Orthodox Groups Oppose Gay Rights Bill

Two major Orthodox Jewish organizations denounced a gay rights bill now under consideration by the City Council. Both the Agudath Israel of America and the Rabbinical Alliance of America said they would use all available pressure tactics to defeat any measure that would compel schools to hire homosexual teachers or require that apartments be rented to avowed homosexual couples.

Dr. Bernard Fryshman, chairman of the Commission on Legislation of Agudath Israel, stated that it is “a red herring to charge that those who refuse to hire homosexual teachers are violating their civil rights, because society has the right to protect itself against any group or individual whose conduct and practices violate religious and social mores.”

He noted that any measure allowing overt homosexuals to work as teachers, camp counselors, policemen and bus drivers “will result in ever increasing numbers of children concluding that homosexuality is a legitimate alternative lifestyle.” Furthermore, he warned, “We may even ultimately face affirmative action programs to compensate them for discrimination of the past.”

Rabbi Abraham Hecht, president of the Rabbinical Alliance and head of the Flatbush Jewish Community Council, warned that passage of the bill would give “legal stature to an aberration.” Commenting on the argument that homosexuals are a minority, he said: “You don’t give special rights to drunks or dope addicts and in this case you should not give special minority status to homosexuals.” He also asserted that if “homosexuality is not stopped, the institution of marriage will go out of style” and destroy “the fabric of the traditional family unit.”

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