- Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples? And;
- Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize marriages of same-sex couples performed out of state?
The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. When new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim to liberty must be addressed.
As a rabbi and president-elect of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, I come here to be with you this morning at the Supreme Court on the very first day of Passover to say: Our nation is ready for marriage equality. This is one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar. It marks the day in Jewish tradition when we mark the Exodus from slavery in ancient Egypt; it marks the beginning of a journey to freedom. Today is our day to march toward that freedom, the freedom to marry. I represent more than 2,500 Reform rabbis. We support marriage equality and have filed Friends of the Court briefs in both today's Prop 8 case and tomorrow's DOMA case. Do not let others tell you that all religions oppose LGBT equality rights. We Reform Jews welcome, support, include, and, yes, advocate full rights and equality, including the right to marry the ones we love.
I confess to being a bit jaded after 30+ years as a public policy activist (40+ years if you want to count my high school and college activism during the early era of the fight for Soviet Jewry).
As we celebrate LGBT (Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender) Pride Month this June, the Reform Jewish community has a lot to be proud of. For decades the Reform Movement has been one of the leading faith voices in Washington, D.C., and around the country advocating for LGBT equality.