Support, condemnation of gay marriage recognition

c61be219d7e746d28be27d2549a27570.jpgReactions continue to Gov. Patterson’s directive to NYS agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed outside of New York.

From the Reform Jewish world…

Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Rabbi Eric B. Stark, Regional Director of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Greater New York Council, and Arleen Urell, Chair of Reform Jewish Voice of New York State, issued a statement welcoming the decision.

It reads, in part:

Gov. Paterson’s announcement is a significant and welcome recognition of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals’ right to share in the personal and legal privileges of civil marriage afforded heterosexual Americans. The directive reflects the important belief on which this country was founded – that all people deserve equal treatment under the law. We celebrate Gov. Paterson’s historic decision and strongly encourage the New York legislature to take the necessary steps toward legalizing same-sex marriage.

As Jews, we are taught that God created humans b’tselem elohim, in the Divine image. As such, all people are deserving of respect and dignity and should be treated equally under the law, regardless of sexual orientation. For too long, our nation’s laws have reflected narrow views of marriage, limiting which couples have their commitment and love sanctioned by the state. Those days are waning.

Meanwhile, the evangelical New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is calling on New Yorkers to write letters to their local paper protesting Paterson’s decision and to call and write Paterson’s office.

An email sent out today says: “BE KIND BUT FIRM about no recognition or benefits to people in these counterfeit marriages.”