Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:00 PM
xchrom (108,547 posts)
Comment: Britain must stop fudging its way to equality and let religions marry gay couples
Rabbi Aaron Goldstein says legal standing was not why he married his wife
Following the launch of the government’s public consultation on how to implement equal civil marriage rights, Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, the co-chair of Rabbinic Conference of Liberal Judaism, says religious ceremonies must be included in the final result.
I have written before about the process of moving towards Equal Marriage in the UK and now with the launch of the Government’s consultation process titled, ‘Equal Civil Marriage Consultation,’ feel moved to do so once more. I would encourage all readers to participate in the consultation.
I do not feel that the current consultation goes far enough. You will notice that there is only one question relating to religious marriage. On the front page it states that a key proposal of this consultation is, “to make no changes to religious marriages. This will continue to only be legally possible between a man and a woman.” This confirms that the Government proposals are not for Full Marriage Equality but yet again for a stepping-stone towards it. As a Brit, I am used to our culture of fudging our way forwards but the reasons why we need to keep pushing for Full Marriage Equality remain the same.
At the outset, I must point out that comments concerning ‘religious freedom’ around debate led by the Pope, the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu and Cardinal Keith O’Brien, are spurious. Not once has there been any suggestion of compulsion – religious institutions must accept equal religious marriage. Rather, there currently is a bar on my religious freedom to perform a Jewish marriage ceremony for couples, regardless of their sexuality, who yearn for God’s blessing upon the essence of their union: love, commitment, sharing of values and ethics in a monogamous relationship.
Most religious leaders who speak in favour of marriage as an institution should be interested in increasing the numbers of those marrying rather than placing further impediments to those who seek God’s blessing in all good faith. Those who still believe that marriage can contribute positively to the lives of individuals, households and society and who can articulate why that is so, ultimately come back to the argument that marriage was and can only be a union between male and female.
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