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Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks: I’ve not come out strongly against same-sex unions, but we don’t do them

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  1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 May 2013, 6:01pm

    At least he’s not hateful and spewing vile vitriole as some of them do. Even so, this is another reason to get religion out of politics altogether. It’s too far entrenched in my view. The Lords should be abolished. I don’t even want an elected chamber. It holds up legislation, takes far too long to get things done. We’ve had long debate in the Commons and two votes. That should be sufficient. New Zealand functions extremely well that way.

    1. I completely agree.

  2. “We have strong ideas about sexual orientation in Judaism – ideas that are more than 3,000-years-old – but we do not seek to impose those ideas on society.”

    Roman Catholic Church take note.

    1. ‘…We have strong ideas about sexual orientation in Judaism – ideas that are more than 3,000-years-old…’

      bronze age ideas in 21 century, wtf

      1. I honestly don’t care what his views are as long as he doesn’t a) ram them down my throat and b) use them to dictate civil policy.

        He says he has no wish to impose his beliefs on society so he shouldn’t try to stop the bill. Therefore, each to their own. He only publically stated his position because he was asked and he is, whether anyone likes it or not, going to have a role to play in the passing of the bill.
        If you don’t like it then lobby for the abolition of the HoL

        1. And if he votes against the bill then he is a homophobic bigot.

          it’s that simple.

          1. Obviously

        2. And if he votes against the bill then he is a homophobic bigot.

          it’s that simple.

          1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 May 2013, 11:48pm

            Why would you think he’s not going to vote against the bill. It’s against his beliefs and his faith. He will vote no.

          2. because it contradicts what he said, which is obviously no guarantee but it is contrary to your assumption.

            So either we could all write him a nice polite letter requesting support or sit around whining on the Internet, insulting his faith and calling him names.

      2. “We have some strong ideas about sexual orientation in Judaism”
        What the frig did he think those macho stalwarts of old testament judaism David and Jonathon got up to? Swapping knitting patterns?

  3. The Chief Rabbi appears to think he speaks for all Jews, but several other Jewish denominations celebrate same-sex marriage.

    In the UK, both Liberal and Reform Judaism have welcomed marriage equality.

    1. His membership of the unelected House of Lords and his resulting ability to influence civil policy in this country is the sinister part of this story.

      His opinion on marriage equality is entirely irrelevant so long as he does not vote against the bill.

      If he does then he is a bigot.

  4. Brian Sallis 23 May 2013, 6:17pm

    Oh come on , get in to the 21st century and stop living in the dark ages its 2013 not 1320 and we have stopped burning people at the steak so come on its here to stay its not going awayv

  5. Jessica Lovely 23 May 2013, 6:22pm

    Oh for goodness sake. It’s always bloody religion which is holding this world back. Yes, he may not be holding signs saying ‘God hates fags’, but there’s still that “oh, we can’t bless them, because it’s against God’s plan” – when was it and who decided that ‘god’ doesn’t want gay people to be happy. It’s just all so silly. Apologies for the rant :)

  6. Abolish the house of lords.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 May 2013, 6:34pm

      Yes, indeed! If New Zealand can function successfull without it, so can we. Expect our UKIP troll and apologist Spanner to come in here and traduce our arguments for that. Times have changed, they are no longer relevant in a modern 21st century society. At least it would diminish the power of the state cult somewhat. There has never really been any serious discussion about the Lords other than having an elected chamber. Seldom is their sentiment to abolish it entirely.

  7. I remember Rabbi Danny Rich representing the Liberal Jews stating very clearly that *they* not only ‘do’ ceremonies for gay people but that they warmly welcome this EM Bill.

    That said, Rabbi Sacks’ words are pretty moderate, and light-years away from the incendiary comments of many religious leaders. So, that’s welcome, at least. A pity, however, that he couldn’t edge just a little closer to Rabbi Rich’s views.

    1. Sacks is a member of the unelected House of Lords though and I think it seems clear that he will be voting against equality.

