Two Voices: This week’s progressive Judaism debate tackles…gay marriage
Rabbi Elli Tikvah Sarah says:
I’VE been campaigning for equal marriage since 1996, when many in the Jewish community were extremely antagonistic. The 29th of March marked the culmination of a long hard struggle, and I’m proud that Liberal Judaism has led the way, publishing Kiddushin liturgy for same-sex couples in 2005.
Equal marriage is good for the Jewish community because it directly benefits between six and 10 percent of Jews, who are lesbian and gay – as well as their families.
It is also in tune with the perpetual dynamism of Jewish life, and Torah teachings about each person being “in the image of God”, the imperative to “pursue justice”, and the obligations to love our neighbour and the stranger in our midst.
Ill-health prevented me from celebrating Nicola Pettit and Tania Ward’s marriage in Brighton on the evening of 29 March, but I’m very grateful to Rabbi Janet Darley, who officiated in my absence.
• Elli Tikvah Sarah is rabbi of Brighton and Hove Progressive Synagogue
Tom Francies says:
I find most arguments against gay marriage absurd. One of them I find particular ridiculous, as someone who works with young people, is when people say it will end the family unit and that children will be unbalanced and bullied.
Families aren’t to do with sexuality or gender, but the love and support that people show to each other. The Equal Marriage Act will strengthen some relationships, making them more stable and better for children and this can only be a good thing for Judaism, a religion and culture that puts such emphasis on family.
LJY-Netzer is strengthened by young people of different backgrounds bringing in different views and helping to create a kehillah kedosha (holy community).
LJY-Netzer is proud to be the youth movement of Liberal Judaism, which fought for equal marriage to make sure all its members can celebrate their love and commitment to each other.
• Tom Francies is a LJY-Netzer Movement worker