Jewish Reform Leader Defends Gay Marriage

March 3, 2004

Source: US Newswire

On March 3, 2004 US Newswire published a transcript of a statement of Rabbi Michael Namath of Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, at a press conference in Capitol Hill concerning the Federal Marriage Amendment. He says in part: "The Reform Jewish Movement, which encompasses more than 1.5 million Americans, is a longtime supporter of equal rights for gay men and lesbians, including full civil marriage equality. We believe that all people are made b'tzelem Elohim, in the image of God, and that the diversity of humanity reflects the vastness of the Eternal One... We place tremendous value in the diversity of religious traditions. We respect the beliefs of people whose religions are opposed to same-sex marriages. We would never - ever - want any clergy member or church to be forced to sanctify a same-sex religious wedding if he or she did not want to. But an amendment to the Constitution is not necessary to protect that freedom. The government will never force religious institutions to recognize, sanctify, or condone any marital union."