OU Statement on New Jersey Same Sex Marriage Bill
Consistent with its tradition and Jewish religious principles, the leadership of the Orthodox Union expresses its opposition to the redefinition of marriage and the state sanction of same sex “marriages” and we oppose the legislation currently pending in the New Jersey legislature.
We do note, however, that the legislation being considered includes protections for the religious liberties of organizations including synagogues, schools and social service agencies. For that, at least, we are grateful.
Just as we, in a democratic, pluralistic society, do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others, same sex “marriage,” now posted for a vote in New Jersey, must not infringe on anyone’s religious liberty. Disturbingly, in too many states, those acting on their religious beliefs have seen government benefits withheld, government funds, contracts and services denied, and privileges such as tax exemptions revoked. We are hopeful that New Jersey’s bill will be enacted and enforced in a manner that ensures that this will not happen here and that employers, social service providers and houses of worship will be free to uphold their faith.
We are thankful to the well meaning and passionate advocates on both sides of this issue who recognized the need for such exemptions. In particular, we thank Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senator Ray Lesniak for working with us on the language and ensuring the inclusion of such protections.
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