Rabbis Halt Gay Wedding Announcements
By Advocate.com Editors
Editors at a Jewish newspaper in New Jersey said they will not publish wedding announcements for same-sex couples after a group of rabbis condemned their publication of an announcement for a gay couple last week.
"We set off a firestorm last week by publishing a same-sex couple's announcement of their intent to marry," the editors of The Jewish Standard said in a statement Monday. "Given the tenor of the times, we did not expect the volume of comments we have received, many of them against our decision to run the announcement, but many supportive as well."
The rabbis pointed out the "deep sensitivities within the traditional/Orthodox community" over the issue of marriage equality. The editors concluded that their decision caused "pain and consternation, and we apologize for any pain we may have caused."
The announcement was for Avi Smolen, 23, who submitted the blurb about his future wedding to Justin Rosen, 24.
Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, said the paper's move was "disgraceful" and that it ended up being more divisive than unifying.
"It's ironic because they said they wanted to do this to bring people together, but I can't think of a more divisive policy," he said to NorthJersey.com.
The newspaper, founded in 1931, is the oldest Jewish weekly newspaper in New Jersey. According to its website, "The Jewish Standard is not affiliated with any program, organization, movement, or point of view, but is dedicated to giving expression to all phases of Jewish life."
We set off a firestorm last week by publishing a same-sex couple’s announcement of their intent to marry. Given the tenor of the times, we did not expect the volume of comments we have received, many of them against our decision to run the announcement, but many supportive as well.
A group of rabbis has reached out to us and conveyed the deep sensitivities within the traditional/Orthodox community to this issue. Our subsequent discussions with representatives from that community have made us aware that publication of the announcement caused pain and consternation, and we apologize for any pain we may have caused.
The Jewish Standard has always striven to draw the community together, rather than drive its many segments apart. We have decided, therefore, since this is such a divisive issue, not to run such announcements in the future.
Okay, so this is seriously frustrating considering what happened with Tyler Clementi at Rutgers last week, but what's really interesting is the comments at the editorial. In the past two days there have been over 100 responses and all of them seem to have been written by intelligent, compassionate people with access to spell check.