      1. Christopher Hobe Morrison 24 May 2013, 2:19am

        I remember Rabbi Sacks from 30 years ago. I have great respect for him, although a lot of the time I disagree with him. Eventually Liberal Jews will accept gay marriage as they have changed on so many things in the past because they follow their hearts rather than the literal meaning of scripture.

        1. Eventually? Liberal Jews have been leading the campaign for marriage equality, along with the Quakers and Unitarians and various other faiths and denominations. They’ve had same-sex blessing ceremonies for years. I’d like to see at least part of the press interview a pro-equality rabbi for once. Rabbi Danny Rich, as mentioned above, or how about Rabbi Mark Solomon, who wrote the liturgy for same-sex commitment ceremonies, and I believe is working on the liturgy for same-sex weddings once they are legalised.

  8. Denying equal rights and deciding gay families are worth less than straight ones IS intolerance

    You don’t have to be a raging Westboro Baptist UKIP member to be a homophobe. You can perfectly politely and nicely express how you think I’m a lesser member of society not due the same respect under law and you are STILL A HOMOPHOBE

    Espousing homophobic views without using slurs doesn’t mean your homophobia is suddenly ok.

    And if he’s not “imposing his views” why is he getting a vote on the matter?

  9. Does he still believe that Jahweh created in world in 7 days? That Eve talked to a snake in a tree? And that Noah saved all the animals in a flood? Or has he accepted that his beliefs are a fictional story like Harry Potter?

    It’s about time that all these religious lunatics were honest about how ridiculous and outdated their beliefs are. And that these lunatics were not given any power in the modern world.

    1. Harry Potter is REAL!!!!

      *stomp stomp stomp*

      /throws self on floor and wails and bangs on the floor

      He teaches us all about magic!
      Sort of like.. the Pope!

      1. Christopher Hobe Morrison 24 May 2013, 2:23am

        Harry Potter goes into the realm of myth. He is more real than JK Rowling wants people to believe. As the saying goes “Every human being has magic in their heart” as do animals and plants. Look up The Department of Mysteries on the Ninth Floor of the Ministry of Magic.

    2. de Villiers 23 May 2013, 9:52pm

      Your post shows how little learning you know about the story of creation. It is not to be read literally. It had many levels of meaning, literary, allegorical and metaphorical.

      No-one serious involved in the study of religion believes that the world was created in seven days or that Eve talked to a snake in the tree.

      1. You mean that it’s a fairytale?

        We all know that.

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 23 May 2013, 11:48pm

        Religious clerics believe that the bible is the word of god. They just can’t cherry-pick this and that to suit their agenda and believe me, they have an agenda. The line in Leviticus condemning homosexuality is open to interpretation but it has become a very convenient tool to foment homophobia, intolerance and denial of basic human rights to one group of people, including civil marriage.

      3. Christopher Hobe Morrison 24 May 2013, 2:26am

        I talk to snakes in trees. They even talk to me, but not in the sense that humans do. Snakes just want food and warmth, and aside from that they can be nice. Just don’t scare them. Oh, but I don’t meet many snakes in trees!

      4. Christopher Hobe Morrison 24 May 2013, 2:30am

        There is a goode course in OpenYale on the Old Testament. There is also The Oxford Bible Commentary. I recommend both of them.

      5. Your post shows how brainwashed you are and how little you know about the history of theology. It. It is only since science has proved that their ‘truths’ are stories that some now say it’s all allegorical. Brilliant minds have been persecuted throughout the ages as they have revealed to the ‘seriously involved religious’ that their ‘truths’ are just stories. Even Darwin was mocked by the religious – because they knew when their creation story was debunked, there would be nothing left.

        But of course, you believe that Jesus raised lazarus, turned water into wine, and rose from the dead? Or do you accept the miracles of jesus are also just a story that was made up?

      6. de Villiers 25 May 2013, 8:21am

        You do sound a bit stupid – like a right wing person trying to dismiss Sartre, Derrida or Foucault while not really understanding them.

