Orthodox Union Statement on Supreme Court’s Same-Gender Marriage Ruling


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oulToday, the leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America issued the following statement:

“In response to the decisions announced today by the United States Supreme Court with reference to the issue of legal recognition of same sex marriage, we reiterate the historical position of the Jewish faith, enunciated unequivocally in our Bible, Talmud and Codes, which forbids homosexual relationships and condemns the institutionalization of such relationships as marriages. Our religion is emphatic in defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. Our beliefs in this regard are unalterable. At the same time, we note that Judaism teaches respect for others and we condemn discrimination against individuals.

We are grateful that we live in a democratic society, in which all religions are free to express their opinions about social issues and to advocate vigorously for those opinions. The reason we opt to express our viewpoint in a public forum is because we believe that our Divine system of law not only dictates our beliefs and behaviors, but also represents a system of universal morality, and therefore can stake a claim in the national discourse. That morality, expressed in what has broadly been labeled Judeo-Christian ethics, has long had a place in American law and jurisprudence.

We also recognize that no religion has the right to dictate its beliefs to the entire body politic and we do not expect that secular law will always align with our viewpoint. Ultimately, decisions on social policy remain with the democratic process, and today the process has spoken and we accord the process and its result the utmost respect.

In the wake of today’s ruling, we now turn to the next critical question for our community, and other traditional faith communities – will American law continue to uphold and embody principles of religious liberty and diversity, and will the laws implementing today’s ruling and other expansions of civil rights for LGBT Americans contain appropriate accommodations and exemptions for institutions and individuals who abide by religious teachings that limit their ability to support same-sex relationships?

Already, several states have struck a balance by incorporating religious liberty protections into their same sex marriage statutes. This approach must continue, for the expansions of civil rights for some Americans must not come at the cost of the civil rights of other Americans.

The Orthodox Union is proud to assert its beliefs and principles in the public forum, and will continue to do so in a manner that is tolerant and respectful of all of our nation’s citizens, but which is also authentically based upon our sacred ancient texts and time-honored traditions.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. I dont understand what the Agudah’s religious views have to do with the Supreme Court’s ruling on a civil matter? What your religion holds (among the thousands of different religious that each hold their own views), should have no impact on how civil matters are decided.

    This is a good day for those seeking equal rights under the law. There will be no floods, no destruction of America. Life will go on, and your straight marriage will be just as strong as it was yesterday. Everyone get back to work and feel proud that you are are on the wrong side of history. (just as those who protested white/black marriages and desegregation in the last century – those biggots are all dead now, and the world is a better place without them)

  2. The USA under Obama became a sodomite country
    Obama, the 5 Supreme Court Judges and every single of the 60920917
    Obama voters must be destroyed like the citizens of Sodom
    Gomorah including the hellenist ,erev rav leftist jews and the
    avodah zorah practitioner Amolekie Chassidim who voted
    for Obama.

  3. @#1: The Torah expects us to respect all people. I asked one of my rabbanim regarding someone who commits murder etc. Does respect even apply to a murderer?
    His response was that respect is different from honor. Let’s say that the murderer is being led to the courthouse and there is a crowd gathering around him. A way to respect is not to scream, “Murderer!” or to spit on him/her. He/she also has to have council at his/her side.
    Honor is different. I agree with you that mishgav zachor is not to be respected. However, I do not now have to scream and yell at the individual and the like or be mean.
    I will not officiate at their “wedding” nor will I agree with them on this issue.
    With this ruling, though, I believe we are now witnessing the spiritual capitulation of this country.

  4. Sleep through the Darkness,perhaps morning will come
    in our lifetimes

    Where was the Orthodox Union Statement before the Supreme Court’s ruling?!

  5. Oh, OU, the Justices allowed a chance of appeal

    So show that you’re more than just bark

    If necessary, push to abolish the public legal standing of marriage altogether

    p.s.It’s worthwhile reading the opinions of the dissenting justices

  6. America has just committed the crime of cosvim kesuba lizochor. This was the cause for destruction of the dor hamabul. America has already fallen very far from where it was even 20 years ago and the downfall is accelerating in the loss of financial, military and moral clout.

