The Anti-Defamation League has brought together a number of religious and
Zionist organizations in what it is calling a “broad coalition in support of
marriage equality,” the organization announced on Friday.
Jewish groups that have joined the ADL’s coalition are the Central Conference of
American Rabbis, the Women of Reform Judaism, Hadassah – The Women’s Zionist
Organization of America, Truah: Rabbis for Human Rights – North America and the
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism.
Non-Jewish groups such as the
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Hindu American Foundation
are also members.
The ADL filed two amicus briefs to the US Supreme Court
for two pending cases centered around the issue of homosexual marriage,
Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor.
The first case
challenges the constitutionality of California bill Proposition 8, which
restricts marriage to opposite-gender couples while the second deals with the
constitutionality of Section 3 of the 1996 “Defense of Marriage Act”
An amicus brief is a document submitted by an interested
individual or group that is not a party to the case being
Deborah M. Lauter, ADL’s civil rights director, stated that
in both cases the ADL had brought together what she termed “an incredibly
diverse and impressive coalition of religious and cultural
“In [the] Windsor [case], we argue that religious views
of marriage should be kept distinct from a civil understanding of marriage. The
ill-conceived and discriminatory 1996 law flouts this longstanding
constitutional principle by codifying one particular religious understanding of
marriage into federal law.”
ADL civil rights chair Christopher Wolf said
that “in [the] Perry [case], we urge the court to land on the right side of
Time and time again, religious and moral disapproval as a basis
for discriminatory laws has been rejected by the Supreme Court. The court needs
only to look at its decisions ending slavery, segregation, interracial-marriage
bans and laws restricting women’s roles in public life to reach the right