ADL forms bloc of organizations for gay marriage

Religious, Zionist groups form coalition in support of marriage equality: ADL seeks to “land on the right side of history.”

Gay marriage  (photo credit: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)
Gay marriage
(photo credit: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)
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.
Among the 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” (DOMA).
An amicus brief is a document submitted by an interested individual or group that is not a party to the case being adjudicated.
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 organizations.”
“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 history.
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 conclusion.”