Rabbis Oppose Proposition 8

Timothy Kincaid

September 26th, 2008

Anti-marriage activists like to present their constitutional amendment efforts as appealing to those “from secular and faith backgrounds, from Christian to Jewish, Mormon to Muslim“. The amendments are based, they’ll tell you, on “Judeo-Christian values”.

But their Judeo-Christian efforts seem to be missing the “Judeo” component.

The LA Times is reporting that the Board of Rabbis of Southern California has overwhelmingly decided to oppose Proposition 8.

The board — a collection of leaders from the Reconstructionist, Reform, Conservative and Orthodox movements — this week declared its opposition to the measure, which would amend the California Constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. Leaders of the board said they wanted protect the civil rights of gay and lesbian couples.

And this was not some rote decision by some ivory towered committee

The board has more than 290 members. Roughly 120 took part in Wednesday’s vote, the largest number of rabbis to weigh in on such an issue in recent memory. Vogel said Friday that 93% of those who cast votes supported the resolution.

Many of the Rabbis do not support religious same-sex marriages within their faith. But they recognize that the terms of civil marriage should not be dictated by a religious majority.

So where then is the Jewish support for Proposition 8?

Well, perhaps they are referring to Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. After all, I doubt the “New Testament Jews” are part of the Board of Rabbis.

Emily K

September 26th, 2008

“But their Judeo-Christian efforts seem to be missing the “Judeo” component.”


“Judeo-Christian” is an oxymoron anyway.

Yes Timothy, you are correct to be skeptical of “Jewish New Testament Publications” – it is NOT Jewish. It is “Messianic Jewish,” which is a form of Christianity dressed up to look like American Ashkenazi Judaism. So much for the “Judeo” part indeed.

Emily K

September 26th, 2008

Timothy, I took a look at the endorsement orgs and the only truly Jewish one there is the Orthodox Union. They are Orthodox Jews, naturally politically and socially conservative.


September 27th, 2008

In American politics “Judeo-Christian” tends to be a term only the Christian Right uses, and then to describe itself.

There is little or no documented public usage of the term by Jewish organizations and politicians, or by moderate or liberal Christians.


September 28th, 2008

So i was speaking with a good friend of mine and i have lingering question that i thought i knew the answer to(out of topic) do the sodomy laws in the states have any constitutional suppor as far as private, consentual sodomy is concerned? I thought the Lawrence vs Texas case made all sodomy laws in all states(including Puerto Rico) unconstitutional.

Suricou Raven

September 28th, 2008

Joel: Technicly, yes. A few states do still have them on the books, but this is only because no politician has yet initiated the formal procedure to get them revoked. They are not enforced, and if they ever were enforced the court would almost certinly throw them out entirely.

Note that Lawrence did not have anything to do with equality at all – the sodomy law was thrown out as a violation of privacy, not equality under the law. In practical terms, this means both that the case can’t be used as a precident in trying to get same-sex marriage and that legislatures can’t ‘cheat’ by declaring heterosexual anal sex illegal as well and claiming this means everyone is equal.


September 29th, 2008

“Joel: Technicly, yes” Mmmm. Technicly yes the sodomy laws are still substantial or technicly yes they are unconstitutional and unenforcable?

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