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Comment: Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks can vote for me to have the freedom to marry the man I love

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  1. Ben- I think the question you need to ask Lord Sachs is a very simple one.

    “If it were not legal for them to do so- as a member of the House of Lords-would you be voting to allow Jews to get married?”

    1. Benjamin Cohen 29 May 2013, 11:48am

      Very true, although I can’t imagine the Government ennobling a Rabbi if it banned him from performing marriages. Yes I realise it has given peerages to gays…

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 29 May 2013, 12:42pm

      In addition, if that were the scenario, would he be voting to allow Jews to marry outside their faith?

  2. Robert in S. Kensington 29 May 2013, 11:54am

    A good article Ben, but I think we know that the Chief Rabbi’s mind is already made up as are many in the Lords. We saw it in the Commons, so it won’t be much different in the upper chamber. The debate will be heated of course, same mantras, same illogical nonsense, spurious and mendacious allusions to foment fear where there really isn’t any. I still believe it will pass in spite of it but by a smaller margin. Who knows, they might surprise us and give it an overwhelming majority, they can’t all be bad. It’s always the opposition who are the loudest and get the most media coverage but it hasn’t paid off for them.

  3. I think it is clear that Sacks is a softly spoken bigot. Does ANYONE expect a religious nutcase like him to vote for equality?

    The unelected house of lords needs to be abolished.

    And Benjamin cohen needs to ask himself if a religion headed by a bigot like Sacks is worth remaining in. It would be an act of masochism to remain in a church that hates him.

    We can all accept that there is no ‘god’, therefore it does not matter which church you belong to.

    Religion is like cancer – it destroys.

    1. Steve, I share your dislike for the way they have treated us, however they want you to hate them publicly so they can call us “aggressive homosexuals” and say “see how they target good honest godly people”. They are desperate to play the victim. Don’t let their hate rub off on you.

      More and more people are realising what you are saying without us having to do anything.

      Just smile and let them hurt themselves with their bigotry.

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 29 May 2013, 12:47pm

    Although I’m optimistic it will ‘squeak’ by in that ‘other place’, I think it is incumbent on all of us to urge our MPs to not rule out the Parliament Act. Unelected people voting away our rights is not democracy. We didn’t vote for them and we as a significant voting bloc won’t vote for MPs who refuse to support the PA if the worst case scenario were to happen. Every vote counts.

    We should all contact our MPs to remind them and do it now, including Maria Miller The Lords need a reminder of what she said last December.

  5. Useful to know that Lord Sacks wouldn’t answer Ben’s question about his contacts with gay people since 1993. Presumably there haven’t been any.

    The “some of my best friends” crowd usually turn out to have had one gay acquaintance. I wonder if His Lordship has “cherished that relationship ever since” without having an actual meeting with any LGBT representative in the last twenty years.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 29 May 2013, 1:21pm

      I think we can all see through the “some of my best friends” mantra for what it is. It’s their illusional safety net to avoid being branded a homophobe or bigot, but in reality, it’s not working for them very well. MPs and Lords who abstain from voting are another bunch who think they’re immune to it. Abstentions shouldn’t be allowed in my view. Either they vote yes or no. It’s the coward’s way out in my view. Delusional loons either way.

  6. This is why the House of Lords is a farce. We, as a nation, have the NERVE to lecture the world about the benefits and value of ‘democracy’ while we have a un-elected bunch of landed gentry and religious leaders blocking the legislation of our elected house. It’s laughable and a total disgrace.

    1. Frank Boulton 29 May 2013, 6:24pm

      I totally agree with your comment, Truth. If I was still in the UK, I’d probably be a communist calling for revolution by now. It’s just a double standard and we haven’t let other nations get away with it.

  7. It saddens me that someone as obviously intelligent as Ben still falls for the dangerous nonsense that is religion. It’s a pity that he lends his presence and support to orthodox Judaism by attending their synagogues: some would say that that smacks of hypocrisy?

