Today, the leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America issued the following statement in reaction to President Barack Obama’s endorsement of legal recognition for same gender marriage:
The Orthodox Union is disappointed by today’s statement by President Obama endorsing legal recognition of same [gender] marriage. Jewish law is unequivocal in opposing same [gender] relationships. Moreover, marriage and family has long been a prime value for the Jewish people. While Judaism also teaches respect for others and condemns discrimination we, as Orthodox Jewish leaders, oppose any effort to change the definition of marriage to include same [gender] unions.
Such legalization is also problematic with regard to religious liberty, as dissenting institutions are pressured to support or recognize relationships they cannot. Thus, we appreciate President Obama’s statement today acknowledging that in states where same [gender] relationships are legally recognized, such laws must carefully address and protect the religious liberties of dissenting individuals and institutions, and the President’s reported reference to the New York State law (on whose strong religious liberty provisions the OU worked) as a model for how such protections must be in place.
The Orthodox Union will continue its efforts to advance the values and interests of our community in the public square through civility and the democratic process.