Friday, August 13, 2010

Rabbi Denise Eger's Press Release on Jduge Walker's Stay

AUGUST 12, 2010
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Rabbi Denise L. Eger: “Let the weddings begin!”

(West Hollywood, CA) – Today Judge Vaughn Walker lifted the stay on marriages for gay men and lesbians effective Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 5 pm. Next week gay and lesbian couples will be able to legally wed unless proponents of Proposition 8 are able to seek a stay from the U.S. Appeals Court. There is a question of who has standing to file an appeal.

Rabbi Denise L. Eger, spiritual leader of Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood is ready for the weddings to resume. Rabbi Eger officiated at the first wedding on June 16, 2008 at 5:01 pm for Robin Tyler and Diane Olsen on the steps of the Beverly Hills Courthouse. During the 2008 “Summer of Love” Eger officiated at 60 weddings until they were shut down by the November 2008 passage of Proposition 8

Rabbi Eger, also President of the Southern California Board of Rabbis, is looking forward to the stay being lifted next week. “Let the weddings begin!” she said when she heard the news. “This is a matter of justice and equality,” said Eger. “We thank Judge Vaughn for his courage in recognizing that all citizens ought to be able to protect their families under the law. Marriage is a civil right. As long as you have to go to the county courthouse and take out a license then this must be afforded to all citizens.” Judge Walker found that gay and lesbian couples are also protected by the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.

Rabbi Eger was disappointed that it will take another week for the stay to be lifted. “My faith teaches me that all loving couples ought to be able to protect their families with the rights and responsibilities that come with marriage. Reform Jewish tradition has long supported gay and lesbian civil rights. When Proposition 8 passed it kept me from practicing my faith tradition.”

Eger is the founding Rabbi of Kol Ami and was last month named by the Jewish Daily Forward as one of the 50 most influential women rabbis in America. In 2008 she was named by the Forward as one of the 50 most influential Jews in America for her work on gay and lesbian civil rights.



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