Thank President Obama for Supporting Marriage Equality
On May 9, President Obama publicly stated, “I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry,” becoming the first sitting president to make such a statement. President Obama has long publicly supported civil unions. Now, in addition to his existing direction to the Department of Justice to not defend the Defense of Marriage Act (which defines marriage as between one man and one woman) he has expressed support for full marriage rights for same-sex couples. This is an historic and welcome occasion.
Marriage is far more than just a legal relationship between two people. It has been recognized by the Supreme Court as ‘the most important relation in life’ (Maynard v. Hill); it is ‘a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred’ (Griswold v. Connecticut). These rights are due no less to same-sex couples than to heterosexual ones. The President also made clear that no religious house of worship or clergy will be forced to sanctify a marriage that violates their own faith teachings.
Judaism teaches that all human beings are created b'tselem elohim – in the Divine image. Genesis 1:27 tells us that “God created humans in God’s own image, in the image of God, God created them: male and female, God created them.” This belief that the stamp of the divine is present in all humans is fundamental to Reform Judaism; it underlies our commitment to equality for all, including gay and straight couples who wish to marry.
Thank President Obama for his historic and public statement of support for marriage equality.