Its Here! New York approves equality in Marriage!
New York is the sixth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage that will perform same sex marriages within the waiting period of 30 days as the bill was signed by Govenor Andrew Cuomo the historic Friday 22nd of June 2011. It will now be added to the listed States of the United States: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, District of Columbia, Maine, New York and Washington State.
The Reform Jewish Movement has long been committed to welcoming same sex couples along with their families into our congregations, synagogues and communal life…
Holiness can be present in two Jews regardless of sexual orientation, and that such couples could form foundations for stable Jewish families.
Balancing the needs of today’s Jews and still remaining true to the spirit of our faith is something that every rabbi works towards in and out of our temples and organizations.
How does the existence of homosexuality fit in with the way that we traditionally understand the Torah? According to the Torah, gay male couples are to be condemned due to the waste of seed and the impossibility of procreation. There is no mention in the Torah of condemnation of lesbian couples, in regards to procreation. With this stricture in mind, however, how are we to feel about couples who are past childbearing years, or, like so many these days, have chosen to forgo having children entirely?
For heterosexual couples who find that they are infertile, should they not be condemned for waste of seed as well? We accept far easily the options available; fertility assistance and beyond when necessary; donor eggs, donor sperm, and women who are surrogates for couples unable to become pregnant. These are precisely the same methods that can be employed by homosexual couples that wish to become parents. In light of this fact, is there any essential difference between heterosexual couples that are infertile and same sex couples? In today’s times, the reasons for most woman’s infertility are unknown; it was always believed that she might become pregnant, whereas with two men, it was impossibility. Now, as it becomes clear that while some heterosexual couples are infertile, but that there are options for everyone who wishes to become a parent, the stricture against homosexuality is rendered irrelevant.
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As our knowledge regarding our world widens, so must the ways that we interpret our faith and our understanding of it. The same sex couples, members of our congregations have endured a great deal from the world at large and it is necessary to offer them the same support that we would any other member of the community. They, as much as any one else, need our love and our spiritual support and because justice and human dignity are inherent parts of Jewish virtue, it is our duty to provide it.
Part of the duty of Reform Jews is to create an inclusive spiritual home for those who seek sanctuary and solace. Judaism teaches that all people are created in the image of God and are therefore worthy of respect, we must also believe that all people have the right to form a loving and committed relationship with the person that they want to spend their lives with.
Being called upon to perform a marriage and or commitment ceremony for same sex couples is a question that a rabbi needs to decide for him or herself, in accordance with their understanding of the Jewish faith.
There is growing evidence to support the idea that same sex couples can have Kiddushah and that they can form a strong Jewish family.
Based on the conditions I have set, I believe my officiating at same sex Jewish unions serves:
- a loving couple with a Jewish home and a commitment to the practices of Judaism.
- raising children with a Jewish education
This rabbi will be honored to be with the Jewish couple under the Chuppah giving them their blessings as their sole officiant.
This Rabbi will be available:
- Saturday evenings, Sunday thru Friday
- Daytime; weekdays; and evenings
- The tri-state area is: Manhattan (New York City), Queens, Long Island, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Westchester County
- Connecticut can be arranged since the marriage laws allows New York clergy to officiate weddings in its state
- No matter whether it is the two of you; a few family members and friends or a large guest list
- 2-witnesses are needed to sign your New York City / New York State marriage license – it is the law. Inform Rabbi Frank if witnesses are needed to be arranged.
- Reminder: I am a Rabbi and observe the holy day of Shabbat; from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturdays. Weddings are prohibited on Shabbat – Judaism believes Shabbat and the joy of a wedding are to be celebrated separately
Civil Ceremony Only: Yes, this Rabbi is Registered with the City of New York Clerk’s Office and can Officiate all Civil Wedding Ceremonies and legally sign all Marriage Licenses. You need not be a Jewish couple to have this Rabbi officiate your ceremony when requesting a non-religious wedding ceremony. The availability still applies as stated above.
Your ceremony can be any size, months in advance or planned in a week. It can be a formal or informal setting, small or large ceremonies; outdoors, indoors, the beach. I will be happy to travel to perform your ceremony anywhere in the United States; Chicago, Texas, California, North Carolina, Florida to name a few states and everywhere else in between. You can also have your ceremony on cruise ships when in port.
I reside in Westchester County, New York and cover the Tri-State Metropolitan area; New York (including New York City-Manhattan), Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the surrounding locations in Westchester County, Connecticut, Long Island and New Jersey.