The Rabbinical Alliance of America – Igud HaRabbonim, representing nearly one thousand Orthodox rabbis serving throughout the United States – emphatically censures any attempts to recognize gay marriage as being a legitimate construct within Jewish religious belief and practice.

Recently, progressive activists calling themselves Orthodox rabbis have advocated on behalf of Orthodox Jewish gay marriage. This contradicts the Torah teachings of the Bible, Talmud and subsequent Jewish legal codes to this very day and age.

According to the Torah, marriage exists only between man and woman, and intimate relations are permitted only in the framework of such a marriage. This is clear and undisputed. Anyone claiming to the contrary invalidates the authority of his rabbinic actions.

Barring extenuating circumstances that must be discussed with a competent Orthodox rabbi, as a matter of Jewish law, no Jew may attend a gay wedding nor invite community members to a gay wedding.

Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht, presidium chairman of the RAA/Igud, stated, “Judaism is a teaching of life. It instructs us to love every person and every Jew, regardless of sexual orientation – as does the Almighty, whose concern for every person is manifest. All Jews are welcome in our communities.” He added, “Our love and concern for others go hand in hand with our acceptance of the Torah’s teachings.”

RAA/Igud affirms that every Jew is religiously obligated to follow the Torah’s laws. There is no justification to change the Torah in order to satisfy the needs of individuals or to fit contemporary cultural attitudes.

Past generations have attempted to do so and failed because this course of action is misguided. The teachings of the Torah must guide us, and not vice versa.

Observing the Torah’s commandments is often a counter-cultural activity. In this confusing culture in which we reside, we distinguish ourselves from general society in our attitudes toward food, education, entertainment and much more.

Our family lives are different, as is our behavior in our marital lives. In our attitudes toward homosexuality, we likewise find ourselves in a counter-cultural position.

We remain strong in our beliefs despite demands that we embrace and celebrate that which the Torah prohibits. This is something that we are never allowed to do.

RAA/Igud encourages members of the public who feel perplexed about this topic to discuss it with their Rabbis and Roshei Yeshiva.