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Beth Jacob Opposes Marriage Amendment

The Mendota Heights synagogue has taken an official position against the controversial piece of legislation.

Local synagogue has taken an active stance against the proposed constitutional , which will appear on ballots across the state on Nov. 6.

The amendment defines marriage as between one man and one woman in the state constitution.

“This is not the way that God wants us to be treating one another,” said Rabbi Morris Allen, the spiritual leader at Beth Jacob.

Allen stated that many members of his congregation are involved with amendment opposition organization, Minnesotans United for All Families.

The Beth Jacob Board of Trustees has adopted a resolution against the amendment, and, according to board co-president Eric Pasternack, the board made the unanimous decision to join the coalition of Minnesotans United.

“The amendment is inconsistent with many of the values our congregation has espoused since its founding,” said Pasternack. “We have always welcomed same sex couples into the congregation.”

According to Allen, Beth Jacob is host to a diverse congregation that includes many families headed by two members of the same gender. Allen feels the amendment is counterintuitive to the inclusive nature of the Beth Jacob community.

The congregants at Beth Jacob are not alone in their position. According to Kate Brickman, press secretary for Minnesotans United, approximately 115 communities of faith have signed the opposition organization’s coalition. Approximately 15 of those communities are synagogues.

“Communities of faith were actually really the first to organize against the amendment,” said Brickman. “They see this amendment as a direct threat to their religious freedom.”

Among Minnesota’s Jewish community, there is a strong amendment opposition. According to Gabe Kravitz, a community organizer with the social justice organization Jewish Community Action, 35 Minnesota rabbis released a statement in January urging individuals to vote against the amendment.

Fifteen Jewish congregations and organizations, including Beth Jacob, are currently working together with Jewish Community Action to defeat the amendment through voter education, conversation and advocacy training and phone banking.

“For us, it’s personal, civic and religious,” said Allen.

Peter September 06, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Thank you for taking a stand against this amendment on personal, civic and religious grounds. I am also very pleased to see so many businesses big and small opposing the amendment because they realize it would also be harmful to their business.
Bertrand Shoberg September 06, 2012 at 07:12 PM
This is against Torah. YHWH has no respects of person. You can't serve man and YHWH. It's a personal level According to Scripture is clearly forbidden. And even an athiest knows that...
Peter September 07, 2012 at 04:05 PM
I have enormous respect for what any single person may believe in their personal interpretation of their own religion, but one of the most important parts of our country is the separation between specific religions and laws that apply to everyone, across religions.

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