Aguda, O.U. oppose N.Y. same-sex marriage bill


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two Orthodox Jewish groups issued a joint statement opposing the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York state.

Agudath Israel of America and the Orthodox Union, which represent a broad spectrum of Orthodox Jews in New York state, said in a statement that "discarding the historical definition of marriage would pose a severe danger to society in a variety of ways."

"Moreover, we are deeply concerned that should any such redefinition occur, citizens of New York who are members of traditional communities like ours will incur moral opprobrium and risk legal sanction if they refuse to transgress their beliefs," the groups said. "That prospect is chilling, and should be unacceptable."

The groups said that they approach the issue "through the prism of the Jewish religious tradition, which forbids homosexual acts and sanctions only the union of a man and a woman in matrimony, the bedrock relationship of the human family."

The New York state assembly is scheduled to vote as early as next week on a bill that would extend marriage to same-sex couples.

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