English Rabbi Opposes Gay Marriage

A rabbi in England is protesting the legalization of gay marriage–

Wait. Before I even discuss this: There is a rabbi in England? There are Jews in England? How does one explain the country’s utter lack of edible food (besides digestive biscuits?) I digress…

Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, an adviser to England’s Chief Rabbi (a position I believe to be completely fabricated) has voiced his staunch opposition to a government plan to legalize gay unions in the UK. In Schochet’s opinion, this quest for equality is “pure politics,” a detriment to “traditional values.” This makes complete sense. Most gay Brits who want to marry their lifelong partners spend all of their free time plotting the destruction of the nuclear family when they have free time between picking their ass-less chaps up from the dry cleaners and molesting children.

Rabbi Schochet makes the following point in an attempt to seem intellectual rather than homophobic: it’s hypocritical for the government to impose their “secular” agenda (marriage equality) on a religious institution (marriage), while condemning religious leaders from making a religious judgment (opposition to gay marriage) on the same secular agenda. He would be completely right if marriage was, in fact, a religious institution and not a right enjoyed by every human being.

Schochet of course felt the need to pat himself on the back for his synagogue’s inclusiveness. At Mill Hill in North London, the rabbi proclaims, they gladly welcome homosexuals. But he still believes that allowing his gay congregants to marry would “run counter to the fundamentals of our beliefs”. What a lovely welcome for new gay members. We’re so happy to have you at our service, but don’t ask us to marry you because you’re disgusting.

The rabbi is joined in his opposition by Lord Singh, head of the Network of Sikh Organisations. In his opinion, not only is the legalization of gay marriage an offense against his faith, it’s  completely unnecessary: “It’s being changed and for no real gain because the law rightly gives every respect to a civil partnership. It is more of a sideways assault on religion, that ‘we can dilute your beliefs and values,’ and I find that concerning.”

This is one of the most frequently made arguments by those who oppose gay marriage. You can already get a civil union; why does it matter? And the answer will be, every time, Because we shouldn’t have to accept civil unions. We should be afforded the same rights and institutions that every human being enjoys. And do you really want to deny the world the glory of gay weddings? Think about the hors d’oeuvres!

Rabbi Scochet’s argument comes down to his faith. He asserts that, “The hallmark of Judaism is the family. The traditional family – a husband, a wife and children.” “Ultimately, of course,” Schochet admits, “it’s not for me to dictate to government and start telling them what to do. I can just simply decry what is going on on the basis of what I consider to be, from a religious biblical perspective, an assault on religious values.”

Decry away. Those of us who believe in equality will be here to challenge–and mock–you when you do.

via The Telegraph

What do you think?

About The Author

Mark Dommu

Heeb's Culture Editor is a writer and performance artist living in Brooklyn and the reigning ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ trivia champion of NYC. Mark created, writes and stars in ‘I Give Good Hebrew’ and is the Editor-in-Chief of The Culture Whore , which curates and celebrates the best art being made in Brooklyn/NYC and around the world.

7 Responses

  1. "Shmu the Jew"

    England? they did Limmud. and even that, they do better else where apparently lol but seriously folks, they dont get the common sense factor that there are religious people (like reform jews, liberal christians, etc) aside from themselves that are not fulfilling a major life cycle event according to their religious values. to not allow them something that is recognized by their religious convictions is infridging on their rights.

  2. Alys

    Same old story when will the world realize the union of marriage has to do with love not gender.

  3. Norman

    oy vey!! a bigoted jew-some havent learned a damn thing from world war 2…so sad!!

  4. Faegelah, London, UK

    There’s between 250,000 and 400,000 Jews here in England – a community much older than that of the States and important to Israel’s history! And if you’re going to attack English cuisine, I have you know that Jewish food here is SO much better than in the US (why are your bagels rubbery and full of sugar?)

    Anyway, the Reform Jewish Synagogue was the first religious organisation in the country to conduct a Gay Civil Partnership ceremony. This Rabbi guy is clearly a member of the United Synagogue, which is Orthodox in principle (but many congregants are secular/modern) so this guy should know better than to attack us gays as he is attacking his own congregants many of whom may be straight but accepting of gay marriage/equality.



  5. RabbiAnna

    Nice sentiments Adam!

    That’s not completely accurate though. Civil Partnership legislation came into British law in December 2005 and clearly stated that it could have no religious content (to keep the Church of England happy). Liberal Judaism (equivalent to URJ in US) at this time published Same Sex Commitment Ceremony liturgy to be done after a Civil Partnserhip ceremony and their Rabbis have performed these ceremonies ever since. The Movement for Reform Judaism (almost qequivalent to URJ) more recently also decided to conduct Same Sex Commitment ceremonies although some of its Rabbis still choose not to. Liberal Judaism (together with the Quaker movement) has been campaiging the government to allow religious gay marriage for nearly two years. Today, both the Reform and Liberal movements are supportive of the government plans to introduce gay marriage, which are still being held up by the Church of England. This is a recently published article by Rabbi Aaron Goldstein in the Pink News: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/03/22/comment-britain-must-stop-fudging-its-way-to-equality-and-let-religions-marry-gay-couples/

  6. hayyim

    this whole debate, both here and there, is absolutely idiotic. it is fighting over words. why should the government recognize a difference between “marriage” and “civil union” at all? if, from the stance of government the two are collapsed into the latter then let religious organizations call their civil union whatever the hell they want to. end of discriminatory distinctions originating from the state and gay couples can choose (or not) religious affiliations that meet their needs.


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