NEW YORK, June 14, 2011 -- Reform Jewish Voice of New York State (RJV) today congratulates Governor Cuomo on the introduction of his Marriage Equality Act, which removes the current barriers same-sex couples face in recognizing their relationships, protecting their families and obtaining essential benefits. Honey Heller and Donald C. Cutler, co-chairs of RJV, issued the following statement of support:
"We are enthusiastic that our Governor has been such an outspoken supporter of Marriage Equality for same-sex couples and have mobilized our community to voice their support.
"As a part of the Reform Jewish Movement, we know well that civil marriage can exist in harmony with respect for a diversity of religious beliefs on the issue of same-sex marriage. Although the Reform Movement celebrates and supports the religious sanctification of same-sex marriages, we respect the view of those faith traditions that hold differing views on this issue. That is why it is essential that civil marriage laws are not rooted in theology, but in the principle of equal rights.
"Recent news that four State Senators have changed their positions opposing marriage equality and are prepared to vote in favor of this legislation encourages us further that civil rights for same-sex couples are within reach. RJV is proud to represent a faith voice supporting Governor Cuomo's Marriage Equality Act and anticipates greatly the day it becomes law."
Reform Jewish Voice of New York State (RJV) is Reform Judaism's advocate for social justice in the state. There are more than 100 Reform Jewish congregations in New York State, with nearly 100,000 members. RJV functions under the auspices of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, a joint instrumentality of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Union for Reform Judaism.