This morning I joined fellow clergy members, business leaders, LGBT advocates,and civil rights champions to announce the formation of New Jersey United for Marriage, a campaign to bring marriage equality to New Jersey once and for all. The press conference was held on the boardwalk in Asbury Park and I was honored to deliver the following statement in support of this most important effort.
Statement in Support of New Jersey United for Marriage
by Rabbi David C. Levy
16 years ago I sat with a very close friend consoling him after he had been through a particularly bad break-up. As I assured him that one day he would find the right person, I said “Don’t worry, someday you will find a nice Jewish boy, and I will be there to celebrate at your wedding!” A rather bold statement at a time when marriage equality was barely a dream and the first legally recognized same sex marriage was still 7 years in the future.
But my statement was a reflection of my faith as a Rabbi and my belief in the American ideal. As a Rabbi, I understand my faith’s lesson that we are all equally created B’tzelem Elohim, in the divine image, as a guiding principle teaching us that all people are deserving of equal treatment and equal opportunity. As a Rabbi whose tradition celebrates the sanctification of same sex marriages, I pray for the day when those marriages are recognized in the eyes of the law, as I believe they already are in the eyes of God.
It has been 16 years since I assured my friend that I would celebrate at his wedding. He has, in fact, found a nice Jewish man with whom to share his life and his love, and in October I look forward to celebrating with them at their wedding; something they can do because they live in New York. If they lived here in New Jersey they would still be waiting.
We are blessed to live in a country and a state whose history reflects a historic commitment to the continuing pursuit of civil rights for all individuals and the continuing guarantee of Religious freedom. As an American and a proud resident of New Jersey, I am committed to seeing that ideal reflected in full legal recognition of same sex marriages in our state, while still respecting the rights of those faith traditions that choose not to sanctify such marriages.
We have waited far too long to see the lifetime promise of love, commitment and responsibility that is marriage be made available to all couples. We cannot wait any longer. Marriage equality is no longer the dream of someday, it is the undeniable right of this day and we stand together committed to making that right a reality in our state.
For the New Jersey United for Marriage campaign to succeed, it is going to take marriage supporters from all over the state stepping up to take action. Sign the New Jersey United for Marriage pledge by following this link and tell New Jersey lawmakers that it’s time for the freedom to marry: http://njum.org/pledge
Two more ways to show your support: “like” New Jersey United for Marriage on Facebook and follow @NJ4Marriage on Twitter for the latest in our campaign to win marriage equality!