U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon struck down the state’s gay marriage ban but delayed the implementation of his ruling for a week, giving the state a chance to stop gay weddings from being performed.
I am currently traveling back from Washington, DC, after
attending a day or so of the annual AIPAC conference. As I look back down at the city of my youth
from 35,000 feet, it is perhaps being so high above the gridlock that gave me
clarity on an amazing day.
I woke eager to hear from PM Netanyahu, excited to stand
together with progressives and conservatives to show our support for the State
of Israel. While the PM address to
Congress will rule the news cycle both within the beltway and outside, there
was other breaking news. U.S. District
Judge Joseph Bataillon struck down the Gay Marriage ban in the state of
Nebraska. Judge Bataillon, stayed his
decision till Monday, I assume knowing that the state would appeal his decision
to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. No matter the reason it was a
huge win, one I support as a Nebraskan (I think after 4 years I can hold that
title), a US citizen and as a Jew. No matter the appeals process I have
confidence that the US Supreme Court will once again do its due diligence.
I feel it important to say that I didn’t always feel this
way, when in rabbinical school I saw the change to the seminary ordination
policy and the decision to perform a unions as a social issue that we as a
movement were trying to be on the correct side of, not that it was in fact the
right decision to make at the time. I
valued those who disagreed with me then, as I do now, but what I came to
realize is that change is not simply something that happens in the secular
world. The religious world changes,
perhaps at a slower pace, but it too changes, and it is our struggle with
change, how to make change and when to make change that shows our deference to
and belief in the holiness of the Torah.
We must never say “no” until we have exhausted all options to say “yes”.
Regardless the topic, we must always go back to our sources, sources that have
guided us for generations and will continue to do so as long as we continue to
search out their ancient wisdom.
I believe in a God who values change and our ability to
partake in spirited debate for the sake of heaven. The time has come for same-sex couples to both
be seen as equals under the law and to sanctify their love before God, whether
in a courtroom with a Judge or under a chuppah with a Rabbi.