    I would be wise for us to look for a makom manos. May Hashem have rachmonus on his nation and save us from tzaros.

    May Hashem bring Moshiach soon.

  7. Friends,

    Given the current seemingly unstoppable momentum of the homosexual agenda I think it is time for our movement to fall back to “Helm’s Deep.” For those not familiar with this Lord of the Rings allusion, Helm’s Deep was the ultimate defensive fortress of the Kingdom of Rohan. Our Helm’s Deep is the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

    I am in Oklahoma City where we have just formed a new statewide organization, Oklahomans for the First Amendment, and set a goal of amending all sexual orientation regulations in the state with the following clause:

    “In no circumstance shall sexual orientation regulations supercede the First Amendment rights of individuals, churches and religious organizations to freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion.”

    I believe this amendment is capable of neutralizing all of the fascist aspects of the sexual orientation laws now in effect in the country, and will shift everyone’s focus to fact that sexual orientation laws are a direct attack on the constitution. It will force everyone, including public officials to take a stand on one side of the fence or the other, and I think there is still too much respect for the First Amendment in the citizenry for public figures (even pro-“gay” liberals) to openly agree that sexual orientatiuon laws should trump it. Importantly, this amendment protects individuals and religious organizations, not just churches.

    The “gay agenda” is an out of control windfire sweeping across the land. It is firebreak time, and I think this could do it. It is also a real crowd pleaser for people on our side of the issue and we should have no lack of petition circulators and advocates, even pastors.

    Attached find our petition which will begin to circulate tomorrow an several churches. I urge all pro-family leaders in conservative cities and states to prepare to follow this lead. Give this OK group the chance to get on the radar with the national conservative media as the launching pad for this tactic, then jump on the bandwagon. If we move fast we might just start a counter-revolution.

    If you are in a liberal city or state I urge you NOT to start your campaign until we have had numerous victories in conservative areas.


    Dr. Scott Lively

  8. Since we the Orthodox community in it’s entirety caused the marriage bill in NY which led to this moment we are responsible and we must do Teshuva!

    Chatanu Tzuranu Slach Lanu YOetzranu

    The Future of the Western World depends not so much on this evil court decision, but on what we conservatives do today and the day afterwards!
    It Goes with out saying that we should never vote for a pro gay candidate again

    An example of what you can do: I suggest everyone who lives in Lakewood call up
    Congressman Chris Smith (609) 286-2571
    and demand “he sponsor a constitutional amendment banning same sex “marriage” across the country including the state of New Jersey”

  9. So what!

    Over the 200 years the goyim in America (and elsewhere) have legalized all sorts of perverse behavior, and deciminalized virtually every form of intimate behavior regardless of marriage status. We don’t hold by their law, and we govern ourselves by halacha.

    Jews do not hold by government marriage (or divorce). It doesn’t really affect us. It does affect those Christians who reject the idea of “canon law” and therefore in the past held that government law regulated marriage – they will be forced to adopt the Jewish approach, meaning running their own legal systems governed by their own laws.

    The “cake” issue doesn’t really affect us. If a kosher baker is willing to sell a cake to a Jew marrying a goy (or marrying another Jew when the woman was married and lacks a “get”), they have no problem selling it to two women. Under American law, no rabbi will get in trouble for not officiating at a gay wedding (any more than for refusing to officiate at any other halachically prohibited, but legal under American law, wedding).

    The historic American law was that marriage involved one man, one women (no polygamy, which is the next to be legalized), forever (no divorce), excluding anyone else (i.e. no relations before marriage, no cheating, etc.–they legalized that a long time ago).

  10. Let the pope do the dirty job of going on a wild rampage & attack against Obama & the Civil court. In today’s world, the pope’s condemnation shall carry more weight.

  11. ModernGuy,

    You are dead wrong. Many have had their religious beliefs trampled on by being forced to participate in gay weddings by providing direct services to the wedding.

    There is no reason for this coercion and the gays will find many who will gladly to their dirty bidding so there is no loss of access to their services.

    In the meantime we will be bombarded by images of their abominable lifestyle and their pushing their way of life in our faces.

