OU Supports Constitutional Marriage Amendment

Posted on July 13, 2001 In Press Releases

Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization representing nearly 1,000 congregations, joined with other civic and religious leaders to announce its support for the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Nathan Diament, the Union’s director of public policy, issued the following statement of support:

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America joins with the Alliance for Marriage in endorsing the Federal Marriage Amendment because we believe that this text is a reasonable and appropriate response to recent decisions by America’s courts in an important arena of social policy.

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, traditional Judaism recognizes that the institution of marriage is central to the formation of a healthy society and the raising of children.

The Federal Marriage Amendment will enshrine this critical institution in our nation’s foundational law. Recent decisions by the supreme courts of some states — such as Hawaii, Vermont and New York – clearly indicate that the nature of marriage will be increasingly subjected to challenge in the coming years. The Federal Marriage Amendment is a reasonable response to this trend. The proposed amendment will primarily prevent unelected judges from changing the institution of marriage. It will not sanction discrimination against homosexuals, it will not deprive them of certain civil benefits that state or local legislatures might afford to homosexuals, it won’t even prevent the legislation of civil unions. It will, however, enshrine the traditional and historical institution of marriage. This is probably too little for some, and too much for others, but it is the right thing to do.”