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Reform Judaism Declares Support for Marriage Equality

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The Movement for Reform Judaism has declared its commitment to equality for same-sex partnerships and its support for same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom. It welcomes the government's plans to introduce same-sex marriage.

The Reform Movement, which represents some 20% of affiliated British Jewry has conducted same-sex commitment ceremonies since February 2011, recognising a greater diversity of relationships within its communities, part of a general move to greater inclusivity in the Movement for Reform Judaism. The Movement considers same-sex couples in exactly the same way as any other member-couple of a synagogue.

The Independent notes that as well as receiving backing from the Reform Movement, other religious groups such as Liberal Judaism, the Quakers and the Unitarians have said they’d like to be able to conduct gay marriages.

Rabbi Colin Eimer, who chaired the Assembly of Reform Rabbis UK working party on the issue notes that: "We are focused on what constitutes good Jewish relationships, be they heterosexual or homosexual. Religious ceremonies exist in Jewish life for heterosexual couples to express their love, commitment, values and ideals. We believe that homosexual couples should have that same opportunity for a religious ceremony within the sanctity of Jewish community, tradition and practice."

In an interview for a Sunday Times film Rabbi Eimer says that "we are interested in justice and compassion... a full and integral part of our religious life"

Reform Movement Rabbi, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner says: "A recognition of equality of marriage for homosexuals as well as heterosexuals can only strengthen society and the institution of marriage. We welcome moves to legislate to this end. We are all made in God's image, an image that has a wide prism of characteristics and believe therefore that same-sex partnerships based on the same stability, faithfulness, love and mutual support as heterosexual relationships should be seen as fully equal in the eyes of the law."

Appearing on BBC Radio 4's 'Moral Maze' Rabbi Janner-Klausner notes that "This is about marriage equality... our starting point, middle point and finishing point is about equality".

Read the Assembly of Reform Rabbis UK statement on same-sex partnerships.

 

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