Sunday, September 7, 2008

OU/Catholic Joint Statement Affirms Traditional Definition Of Marriage

joint statement signed by Orthodox Jewish and Catholic leaders affirms a "shared commitment" to marriage between a man and a woman.

“We recognize that all persons share equally in the dignity of human nature and are entitled to have that human dignity protected,” the statement notes, “but this does not justify the creation of a new definition for a term whose traditional meaning is of critical importance to the furtherance of a fundamental societal interest.”
“While others may claim the right to establish private relationships between persons of the same gender that simulate marriage,” the statement adds, “the legal classification of such relationships as marriage dilutes the special standing of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Therefore, the statement continues, “it is the duty of the state to protect the traditional place of marriage and the family for the good of society.”

R’ Fabian Schonfeld of the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills and Chairman of the OU/RCA Joint Committee on Interreligious Affairs, signed the document along with the bishop of Rockville Centre on Long Island, N.Y., William Murphy, representing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Last month, the O.U. and Agudath Israel of California joined a coalition of California religious groups supporting Proposition 8, which, if passed in November, would reverse the California State Supreme Court's May 15 ruling that legalized same-sex marriages.

"We know the threat to people of faith and houses of worship is real and under way," the O. U. said in a public statement.

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