Orthodox Jews in US slam same-sex decision

Two of the largest Orthodox organizations in the US attack a California Supreme Court ruling permitting same-sex marriages.

court gavel 88 (photo credit: )
court gavel 88
(photo credit: )
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (UOJCA) and Agudath Israel of America, two of the largest Orthodox organizations in the US, over the weekend attacked a California Supreme Court ruling that permits same-sex marriages. An Agudath Israel rabbi said the decision was "profoundly offensive and dangerous," while the UOJCA called it a contradiction to the Jewish tradition. Rabbi David Zwiebel, Agudath Israel's executive vice president for government and public affairs, said the Supreme Court decision "vilifies communities like ours and the countless other Americans who consider the institution of marriage in its traditional form to be the foundation not only of the family but of civilized society." The court, in a 4 to 3 ruling, declared on May 16 that any law that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation would from this point on be constitutionally suspect in California, similar to laws that discriminate on the basis of race or gender. The court said that California's state constitution protects a fundamental "right to marry" that extends equally to same-sex couples. But Zwiebel saw the decision as an attack on traditional religious beliefs, arguing that the court was in essence saying that Jewish religious tradition is a form of bigotry.