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Saperstein: "No court ruling can take away the beauty in the love shared between two people, and we pray that our laws will soon recognize and honor their commitment to one another no matter their sexual orientation"
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WASHINGTON, D.C., May 26, 2009 - In response to the California Supreme Court's decision to uphold Proposition 8 and deny civil marriage rights to gays and lesbians, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
We are deeply saddened by today's ruling by the California Supreme Court upholding Proposition 8. The Union for Reform Judaism joined an amicus brief, coordinated by the California Council of Churches, to make the Court aware of our unshakable commitment to the rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation. The Court's affirmation of the legal legitimacy of the 18,000 marriages before the passage of Proposition 8 embodies the hope that full marriage equality will soon by the norm across our nation.
While today's news dampens our spirits, it does not diminish our resolve. We renew our commitment to strive for a day when none of God's children will be discriminated against and all people will be treated equally, with dignity and respect. No court ruling can take away the beauty in the love shared between two people, and we pray that our laws will soon recognize and honor their commitment to one another no matter their sexual orientation. That is what justice demands.
Rabbi Linda Bertenthal, Senior Associate Director of the Union for Reform Judaism's Pacific Southwest Council and Co-Acting Regional Director of its Pacific Central West Council, and Rabbi Alan Henkin, Regional Director of the Pacific Southwest Council, both representing regions of California, noted:
Our nation is built upon a strong commitment to equality, but today the California Supreme Court has undermined the rights of gay and lesbian Americans and has unjustly condoned a revision of California's constitution. Such a broad-based denial of rights is in direct contrast to our values as a nation and as people of faith.
While we are grateful to see that the 18,000 couples married before the passage of Proposition 8 will retain their rights, we are overcome with a sense of disappointment in today's decision. We wish support and strength to the families in our synagogues and communities and pledge to strive with them to reach the day soon when all loving relationships will be fully recognized.