  10. You may not do same sex marriages in Judaism but you certainly do genital mutilation of non-consenting children.

    1. Here we go…although this article has nothing to do about circumcision the rabid foreskinners (aka premature ejaculators) are at it again. You sound alot like the rabid anti-gay right wing christian fundamentalists…the ones that protest a little too much and a little too loudly…the uncut doth protest too much (hmmm…issues?).

      Stand in front of a mirror and drop your shorts…if that doesn’t make you laugh I don’t know what will. Then, whilst your shorts are around your ankles put your head between your legs and inhale…not pleasant (WARNING: DO NOT inhale too deeply as this may cause unintentional asphyxiation).

      Given Europe’s historical animosity towards the Jews surely you would want the practice to continue, at least amongst the Jewish population, as this traditionally has been the easiest way to identify a Jewish male…certainly would make the next pogrom or Holocaust II alot easier to implement.

      Can’t wait to see how many thumbs down for this one…lol

      1. Removing part of an unconsenting child’s body for religious reasons (whether they be jewish or muslim, and irrespective of how old the tradition is) without the child’s consent is ridiculous though.

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 23 May 2013, 11:59pm

        It’s a primitive practice and isn’t anti-Semitic to condemn it. There is a lot of hypocrisy surrounding female genital mutilation which is no different than mutilating an equally innocent young baby against its will. Your comment is offensive regarding the dropping of shorts and inhaling as well as the premature ejaculation comment as if you believe uncircumcised men are inferior. Most of us who aren’t circumcised believe in basic hygiene, daily washing with soap and water. I’ve no objection to Jews or Muslims continuing this ritual but in my opinion it is primitive. Please desist from your vile allusion to the next pogrom or Holocaust. Other people were murdered who weren’t circumcised you know. The majority of males killed in two world wars weren’t either. You seem to imply that uncircumcised males are inferior and unhygienic.

      3. As an adult you can cut mutilate your penis for religious or any other reasons if you please, so long as you are able to make your own informed choice about having that done and so long as you don’t inflict it on infants who cannot give their consent nor upon older children who may be coerced into having this done by their families and communities.

  11. His words are encouraging but I hope he doesn’t forget that the SSM bill exludes his religion from performing SSMs unless his religion opts in.

    The govt has fannied around for over yr trying to get the church opt outs perfect and none of the churchs or mp or lawyers have found fault with them.

    So to the bishops in the HoL, the catholic, methodist, jewish etc etc peers sitting in their privilaged seats in the lords please butt out of civil marriage!

    1. John, there are no Catholics in the House of Lords.

      1. Aren’t there? The Chairman of Glasgow Celtic (John Reid) is in the house of lords! As are several other Ex-Scottish Labour MP’s The Labour Party in Scotland is dominated by the Church of Rome.

        1. Sorry, I mean clerics – as in bishops – when replying to the John’s post – wherein he says – “so to the bishops in the HoL, the Catholic, Methodist..”

          You are correct though, voilets49 and I’ll self flagellate myself for the next fifteen minutes while repeating – ‘there are Catholics in the House of Lords.”

      2. Christopher Hobe Morrison 24 May 2013, 2:14am

        This is true. Not in the sense that there are CofE bishops.

  12. I’m not sure that religious places of worship should be afforded special dispensation to flout discrimination laws by refusing willy nilly to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies when, at the same time, the rest of us are legally obliged to abide by such laws. Unfortunately, we seem to have a government that is far too keen to pander to a minority of extremists amongst the various mainstream religions and this sets a dangerous precedent. We’ve seen a heartbreakingly tragic event this week involving two religious fundamentalists caused entirely by a sense of arrogant justification fuelled by their crazed interpretation of the Bible. Different religion, yes, but when it comes to LGBT and gender issues you’ll find that the extremists in all three main patriarchal religions hold exactly the same frightening, often violent beliefs. This is not a time to appease such a trend. David Cameron does his Winston Churchill impression today yet his actions have more in common with Chamberlain.

    1. de Villiers 23 May 2013, 9:55pm

      Is it not enough to have civil marriage, katie, that you want to force everyone else to obey?

      Is anyone – on both sides of the gay marriage debate, prepared to live and let live? No-one ever seems to have any doubt about anything. Surely it is mutuality of doubt that can lead to shared understanding?

