US Jewish movements struggle with same-sex unions too

With the passage last week of same-sex marriage in New York and civil unions likely to become law in Rhode Island, the church’s efforts to support only traditional marriage between a man and a woman has taken a licking. Both states are heavily Catholic — in the case of Rhode Island, the most Catholic in the nation — and church leaders had lobbied hard against the legislation. (Read our coverage of the New York bill passage here and here.) Yet, opinion among Catholics in the pews about same-sex marriage and civil unions remains divided between support and opposition, and surveys indicate that it likely will remain so.

Other religious bodies also have struggled over the issue. In New York, which has one of the largest Jewish populations in the U.S., the new law has thrown the division among the three major Jewish movements into the spotlight.

In the July 8 issue of the The Jewish Daily Forward, newspaper of New York’s Jewish community, reporter Naomi Zeveloff examines the effect of the new law permitting same-sex marriage and how the three movements — Orthodox, Reform and Conservative — are coming to terms with this new challenge to religious practice. Check out her piece, “Gay Marriage in New York Puts Conservative Rabbis on the Spot,” to see that sweeping new social legislation is not an easy ride for other religious groups either.

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