressing civil rights and privileges such as inheritance, right to life decisions, insurance benefits, survivorship under landlord tenent situations (which were already available under domestic partnerships etc)

    as such it is NOT a religious issue

    those that dont grasp the CHILUK are mamish neanderthals and are reacting viscerally due to their very narrow agenda

    shame on them for trying to besmirch weprin ..

  5. “Weprin met Wednesday with the influential leadership of the giant Jewish social services organization Agudath Israel. But he walked out of the room without securing the leadership’s endorsement, despite steering massive Council grants to the group.”

    Nu haliviy! B”H. This is the best news so far. I’m encouraged to see the Agudah doing what it did.

    The bottom line is: Weprin made a tremendous Chillul Hashem by openly supporting Toeiva Marriage! He should NOT be awarded with our vote when he has not apologized & done Teshuva for angering Hashem & his chosen people!
    I will be voting for Bob Turner as my next Congressman.

  6. I would urge the readers of this website to stop living in a dream world and understand that religion is not what should dictate how we vote. you can be against same gender marriage but stop bringing religion into politics because there are alot more non_jews then frum Jews in NYC and indeed the USA.

    Having said I urge everyone to vote for WEPRIN.

    JUST WAIT UNTIL THE REPUBLICANS TAKE AWAY YOUR SECTIONS 8 subsidies. You will turn into liberals overnight!

  7. I don’t understand. Weprin claims to be an Orthodox Jew. Orthodox Judaism includes the law that intermarriage and same-gender marriage are forbidden. Yet, Weprin feels that if his Orthodox Rabbi won’t conduct an intermarriage or a same-gender marriage, it’s wrong?

  8. Vote whomever you think would be a better congressman and let the world know that religion shouldn’t mix with politics, let’s keep church and state seperate

  9. This man claims to be Orthodox but he thinks his Rabbi is wrong for not officiating at marriages between Jews and Goyim.

    That takes the “dox” (belief) out of the Orthodox, and leaves him as an “Ortho”

  10. It is about time you realize that the Orthodox vote including your own community will no longer be bought by hand outs. Our Torah stresses Kedusha and no money can justify Liberal Politicians such as Nadler and Weprin (your clients) who support Murder-Abortion (see Igros Moshe) and Toeiva Marriage

  11. It is our duty to reject the backing of the toeiva agenda.

    Chazal attribute many disasters to the advancement of this lifestyle.

    Rav Moshe z”l refused to engage in discussions of the topic feeling that is was so far beyond the pale that no discussion was necessary.

  12. The bad side will pour in virtually unlimited resources to win this (in the California referendum they outspent the other side by 17 times(!) and still lost).
    They recognize it’s importance.

    Do you?

  13. he aught to be ashamed for commiting an aveira in public by helping this “Soneh Hashem”
    It’s not going to work anyway. Boro Park DOESN’T vote & Flatbush is in the bag for Turner already.

  14. I want to commend Weprin for brining in precious resources into the community. All the big deah zugers are the first to stand in line for the programs. I have a list of everyone who comes against liberal politicians who is on section 8—it will be exposes for the hypocrite sthat that they are!

  15. #11 has it right. When Moshiach comes (b’korov b’yameinu) we will live in a halachik society. Until then, especially in golus, laws are not k’halachah. This SGM law deals with civil rights. The same civil rights which protect YOUR right to get kosher food in prison (nothing implied) or for a frum cop to wear a yarmulke while in uniform.
    Weprin may not be a gadol hador, but he has the best interests of all jews in mind. VOTE WEPRIN !!

  16. First of all, I see the liberals using their standard tactics: don’t vote turner because he’ll steal, your section 8, he’ll steal your food stamps and steal your medicaid. First of all, government takes the money from your parents and in-laws, keep 75 percent as ‘administrative fees’ and let 25 percent trickle down to you, so you’d be better off if government left the money by your parents so they could sustain you even better, if you’re dealing with financial difficulties. I’ve never met a politician who advocates for ‘entitlements’, who donated a penny to the program. They just take from you to give to your neighbor or vice versa.

    And the sentiment from the Turner fans is 100% appropriate.
    Isn’t anything still sacred? If G-d and politics shouldn’t be mixed, why didn’t they make a proposition on the ballot like most states? Answer: because the shameless Weprin types want to shove this filth down our throats. Please DO vote Turner

  17. One of the sheva mitzvot includes the prohibititon against same gender marriage. Rashi says that the fact that the Goyim do not allow it is what keeps Hashem from destroying them. In any case, it is a chillul Hashem for an Orthodox Jew to support this. He could at least have abstained.

  18. Jews who call themselves Orthodox should not run for public office, if they’re going to endorse approval for issues which are against the Torah. Otherwise, they should not call themselves Orthodox.

  19. i know this isn’t really such an important question but….does he even wear a yarmulke? i only saw 1 picture of him covering his head and that was in the jewish press and his head was tilted forward so to show the kippah! any1 have an answer for me?!

  20. This is America. This is America. Sweet Land of Liberty.

    President Obama has done everything HUMANLY possible to stabilize the U.S. economy, to work and help all American people. Despite the ruthless and vicious attacks, President Obama has even jeopardized his own political base to appease and find common ground with his opposition. So I do not understand your criticism. Is this about political policies, political affiliation, religion philosophy or is this about race?

    If it is about political policy or religious philosophy, I’m sure that this President will listen to your concerns and try to find common ground.

    If it is about race, this is very sad and unfortunate. Not because of President Obama but because of AMERICA, who we are and what this great nation represents.

    Regardless what happens in 2012, I’m confident that President Obama and his family will do just well. So this is about us. This is about America, a nation established upon the principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity.

    Every crisis has it dangers and opportunities. It can spell either our salvation or doom. So that the nation shall long endure, all of us, without regard political philosophy, must find a way to live in peace and harmony.

    How we deal with these issues will determine our moral health as individuals, our cultural health as a region, our political health as a nation, and our prestige as leaders of the free world (mlk).

  21. FDR once said To Attain Prosperity, we cannot have a Half Boom, Half Broke Nation.
    I cannot understand why any New Yorker would reward BAD, UGLY behavior. How can any New Yorker support a party that would push this United States to the BRINK of Default; whose representatives would prefer to sit on the sidelines and say “No, No, No” on each and every issue rather than making a serious effort to help this country and the American people recover during these very difficult times; and who are determined to destroy the safety net of people struggling on Main Street during these difficult times while giving millionaires and wealthy investor more free rides. What kind of U.S. Congressman would do anything like this? What kind of person would do anything like this? What happened to country first?
    Also, during the past five months of this year (2011), the unemployment rate has been INCREASING; however, from March 2009 to April 2011, the unemployment was DECREASING. Again, despite having millions of people unemployed, it appears that many House Republicans will still say “No, No, No” to efforts to create jobs and get the American people back to work.
    It appears that The Republican Party has been hijacked by some extremists. The Republican Party has not always been this reckless, irresponsible, and vicious. This is not the same Republican Party that was founded on the respect for who we are, what America represents: The United States of America, ONE nation, with liberty and justice for all.
    This is America. This is America, the world’s greatest democracy. The world’s largest economy. Many, many patriots have risked their lives and fortunes so that this great nation shall long endure. It is our duty. It is our responsibility to complete the tasks remaining before us. We must restore civility and brinkmanship so that this nation shall long endure.
    Every crisis has it dangers and opportunities. It can spell either our salvation or doom. All of us, without regard political philosophy must find a way to do our part to make life better in this country.
    How we deal with these issues will determine our moral health as individuals, our cultural health as a region, our political health as a nation, and our prestige as leaders of the free world (mlk).