Rabbis and cantors urge action on gay marriage

Rabbis and cantors urge action on gay marriage

Thirty-two New Jersey rabbis and three cantors were among 120 clergy members urging state legislators to debate and vote yes on a bill approving same-sex marriage.

On Tuesday, NJ Senate President Richard Codey (D-Dist. 27) scheduled a vote on the measure for Jan. 7. Since last month, the bill has ping-ponged between the state Senate and House, and advocates worried it would not be acted upon before Jan. 19, when Gov. Jon Corzine (D), a backer of the bill, is to be succeeded by Gov.-elect Chris Christie (R), an opponent.

In their letter to Codey and Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Dist. 5), the clergy members voiced their support in terms of religious freedom.

“In our nation founded on the separation of church and state, the State of New Jersey should not be in the business of telling faiths and clergy whom we can or cannot legally marry,” read the letter. “We take issue with the State’s current marriage law, which is not religiously neutral but reflects the beliefs of leaders of a particular faith community which opposes marriage equality.”

The list of Jewish signers includes clergy representing the Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist movements, but not Orthodoxy. Orthodox rabbis from Lakewood and the Orthodox Union have spoken out against same-sex marriage, calling it a “radical change to a timeless institution.”

The following clergy signed the letter to Codey and Roberts:


Rabbi Joel Abraham
Rabbi Victor Appell
Rabbi Neal Borovitz
Rabbi Andrew Bossov
Rabbi Kenneth L. Brickman
Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz
Rabbi Paula Feldstein
Rabbi Elyse Frishman
Rabbi Debra R. Hachen
Rabbi Alfred Landsberg
Rabbi Ellen Lewis
Rabbi David C. Levy
Rabbi Sharon Litwin
Rabbi Jordan Millstein
Rabbi Robin Nafshi
Rabbi Jonathan Roos
Rabbi Steven Sirbu
Cantor Kerith Spencer-Shapiro
Rabbi Cy Stanway
Rabbi Ruth A. Zlotnick


Rabbi Stephanie Dickstein
Cantor Meredith Greenberg
Rabbi David Greenstein
Rabbi Richard Hammerman
Rabbi Adina Lewittes
Cantor Erica J. Lippitz
Rabbi Randall Mark
Rabbi Esther Reed
Rabbi Francine Roston
Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu


Rabbi Jarah Greenfield
Rabbi Donna Kirschbaum
Rabbi Darby Jared Leigh
Rabbi Elliott Tepperman


Rabbi Leana Moritt

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