OU Asks Senators to Protect Traditional Definition of Marriage

Posted on September 3, 2003 In Press Releases

Senator John Cornyn
U.S. Senate Subcmte. on the Constitution
Washington, DC 20510
By Facsimile: 228-2881

Dear Senator Cornyn,

We write to you on behalf of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization – representing nearly 1,000 congregations, to state our support for the continued legal definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman and the necessity to protect this venerable institution by our nation’s laws.

The Jewish tradition has long recognized the centrality of the institution of marriage, so much so that the term in Judaism for marriage is kiddushin – or, ‘holiness’ – our most central aspiration. Moreover, Judaism recognizes that the institution of marriage is central to the formation of a healthy society and the raising of children. Fathers and mothers are a child’s first teachers and our tradition understands that a child is best served when receiving the guidance of both male and female role models.

We regret that these foundational insights, recognized over the course of millennia by virtually all faiths and societies have been called into question in our time. While it is clear that persons who choose alternative sexual lifestyles should not be subjected to invidious forms of discrimination, it is equally clear that the principle of civil tolerance should not be served by overturning commonly and broadly held values such as the definition of marriage.

The U.O.J.C.A. urges you and your Senate colleagues to consider and venerate the values held by most Americans on this matter and ensure that the fundamental institution of marriage is not undermined by judicial fiats or any other mechanisms. We believe that defense of this institution is in the best interests of our children and our posterity.


Harvey Blitz Rabbi Tzvi H. Weinreb Nathan J. Diament