Jews Split on Failed N.Y. Marriage Vote
Senators mention heritage as driving force
Yesterday, the New York Senate voted 38-24 to reject a bill that would have permitted gay marriage in the state. A group of upstate Orthodox Jews were among the bill’s loudest opponents; following the vote, the Orthodox Union and Agudath Israel of America praised the outcome. But there are two sides to the story of where Jews and Jewish institutions stood on the issue. Reform Jewish Voice of New York State’s comment struck a different tone: “This backward step is a deeply disappointing delay on the road to equality, and a vote that is on the wrong side of history.” Additionally, several Jewish senators who voted for the bill explicitly tied their support to their experiences as Jews. Liz Krueger, of Manhattan, spoke of how her grandparents escaped Russian pogroms. Suzi Oppenheimer, of Westchester County, said she saw similarities between gays’ current status and the discrimination Jews such as her husband faced in pre-Holocaust Europe. Such references are all the more remarkable for their occurring in staid, business-as-usual Albany. “I don’t tend to be particularly emotional in this town,” Krueger told the New York Times. “This is different.”
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