[VIDEO LINK ADDED AT BOTTOM] Following the YWN editorial written by Rabbi Yehuda Levin yesterday – decring the same-gender marraige legislation being rushed into the NY Senate, and demanding action by our major Jewish organizations – Assemblyman Dov Hikind released a statement this morning.
Before we post that statement, please read the following paragraph which appeared towards the end of Rabbi Levins editorial:
“We must demand that our organizations: Aguda, O.U., Young Israel, Chabad, Chasidic groups, Mizrachi, Modern Orthodox, etc… coalesce quickly, develop in depth talking points, and have them read, posted and distributed in every synagogue through the state. Each mispallel should be asked to sign a letter or petition, opposing this legislation. In each synagogue and neighborhood, a delegation of Rabbis, synagogue officers, anyone who is a “macher” or connected to politicians or a donor to their campaigns should demand prompt face to face meetings with the politicians and indicate that we are drawing a line in the sand! No exceptions, no narrow carve outs!”
The following is the statment by Dov Hikind:
In a letter sent yesterday to Jewish and Catholic leaders, Assemblyman Dov Hikind decried the seeming apathy of religious institutions in opposing same-gender marriage legislation.
“The New York State Assembly has just passed the “gay marriage bill” by a vote of 89-52,” Hikind wrote. “Owing to aggressive efforts on the part of the Toeiva lobby, several legislators, including Republicans, were convinced to change their “no” vote from 2007. And yet, despite our religious convictions, we have remained relatively silent on this issue. Our silence is deafening. There has been no public outcry from Jewish or Catholic institutions. We have planned no protests, issued no scathing condemnations, or made any serious overtures to make our position known.”
“There is no sense of urgency about this issue in our communities,” remarked Hikind. “In what could just be a matter of days, the State Senate may very well secure enough votes to make same-gender marriage a reality in New York, and we will only have ourselves to blame. And yet, we sit idly by. Where is our moral outrage?”
Hikind made his position on this issue very clear when the bill was debated earlier this week. In explaining his opposition to the legislation, Hikind said, “‘It is about God. It is about what I believe God wants…..I can’t stand here and deny what God says clearly, unequivocally, to me and hundreds of millions of others all over the world. I can’t do that.'”
Hikind wants to mobilize forces with the Archbishop of New York, Agudath Israel, the Orthodox Union, the Rabbinical Council of America, the National Council of Young Israel, as well as millions of other New Yorkers to defeat the bill in the Senate. He has urged the leadership of these major religious institutions to “use all resources at your disposal to make your opposition to this bill known.” Hikind added, “It is my hope that we will be successful in preserving the sanctity of marriage as God intended.”
YWN VIDEO LINK: Click HERE to watch a video of Dov Hikind making his speech in the NYS Assembly on why he’s voting “no”.
(YWN Staff Writer – NYC)