      1. No-one is forcing religious cults to perform same sex marriages though (in the same way as no-one has ever forced the catholic cult to remarry divorced catholics).

        This is a red-herring used by the religious cults in their demands to impose their superstitions on all of society.

        1. de Villiers 25 May 2013, 8:24am

          Re-read Katie’s message. Your prepared response does not work in this instance.

    2. Christopher Hobe Morrison 24 May 2013, 2:33am

      Suppose any group could claim to be a religion in order to deeny people’s rights. You could have a tiddlywink society make such a claim.

  13. Patronising twat.

  14. Carl ROwlands 23 May 2013, 9:44pm

    done ever so nicely!

    1. Wrong.

      How he votes on the same sex marriage bill will determine whether he is a homophobe or not.

      Not this mealy-mouthed piffle he is spouting.

  15. “We have strong ideas about sexual orientation in Judaism – ideas that are more than 3,000-years-old – but we do not seek to impose those ideas on society.”

    well unless he votes in favour of the same sex marriage bill in the House of Lords then he is a liar and a homophobic monster.

    Why is this man (along with the Church of England bishops) allowed to have a say on this country’s laws through his seat in the unelected House of Lords.

    How he votes on the same sex marriage bill in the House of ‘Lords’ is what determines whether he is trying to impose his silly religious beliefs on society.

    He chooses his words carefully, I’ll grant him that, but like all religious leaders his superstitious beliefs have zero relevance to the issue of same sex civil marriage.

    Was he asked straight out how he intends to vote on the bill?

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 23 May 2013, 11:42pm

      I think we can safely assume he’s voting against the legislation along with the 26 Anglican cult bigots.

      I think it’s only fair that one day we have a chance to vote against them by abolishing the ‘other place’. Get rid of the friggin HoL, I say. It’s an anachronism that has overstayed its time.

    2. de Villiers 25 May 2013, 8:27am

      A monster?

  16. I’m sorry, but… WTF? After the ridiculous, neverending f*cking spectacle of O’Brien, Venner, Frigid Freakshow and Lord ‘Godwin’ Carey, just how do you define ‘coming out strongly’ against gay marriage these days? Nuking San Francisco?

  17. Actually, it’s only according to Most of Orthodox and all of Ultra Orthodox Judaism that homosexuality is prohibited and that same sex marriages would not be performed.
    They do not speak for all of Judaism and they have no authority to speak for all of Judaism. So anything they say should be qualified with the statement, “according to my beliefs and those who follow me”.

    Otherwise, people like Sacks are just being disingenuous. Unlike Christianity, Judaism does not have a hierarchal structure. No matter what idiots like Sacks think or say.

    For the record, I’m reform Jewish and my synagogue, which is both Masorti and Reform are in full support of marriage equality and would love to hold the ceremonies in accordance with Jewish tradition.

    1. Christopher Hobe Morrison 24 May 2013, 2:39am

      The Ultra-Orthodox are similar to the Catholics in that they not oppose gay marriage and gay rights, they are remarkably tolerant of their members who molest young Jewish boys in their congregations.

  18. JackAlison 24 May 2013, 3:30am

    If he really felt the weight of the holocaust and all it entailed…i.e. being born Jewish automatically made you a criminal in the 3rd reich then he should remind himself as one of the most persecuted minorities on earth that being born gay is not a sin no matter what his 3000 year lineage may tell him. prejudice is prejudice….there are no sunset clauses and excuses…least of all a 3000 year old dusty tome that also esposes stoning adulterers and owning slaves.

  19. Lord Jonathan-Just for one moment imagine you are a non-jew- voting in the House of Lords on a motion that says

    “should we allow jews to get married”

    Which way?

  20. There’s only 300,000 Jews in the UK, as opposed to the 3,000,000 and counting Muslims. Why, oh, why couldn’t it be the other way around? Jews are mostly secular, and many are not even religious at all. Those Mohammadans, however, are a bloody menace.

    1. Your mother wasn’t saying that, last night.

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