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News Brief

April 27, 2006
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The president of the Reform movement brought a message of tolerance for gays to the university founded by televangelist Rev. Jerry Falwell. Delivering the weekly convocation Wednesday at Liberty University, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, got a warm response when he said Reform Jews and evangelical Christians had much in common on Israel, on the “moral crisis in America” and on combating religious persecution abroad. However, he pointed out differences on issues such as abortion and gay rights. “Gay Americans pose no threat to their friends, neighbors or coworkers. When two people make a lifelong commitment to each other, we believe it is wrong to deny them the legal guarantees that protect them and their children and benefit the broader society,” he said to murmurs, hisses and scattered boos among several thousands students in attendance at the Lynchburg, Va., university. Falwell admonished the students afterward, saying, “Nobody ever booed me in a synagogue when I said things opposite to what they believed.”

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