HUC-JIR's Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation Supports Faith Leaders for the Freedom to Marry

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion/Los Angeles, in conjunction with California Faith for Equality, Metropolitan Community Church, and the Fellowship, launched a campaign to support "To Have and To Hold: Faith Leaders for the Freedom to Marry." 

This message comes during the "Limits on Marriage" ballot measure petition in California, a similar ballot measure in Florida, potential initiatives in other states, and with heated discussions about marriage within the structures of many religious denominations. The videos feature prominent faith leaders across denominations and discuss:

  • Supporting the freedom to marry and equal civil marriage rights for all people, including same-sex and same-gender loving couples.
  • Opposing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families.
  • Affirming that the State should not interfere with religious traditions that bless same-sex marriages or with same-sex couples who choose to marry; and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities, and commitments of civil marriage.
  • Opposing appeals to sacred texts and religious traditions for the purpose of denying legal and social equity to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender couples.
  • Affirming that the State will not require religious groups to officiate at, or bless, same-sex marriages.

Rabbis in the video include Denise Eger, Edward Feinstein, Harold Schulweis, and Zach Shapiro. Many other rabbis participate in CFE's campaign for the freedom to marry. 

About the IJSO 

The Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation (IJSO) at HUC-JIR is a unique entity within the Jewish community with its explicit mission of preparing Jewish leadership with the capacity, compassion and skills to change congregational attitudes, policies, and, indeed, Jewish society so as to include each and every Jew, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. By encouraging dialogue on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues among the organizational arms of the Reform Movement, as well as with local and national organizations, the Institute will create a unique space where Jewish tradition, ethics and values combine in the spirit of social justice, holiness and community to foster the complete integration and welcoming of LGBT people in congregations and communities. 

Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's first institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding.