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Orthodox groups oppose N.Y. gay marriage

Four U.S. national Orthodox organizations declared their opposition to the gay marriage bill adopted Tuesday by the New York State Assembly.In a statement released Wednesday, the morning after the bill passed the Assembly by a vote of 85-61, Agudath Israel of America, the National Council of Young Israel, the Rabbinical Council of America, and the Orthodox Union registered their opposition to the measure. “We oppose the redefinition of the bedrock relationship of the human family,” the joint statement read. “The institution of marriage is central to the formation of a healthy society and the raising of children,” the groups said. “It is our sincere conviction that discarding the historical definition of marriage would pose a severe danger to society in a variety of ways.” The four groups, which collectively represent virtually the entire spectrum of organized American Orthodox Jewry, said Jewish tradition informed their view of the legislation and expressed concern that, should the bill become law, their constituents might “incur moral opprobrium and may risk legal sanction if they refuse to transgress their beliefs.”The bill, which has the backing of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, is unlikely to be considered this year by the Republican-controlled State Senate.