  8. Benjamin Cohen 29 May 2013, 2:23pm

    To answer the anti-religion questions: I don’t believe in a personal God but I do ‘believe’ in Jewish culture and I keep the rules that I want to, because I want to rather than because ‘God’ said so. I go to an orthodox synagogue a lot of the time (I only go a few times a year) because I want to be with my family and it’s the synagogue I attended all my life. That’s all, family is very, very important to me :)

    1. Jacob Dugan-Brause 29 May 2013, 3:51pm

      Family is why, Benjamin, when my father officiated my marriage, he did so in his church, as he did with my brothers’ marriages. Ours was a bit different, though, as we were gay men.

      My father could have been defrocked as an ordained Lutheran minister. Yet both my parents demonstrated something incredibly important that day and it’s stayed with us past their deaths. We were accepted as family.

      It gave us courage to take on our equal marriage challenge in Alaska in the 90s. We left after our state after voters adopted a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage and higher court review.

      Being family is precisely why we married in a church when the state didn’t recognise it — and doesn’t. We are both Quaker now, living in London and quite happy to seek the profound questions that both doubt and reason demand.

      We’re celebrating 35 (married) years next year. Still waiting to be seen as married in Britain, our adopted home. Thanks for your work.

    2. You do NOT need to attend a synagogue which hates you to celebrate jewish culture or to be with your family.

      You are colluding in your own oppression by doing so.

      1. Benjamin Cohen 29 May 2013, 5:46pm

        The synagogue’s congregation don’t hate me. Not in the least! The national leadership of another issue.

        I quite happily held my boyfriend’s hand at shul and we even had a little kiss while looking after my baby niece

    3. Disingenuous. If know real people in a ‘conservative’ religious community (and this applies to Christians and Muslims as well) you know how much the “opposing same-sex marriage makes you a bigot” card is overplayed.

      Lord Sachs met with a group of gay Jews 20 years ago and your grumbling response is “I was a little boy then”. What would you have said if he had never met this group?

  9. By the way it is a statement of fact to call orthodox Judaism a bigoted cult while that Sacks pig is in charge. Unless he changes his extremist bigotry he deserves uttet condemnation

  10. Christopher Coleman 29 May 2013, 4:23pm

    In this instance the Commons are passing legislation that you agree with. Most of the time Parliament does what it wants in spite of the electors. Would the country be in the mess it is in today, if the people had a real voice?

    Because its members do not have to woo the electorate, the Lords can adopt an independent line of thought. It is a corrective to the Commons and I know there have been occasions when the Lords have killed a bad bill or amended it. The landed gentry and the bishops really do have a different perspective that can often be useful.

    Reform the Lords by preventing governments from ennobling their supporters or merely rewarding former ministers. If you push for an elected Lords, you’ll end up like the USA, with two legislative bodies owned by the rich and big business. I bet you won’t like that.

  11. Given that Lord Sacks doesnt even bother to attend the Lords to defend -or as least speak up on Israel, he may well not bother to vote on same sex marriage. However I would remind our readers that the Reform and Liberal movements have already said they will perform same sex marriages

  12. It’s frustrating that you or anyone even needs to ask for equality and then get it voted on and debated which is mainly honophobic evil

  13. Benjamin-Shalom-you said that your experience of Orthodox Jewiish hosts was that they” aren’t concerned about one particular law in the Torah…”

    I am sure that almost any Modern Orthodox hosts would not give you and your boy friend a hard time at the Shabbos table.

    I really don’t think that means they don’t care about that law. If a couple that is of mixed religions were to be invited they too would likely not be given a hard time in a Modern Orthodox home. But that doesn’t mean that these Jews don’t care about intermarriage. Much more likely they do care and would stop both if they had a magic wand to do so.

    In Orthodox Jewish belief, it is a much more serious issue than inter-marriage. It’s one of the very few Jewish laws that applies to non-Jews. Also you must die first, rather than engage.

    Most non-Orthodox rabbis have decided that issues of human dignity
    override all that.

    But Rabbi Sacks cannot go that far.

  14. In the midst of this most serious discussion, I’d just like to note something for the editors. How about more pics of your founder? He’s really cute!! I now return the discussion to the seriousness it deserves.

  15. Great article. Those tasked with making important decisions on our behalf really should know the communities they are representing. It is my conviction that those with religious biases will not act equitably in the final hour. It is for this reason and the fact that they are unelected that the House of Lords needs to be abolished. Bribery scandals in the last 24 hours further add to my thoughts that this section of Parliament is an old boys club and prone to corruption.

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