The Orthodox Union, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, today issued the following statement in reaction to the California Supreme Court’s upholding of Proposition 8, which was passed in November 2008, amending the California constitution to recognize as valid only marriages between a man and woman:
‘The Orthodox Union opposes in principle the recognition of same sex marriage based on Jewish religious tradition, and we reiterate our opposition to this radical change to a timeless institution today.
We supported Proposition 8 because in addition to our religious values, which we do not seek to impose on others, we fear that same-sex marriage poses a grave threat to the fundamental civil right of religious freedom. Scholars and advocates on both sides of this emotionally charged debate agree that codifying same-sex marriage without providing robust religious accommodations and exemptions will create widespread and unnecessary legal conflict that will “reverberate across the legal and religious landscape.” Already, in states with same-sex civil unions and similar laws, religious institutions, including churches, social service providers and youth groups have been penalized by authorities for their beliefs. Forcing a choice between faith and the law benefits no one.’