An Attack on Our Dignity

I am deeply troubled that Justices Thomas and Alito took steps to dismantle marriage equality on their first day back at the Supreme Court after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg z”l. It is both not a surprise and an outrage that they would so quickly move to undo Justice Ginsburg’s legacy. 

And, of course, this is bigger than marriage equality. The Justices’ actions this week are the opening salvo in a well-funded and orchestrated effort to dismantle numerous hard won rights, including the rights of same-sex couples to adopt or foster children; giving transgender people access to healthcare and housing; and the right to have an abortion.

As Jews, we understand that an attack on one person’s dignity is an attack on us all.

As Emma Lazarus wrote, “Until we are all free, we are none of us free.” We expect our Supreme Court justices to uphold and apply, not undermine, our fundamental values.

Jews should also understand that such attacks are not about protecting religious freedom. These assaults are about giving license to intolerance and discrimination. Remember that the foster care agency in South Carolina that rejects the applications of same-sex couples also rejects applications from heterosexual Jewish couples.

Over the course of my 19 years leading Keshet, I have witnessed dramatic change: Support for equal marriage rights has evolved from a minority to a majority opinion among American Jews. Similarly, over 50% of all Americans now support marriage equality.

Such shifts in popular opinion fuel my faith in the future. With our allies, our community is stronger than ever. It is up to all of us to persevere in protecting our rights and supporting human dignity.

Idit Klein is the President and CEO of Keshet which works for full LGBTQ equality in Jewish life.



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