    Their weddings are a joke and last on the average under a year and a half. They take in children for pedophilic purposes. They have a very high incidence of Aids. They don’t proved useful children to society. They could engage in their activities without the sanction of the state but they want it to tout their lifestyle in our faces. The funny part is that they are very friendly with the Islamists that would wipe them out given the chance.

  12. I can’t wait till Joe can marry his cow Betsy. Or his dog. Or his cat. Its coming next. How are they going to work out that public bathroom situation? Hmm. You dumb stupid voters put these wicked Sodomites into power, so enjoy.

  13. Polytheism was legalized in the Unites States in 1788. I suspect that many of the people objecting to this decision voted for a polytheist in the last Presidential election.

  14. “At the same time, we note that Judaism teaches respect for others and we condemn discrimination against individuals”

    did the OU get a rav hamachshir before writing this statement

    I quote sure that both R Belsky and R Schechter never approved this statement

  15. akuperma is 100% correct. Our definition of marriage was never dependent on the legal definition. State law allows a man to divorce his wife and marry his wife’s sister, a relationship prohibited by the Torah. State law allows a widow to marry her ex husband’s brother, again prohibited by Jewish law. State law allows a man to divorce his wife and marry his wife’s daughter (Woody Allen style). Jewish law prohibits. No one insisted that these laws be banned. conversely, state law (in many states) prohibit a woman from marrying her first cousin, a relationship condoned by Jewish law.

    This law is none of our business.

  16. This is the email that Eshel sent out to it’s community. Eshel is a community of Orthodox and formerly Orthodox GLBT people and their allies.

    It is a moving day for us at Eshel; a moment of affirmation and celebration. The Supreme Court has determined that depriving LGBT people of the opportunities and benefits of civil marriage is a denial of their civil rights.

    People at Eshel are finding each other, making committed partnerships and finding ways to make families. They are eager to know if they can make a home in Orthodox community, if they can be members of Orthodox synagogues, and if their children will be welcome in Orthodox schools and summer camps. They are eager to belong, contribute their energies and resources, and to enjoy the richness of Orthodox community.

    While we do not claim to have solved all of the halakhic issues, we honor this moment by reaching out to traditional leaders across the nation to open the doors to LGBT people who want to live their lives fully in community. We hope our leaders will make this possible and we are committed to helping them make it so.
    Shabbat Shalom!

  17. use your head
    maybe he thinks it’s important that the avg Jews knows what those rishaim are thinking.

    I we understood what the threat of this agenda we would never have listened to all those “askonim” telling us to vote for all the low lives that support these things.

    we the Orthodox Jewish community is as responsible for this churban as Ruth Bader Ginsburg YMS

  18. Tzoorba, about time… And the rest
    you are not stuck in America. Instead of crying about it you can move out. And excuse me if this makes me a horrible zionist but you can come to Israel. Your right America is not eternal and will eventually have a downfall(kosev krsubah lizachor) although we don’t know when. Instead of worrying about Americas problems come and worry about our problems shmiras shabbos, talmud torah, giyur. You can vote here, speak, complain and best of all set an example to other yidden. Vikashlu ish bachiv, ish bavon achiv, not bavonos America.
    Come to Israel, say your not one of them. Let them fall. And stop the western culture from coming to Israel

  19. aka pooka,

    You are correct and I am exploring living in Israel. However, right now I am a member in a great kollel which would be difficult to replace.

    Additionally, Rav Sternbuch shlit”a indicated after the Charlie Hedbo massacre that Jews from France shouldn’t emigrate en masse to Eretz Yisrael because there are security issues there also and there would be adjustment issues.

    In any case, one should remain watchful about the situation in America because the gay wrongs decision is a severe sin.

  20. Tzoorba
    There are plenty of gdolim that are not considered tziyoni that feel that it is a positive thing to live in Israel.
    And I don’t remember Rav Sternbach discussing security issues. Only adjustment issues and that you should first find a good school for your kids. as far as your kollel there is no limit to the Torah learning here. Even bein hazmanim when you go on vacation with the family you can always find abeis medresh and minyan.
    Buy I know its an adjustment and I think we’re really arguing. Only realize that the more frum Americans that come the easier it is for the rest to adjust.