Reconstructionists deplore ban on gay marriage

NEW YORK (JTA) — The Reconstructionist movement condemned the passage of a ban on gay marriage in California.

In a statement adopted in conjunction with its rabbinical association and rabbinical college, the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation voted at its convention in Boston to condemn the passage of Proposition 8, a state ballot initiative that restricted the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman. The measure narrowly passed Nov. 4.

"We are saddened and deeply disturbed by the denial of fundamental human rights — to marry, to adopt and care for foster children — to thousands of gay and lesbian citizens across the United States," the statement said. "We are particularly dismayed by the passage of initiatives that have reversed previously recognized equality for same-sex unions."

The Reconstructionist movement, the smallest of American Jewish religious denominations, has long been a leader in liberalizing Jewish approaches to homosexuality. In 1984, the movement became the first to ordain openly gay rabbis, followed six years later by the Reform movement and in 2006 by the Conservative movement.

Proposition 8 proved to be a divisive issue among California Jews, a majority of whom opposed the ban. Non-Orthodox rabbis vehemently opposed adopting the ban, with 93 percent of members of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California signing on to a resolution against the ban. The Rabbinical Council of California, an Orthodox group, took out an advertisement supporting the ban on gay marriage.

The JRF wrapped up its convention Sunday.

NEXT STORY