Recognition for Lesbian and Gay Partnerships

The Union of American Hebrew Congregations has been in the vanguard of support for the full recognition of equality for lesbians and gays in society. This has been clearly articulated in UAHC resolutions dating back to 1977. But far more remains to be accomplished. Today, committed lesbian and gay couples are denied the benefits routinely accorded to married heterosexual couples: they cannot share in their partner's health programs; they do not have spousal survivor rights; and, as seen in recent court rulings, individual lesbian or gay parents have been adjudged unfit to raise their own children because they are lesbian or gay and/or living with a lesbian or gay partner, even though they meet the "parenting" standards required of heterosexual couples.

It is heartening to note the steps being made toward recognition of the legitimacy of lesbian and gay relationships. Adoption of Domestic Partnership registration in cities such as San Francisco and New York and extension of spousal benefits to partners of lesbian and gay employees by companies such as Levi Strauss, Lotus, Maimonides Hospital in New York City, are models for adoption by other governmental authorities and corporations.

THEREFORE , the Union of American Hebrew Congregations resolves to:

  1. call upon our Federal, Provincial, State and local governments to adopt legislation that will:
    1. afford partners in committed lesbian and gay partnerships spousal benefits, that include participation in health care plans and survivor benefits;
    2. ensure that lesbians and gay men are not adjudged unfit to raise children because of their sexual orientation; and
    3. afford partners in committed lesbian and gay relationships the means of legally acknowledging such relationships; and
  2. call upon our congregations, the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion to join with us in seeking to extend the same benefits that are extended to the spouse of married staff members and employees to the partners of all staff members and employees living in committed lesbian and gay partnerships.