Jewish groups praise US gay marriage ruling

Reform, Conservative movements quick to praise US Supreme Court for striking down Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.

June 27, 2013 02:08
2 minute read.
Demonstrators await decisions in two cases regarding same-sex marriage at the U.S. Supreme Court .

gay pride us supreme court 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


WASHINGTON – Major American Jewish organizations roundly praised the US Supreme Court on Wednesday for striking down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional and for demanding that federal benefits be extended to gay couples in states where their marriages are recognized.

The top court also overturned California’s Proposition 8 – which took away the previously granted right of gays to marry in the state by popular referendum in 2008 – on a technicality, finding that the representatives of the case did not have standing to appeal to their chamber and thus defaulting to the position of a lower court.

“Full recognition of marriage equality – the right to marry the person one loves regardless of gender – is a right whose recognition is long overdue,” Marc D. Stern, general counsel at the American Jewish Committee, said, referring to gay marriage for all in the United States as an inevitability. “Today’s decisions are a large but, unfortunately, incomplete step in that direction.”

The decision on the Defense of Marriage Act (1996) was written more broadly than expected by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is known to be an advocate both for state’s rights and gay rights. This ruling appealed to federalist principles, and indeed, Kennedy dissented on the finding of standing on the Proposition 8 case, implying an interest in applying those principles nationwide.

“We just have to be hopeful that those broad principles of equal treatment for all will prevail,” Deborah Lauter, civil rights director at the Anti-Defamation League, told The Jerusalem Post. “For those states without marriage equality, hopefully they will look at this decision as a positive development and will get on board.”

Twelve US states and the District of Columbia allow gays to marry.

“The civil rights community here has had a roller-coaster week,” Lauter added, alluding to a decision from the Supreme Court on Tuesday that gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Representatives from both the Reform and Conservative movements were quick to issue praise.

“On behalf of the 1,700 rabbis of the Rabbinical Assembly, I join with Jews across California and the United States in acknowledging today’s Supreme Court decisions as opening the way for loving and committed same-sex couples to enjoy the rights and privileges of marriage,” said Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, noting that the plaintiff in the case, Edith Windsor, was a Holocaust survivor.

“Today’s decisions by the US Supreme Court represent a gratifying and historic step toward justice and equality for same-sex couples under our nation’s laws,” National Council of Jewish Women CEO Nancy K. Kaufman said. “NCJW is gratified that the court’s decision in this case grants same-sex couples the respect, rights and recognition that they deserve and for which they have struggled for many years.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery