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Albany, NY - Gay Marriage Now Just One Vote Shy Of Becoming Law in New York

Published on: June 15, 2011 09:02 AM
By: AP
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View of the Senate Chamber during a session of the New York state Senate at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., Tuesday, June 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)View of the Senate Chamber during a session of the New York state Senate at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., Tuesday, June 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

Albany, NY - After a second day of a lobbying blitz and propelled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s personal buttonholing of GOP senators, a measure to legalize gay marriage in New York drew to within one vote of passing, with at least two more Republicans still undecided.

On Tuesday, a second Republican senator said he would support Cuomo’s same-sex marriage bill, less than two years after he was part of a GOP-led defeat of a similar bill that dealt a blow to the national effort to legalize gay marriage.

In New York, Sen. Roy McDonald of Saratoga County announced he would vote for gay marriage, creating a 31-31 tie, resulting in no law. Thirty-two votes are needed to pass a bill in the 62-seat chamber. Several senators, however, still haven’t committed to a vote that could happen Friday, what could be the final day of the legislative session.

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“My vote is going to be for marriage,” McDonald said. “I think it’s compassion, trying do the right thing, trying to get everyone to live together.”

“Our big state is big enough for everybody,” he said.

When told McDonald would support gay marriage, Republican Sen. William Larkin of Orange County responded, “Shocking.”

Fellow GOP Sens. Mark Grisanti of Erie County and Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie said they were undecided on the issue.

“It has nothing do with politics,” Gristanti told The Buffalo News.

Said Saland, who voted against the measure in 2009: “My phone has been flying off the hook, both ways.”

Saland said he knows of no other Republican senators planning to support same-sex marriage. But Cuomo, a Democrat, has met constantly with them, including an evening at the governor’s mansion and in private meetings. Several Republicans described Cuomo’s pitch as passionate and persuasive.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican who opposes gay marriage, said his conference will make a decision in a closed-door meeting, likely on Wednesday. If it does, he said a floor vote would likely be Friday.

“It’s certainly closer, but nobody else has told me they are definitely going to vote for it,” Skelos said.

The measure, for the fourth time in two years, is expected to easily pass in the Democrat-led Assembly, where Speaker Sheldon Silver said he believes Cuomo has secured enough votes for passage in the Senate.

Each side of the gay-marriage debate in Albany is funded by more than $1 million from national and state advocates being used in media blitzes and in promised campaign cash for lawmakers who side with them. The effort, organized by Cuomo, drew three Democratic senators and one Republican, Sen. James Alesi of Monroe County, to the cause on Monday.

The sole Democratic senator opposed to the bill, the Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. of the Bronx, continues to drum up opposition, saying it’s his calling.

New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan blogged Tuesday that approving gay marriage is akin to a communist country redefining other basic human rights.

“In those countries, government presumes to ‘redefine’ rights, relationships, values and natural law,” Dolan said. He said “courageous” senators are facing a “stampede” of lobbying to change their votes. “But, please, not here! Our country’s founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government.”

Same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C., but the effort has flagged since the defeat in New York. Opponents are bolstered by defeats of similar bills in Maryland and Rhode Island this year, and recent polls have shown New Yorkers slightly less supportive of gay marriage as the issue gained more attention this year.

Cuomo said his bill is “roughly” the same as the one beaten back in 2009 in a Senate then led by Democrats. Republicans won a 32-30 majority in 2010.

The governor’s bill doesn’t include all the additional religious exemptions Republicans sought. Republicans want churches, religious groups and individuals opposed to gay marriage exempted from performing or hosting gay marriages.

“I think if the governor pays real respect to the need for religious carve-outs and builds that into this bill, creating a clear definition between civil marriage and religious marriage, it’s going to take the wind out of the sales of people like Jason McGuire who are against the bill,” Republican Sen. Greg Ball said.

McGuire, an Elmira pastor and president of the New Yorkers Family Research Foundation, says gay marriage damages children.

A Siena College poll Monday found 55 percent of New Yorkers support gay marriage, a decline from 58 percent in April. Just 14 percent of New Yorkers said gay marriage should be the top priority of the Legislature. The poll questioned 819 registered voters June 5-8 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.


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Read Comments (29)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 15, 2011 at 09:22 AM me lahshem aili Says:

“1. Call your State Senator especially if your (in Carl Kruger's and Andrew Lanza's (Staten Island) district) and leave the message that you are deeply opposed to legalizing same-gender marriage we will be watching to see how the Senator votes on this important issue and are votes depend on it. To be connected to your State Senator, or if you don’t know who your State Senator is, call the Senate operator at 518-455-2800.


“2. Call Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (518-455-3171), and leave the message that, as leader of the Republican majority in the State Senate, he should make every effort to ensure that the Senate continues to stand firm against same-gender marriage. Also tell him that the biggest reason Jews have been voting Republican is because of social values and that saving marriage is the most important social value and if this CV passes we may (or will) vote democrat.

it's assur to rely on nissiem.

2

 Jun 15, 2011 at 09:38 AM Anonymous Says:

The bill will pass tomorrow or Friday and will be signed next week by the Governor. its time for yidden to move on and focus on really imortant issues rather than trying to impose our halacha on others who obviously reject our values. Lets concentrate on jobs for our boys and girls, better educations, neighborhood facilities etc. and get out of monitoring other peoples' bedroom behavior.

3

 Jun 15, 2011 at 09:44 AM RebSimcha Says:

I'm not convinced that Yiden should be involved to block or avoid this vote to come thru in favor of this freaken non sense,including 'Aguda' , I don't see where Yiden should get effected if it passes, it just comes to show you how shamefull and sub-low ALL politicians are! Wiener is a low life that you KNOW but they're all the same dirty and low class! !

4

 Jun 15, 2011 at 10:08 AM Anonymous Says:

By putting all the political resources of the frum community into blocking this issue, we will lose potential clout on really important issues. Get over your hangups on gay marriage. Its a reality throughout the U.S. and doesn't affect us as much as poverty, lack of jobs and educational opportunities, housing etc. Lets focus on tomorrow's issues, not yesterday's losing battles.

5

 Jun 15, 2011 at 10:12 AM sechelyoshor Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

The bill will pass tomorrow or Friday and will be signed next week by the Governor. its time for yidden to move on and focus on really imortant issues rather than trying to impose our halacha on others who obviously reject our values. Lets concentrate on jobs for our boys and girls, better educations, neighborhood facilities etc. and get out of monitoring other peoples' bedroom behavior.

How sad and narrow minded that many frum yidden don't think Agudah should serve any government related purpose other than to find money for our tzibbur.

We have a moral obligation to make a strong objection when the morality of our society is at stake. Sitting by idly and watching a law pass that negates one of the sheva mitvos b'nei Noach, is very wrong! (Why do you think we have Midrashim that tell us about Mitzrayim sanctioning same sex marriages? Maybe you think they should have just pointed out that the Mitzrim were anti-semites who wouldn't 't pay for our school busses and food stamps!)

6

 Jun 15, 2011 at 10:13 AM NOobama Says:

Reply to #3  
RebSimcha Says:

I'm not convinced that Yiden should be involved to block or avoid this vote to come thru in favor of this freaken non sense,including 'Aguda' , I don't see where Yiden should get effected if it passes, it just comes to show you how shamefull and sub-low ALL politicians are! Wiener is a low life that you KNOW but they're all the same dirty and low class! !

You say your not sure if yidden should get involved, Hey buddy I've got the answer its Yes. Look Agudah is getting involved that should solve your dilemma.

7

 Jun 15, 2011 at 11:27 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
me lahshem aili Says:

“1. Call your State Senator especially if your (in Carl Kruger's and Andrew Lanza's (Staten Island) district) and leave the message that you are deeply opposed to legalizing same-gender marriage we will be watching to see how the Senator votes on this important issue and are votes depend on it. To be connected to your State Senator, or if you don’t know who your State Senator is, call the Senate operator at 518-455-2800.


“2. Call Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (518-455-3171), and leave the message that, as leader of the Republican majority in the State Senate, he should make every effort to ensure that the Senate continues to stand firm against same-gender marriage. Also tell him that the biggest reason Jews have been voting Republican is because of social values and that saving marriage is the most important social value and if this CV passes we may (or will) vote democrat.

it's assur to rely on nissiem.

Thanks for the number -- Kruger is my senator and I called and told him me and my family firmly support gay marriage -- its the civil rights issue of our time and while I may not personally not choose to indulge, I congratulated him on his courage in supporting this profound benefit that means so much to so many of our fellow citizens

8

 Jun 15, 2011 at 10:32 AM eighthcomment Says:

we are Yidden, a light on to the Nations. Do not forget why we are on this world-not for money, but to spread the true way. And you bet this will be held against us if we do not get involved!

9

 Jun 15, 2011 at 11:15 AM jonkamm623 Says:

I would like to marry my horse.Would that be ok.

10

 Jun 15, 2011 at 11:32 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
sechelyoshor Says:

How sad and narrow minded that many frum yidden don't think Agudah should serve any government related purpose other than to find money for our tzibbur.

We have a moral obligation to make a strong objection when the morality of our society is at stake. Sitting by idly and watching a law pass that negates one of the sheva mitvos b'nei Noach, is very wrong! (Why do you think we have Midrashim that tell us about Mitzrayim sanctioning same sex marriages? Maybe you think they should have just pointed out that the Mitzrim were anti-semites who wouldn't 't pay for our school busses and food stamps!)

"Sitting by idly and watching a law pass that negates one of the sheva mitvos b'nei Noach, is very wrong!"

Your comment and those of others who babble about the importance of not allowing laws to be enacted that might violate the "sheva mitvos b'nei Noach" is bizarre. We hear on this website every other day from someone worried about c'v some judge might cite or take judicial notice of some concept from Shariah (islamic) law and then go beserk how we need to keep Shariah law out of the American legal system. Yet you are entirely comfortable telling our legislators not to enact a law because it violates the sheva mitvos b'nei Noach. What hypocrites!! We live in a democracy an the goyim and frei yidden can do whatever they want and don't need us imposing our morality on them.

11

 Jun 15, 2011 at 11:48 AM ayinglefunadorf Says:

Reply to #6  
NOobama Says:

You say your not sure if yidden should get involved, Hey buddy I've got the answer its Yes. Look Agudah is getting involved that should solve your dilemma.

I think we should fix our problems first,Shiduch crisis, child abuse, etc. let the govt do as they wish. Unless this campaign is to cover up the real problems we have.

12

 Jun 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

The bill will pass tomorrow or Friday and will be signed next week by the Governor. its time for yidden to move on and focus on really imortant issues rather than trying to impose our halacha on others who obviously reject our values. Lets concentrate on jobs for our boys and girls, better educations, neighborhood facilities etc. and get out of monitoring other peoples' bedroom behavior.

what do you mean more imporatnt issues? Vi is resilt zich tresilt zich. once it is accepted by the goyim us frum yidden will be nechashal as well. And it is one of the worse sins that we can transgress. It is very important to fight it. I remember hearing from Rabbi Miller by a shuir to protest in city hall against Guliani who everyone loved because he wanted to pass a gay rights bill. I must say admit that it is a losing battle and unfortuantly it will be passed eventually if not this week than in a year or 2. But the longer we fight this toivah the better.

13

 Jun 15, 2011 at 12:18 PM BoruchN Says:

Sen. Roy McDonald of Saratoga County said: “My vote is going to be for marriage,” McDonald said. “I think it’s compassion, trying do the right thing, trying to get everyone to live together.”
NONSENSE!
Every responsible and sensible person knows that these homosexual relationships are not healthy. To create a law and make it legal and approved by a government just shows how little these so-called lawmakers care about the public's health and welfare. How little they care about terminology and definitions, and HOW MUCH they care about votes, money and power.
What does 'marriage' mean? Go tell young children that same-sex couples constitutes a marriage.
Next Miriam-Webster, and others, will have to amend their next dictionary.
Marriage: Two men, or two women, constitutes one type of marriage.
Partnership: Who knows?
'The 7 Noahide Laws,' NOW, not craven, greedy, heartless politicians.

14

 Jun 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM GB_Jew Says:

Do the esteemed readers of VIN honestly and truthfully believe in their hearts that a member (or members) of their shuls will have the courage to approach their rabbis and ask them to be 'mesader kidushin' for their gay nuptials?

From where I am sitting, the chances of that happening are less than infinitesimal. In other words, it ain't going to happen - ever. If such people really feel a need to mark their "union" they will go for a civil partnership, knowing that they can be discreet and not upset any member of the yiddishe establishment. In fact, their rabbanim and/or rashei yeshivos need never know.

It's time to move on, morai verabossai, and fight battles that are both winnable and relevant to our circumstances and way of life. Trying to force our hashkafa and middos on people who do not identify with orthodox Judaism is (literally) bitul Torah and bitul zeman.

15

 Jun 15, 2011 at 12:22 PM eighthcomment Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

Thanks for the number -- Kruger is my senator and I called and told him me and my family firmly support gay marriage -- its the civil rights issue of our time and while I may not personally not choose to indulge, I congratulated him on his courage in supporting this profound benefit that means so much to so many of our fellow citizens

Interestingly enough, the people of Sodom were not yidden, and were punished. The Torah does not differentiate bt Jews and non Jews. If they came out w legislation supporting affairs or Weiners affair would u support it? We live in a place where u can vote. Why vote immorally?

16

 Jun 15, 2011 at 12:33 PM Tranqui Says:

Strongly agree with #5.
To #7: I do not wish on anybody to see their child or grandchild's gay wedding.
That is not Yiddishe nachos. That is the end of the line.
Thank you #1 for the numbers. I will call, even if it's just because I do not want to hear one day: "But zeidy, didn't you vote for this?"
Happy summer and much Yiddishe nachos to all.

17

 Jun 15, 2011 at 12:42 PM DavidMoshe Says:

I think it's a bit strange that the same leftists who worked so hard to destroy the very concept of marriage by taking away any stigma attached to having children out of wedlock are now busy convincing gay people that they need to get married in order to be fulfilled. In the end, this isn't about gay people getting married-- it's about another attempt to undermine anything resembling family values in this country. Having said that, while I don't support gay marriage, it's just not that big a deal. Nobody's going to make me marry a gay person, nor will my rabbi be obliged to perform these ceremonies.

18

 Jun 15, 2011 at 12:46 PM chulent Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

The bill will pass tomorrow or Friday and will be signed next week by the Governor. its time for yidden to move on and focus on really imortant issues rather than trying to impose our halacha on others who obviously reject our values. Lets concentrate on jobs for our boys and girls, better educations, neighborhood facilities etc. and get out of monitoring other peoples' bedroom behavior.

The problem is that from now it won't be anymore bedroom behavior, it will get more and more publicly behavior and we have to fight it.

19

 Jun 15, 2011 at 12:54 PM Understandable Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

The bill will pass tomorrow or Friday and will be signed next week by the Governor. its time for yidden to move on and focus on really imortant issues rather than trying to impose our halacha on others who obviously reject our values. Lets concentrate on jobs for our boys and girls, better educations, neighborhood facilities etc. and get out of monitoring other peoples' bedroom behavior.

Obviously you are not really frum, or don't really care about what will follow in every community! this will change relationships everywhere, change behavior everywhere, and CH''V bring our own kids to follow in this shochav im beheime dilemma. Yes, (imho, and obviously in many others opinion including but not limited to aguda which is involved more than both of us together in these issues, that includes threats to the jewish religion (on a holiness level as to a practical level, or a financial level) this might be a disaster to our religion) there are many that think their opinion is based on knowledge, (including me), however that's not entirely the case as we're not at all involved in any issue as aguda is.

20

 Jun 15, 2011 at 02:40 PM PMOinFL Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

"Sitting by idly and watching a law pass that negates one of the sheva mitvos b'nei Noach, is very wrong!"

Your comment and those of others who babble about the importance of not allowing laws to be enacted that might violate the "sheva mitvos b'nei Noach" is bizarre. We hear on this website every other day from someone worried about c'v some judge might cite or take judicial notice of some concept from Shariah (islamic) law and then go beserk how we need to keep Shariah law out of the American legal system. Yet you are entirely comfortable telling our legislators not to enact a law because it violates the sheva mitvos b'nei Noach. What hypocrites!! We live in a democracy an the goyim and frei yidden can do whatever they want and don't need us imposing our morality on them.

You actually make a valid argument.

The difference is this. We are obligate to make our objections known. We are obligated to try.

However, we know full well that our success is VERY unlikely. But we do it anyway because H" told us to. Period.

The reason we are losing is because nobody (outside of Orthodox Judaism) gives a darn what the Torah mandates. What's worse is that bigots like self-appointed "community leader" Yehuda Levin, feel the need to spew their bigoted, hateful propaganda on TV and radio and present their perversions as "Torah". They are LIARS.

Here are the facts for those living a Torah life:
1. Had H" not specifically told us to be against this, we wouldn't be.
2. Torah prohibits a physical relationship between men.
3. We don't hate gay people.
4. If H" had not left us specific direction on this matter, we would be the first ones to dance in the streets with the happy couples.

But H" *DID* give us specific direction, and we have to follow it, even if we know the efforts will be fruitless.

The only people making arguments about "sharia law" are the dumbest of America's idiot class. They don't even know what Sharia is beyond what entertainers tell them.

21

 Jun 15, 2011 at 04:51 PM sechelyoshor Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

"Sitting by idly and watching a law pass that negates one of the sheva mitvos b'nei Noach, is very wrong!"

Your comment and those of others who babble about the importance of not allowing laws to be enacted that might violate the "sheva mitvos b'nei Noach" is bizarre. We hear on this website every other day from someone worried about c'v some judge might cite or take judicial notice of some concept from Shariah (islamic) law and then go beserk how we need to keep Shariah law out of the American legal system. Yet you are entirely comfortable telling our legislators not to enact a law because it violates the sheva mitvos b'nei Noach. What hypocrites!! We live in a democracy an the goyim and frei yidden can do whatever they want and don't need us imposing our morality on them.

Shariya Law is whole 'nother level.

We're talking here about the most basic of law for all mankind.

If we don't object, we are partners in our society's decadence. Do you know why Shimon and Levi weren't chayav misa for killing the men of Schem? Because they were chayav misa. And what was their crime? They they knew their prince had raped Dina and nobody complained.

If they tried to make a new law that sanctioned aishes ish, there too we ought to object.

Another point: In a democracy, the majority's moral views impact the legal process. When the founding fathers of the USA wrote the constitution, much of their moral compass was rooted in their religious views, even with separation of church and state.
We too, as citizens of the USA, are entitled to be part of that legal process. I suppose Muslims who want to bring in Sharia law feel the same way. That's their business. Our business is to work within the democratic process to attempt to have laws that are moral for all Mankind, according to our understanding of what that is. If we lose the battle, at least we tried. That's our obligation.

And we will fight Sharia law with the same citizens' rights as they will to promote it.

22

 Jun 15, 2011 at 04:57 PM enough Says:

This is ridiculous. Why should we care if gay people marry other gay people? Why are people so fixated on this? I contacted Skelos to encourage him to let it come to a vote already. Marriage equality doesn't hurt us. Unless we're closeted gay people, in which case, that's our problem. Which I do suspect sometimes when people are so intense about this one issue. Maybe they wish they, too, could live openly.

23

 Jun 15, 2011 at 04:59 PM shooki Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

"Sitting by idly and watching a law pass that negates one of the sheva mitvos b'nei Noach, is very wrong!"

Your comment and those of others who babble about the importance of not allowing laws to be enacted that might violate the "sheva mitvos b'nei Noach" is bizarre. We hear on this website every other day from someone worried about c'v some judge might cite or take judicial notice of some concept from Shariah (islamic) law and then go beserk how we need to keep Shariah law out of the American legal system. Yet you are entirely comfortable telling our legislators not to enact a law because it violates the sheva mitvos b'nei Noach. What hypocrites!! We live in a democracy an the goyim and frei yidden can do whatever they want and don't need us imposing our morality on them.

Sheva mitzvos bnai noach is for goyim and they must keep it even in a democratic land.

24

 Jun 15, 2011 at 05:28 PM Chaim_Ben-Yehuda Says:

Reply to #23  
shooki Says:

Sheva mitzvos bnai noach is for goyim and they must keep it even in a democratic land.

Go tell that to the next 'ben Noach' you come across in the street. He will not have the slightest idea what you are talking about. In fact, you might even get your face punched in for even daring to tell him how to run his life.

But, before you do that, please put your own life in order. Take care of your standards, your wife's and your children's middos, before you embark on telling the goyim how *they* should behave.

25

 Jun 15, 2011 at 07:48 PM charliehall Says:

Reply to #15  
eighthcomment Says:

Interestingly enough, the people of Sodom were not yidden, and were punished. The Torah does not differentiate bt Jews and non Jews. If they came out w legislation supporting affairs or Weiners affair would u support it? We live in a place where u can vote. Why vote immorally?

The traditional Jewish interpretation the Sedom narrative is that the main sin of Sedom was inhospitality to strangers and the poor, not homosexual acts. The association of Sedom primarily with homosexuality is a Christian interpretation. The actual prohibition of homosexual acts in the Torah is in Sefer Vayikra, not Sefer Bereshit.

26

 Jun 15, 2011 at 07:54 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #24  
Chaim_Ben-Yehuda Says:

Go tell that to the next 'ben Noach' you come across in the street. He will not have the slightest idea what you are talking about. In fact, you might even get your face punched in for even daring to tell him how to run his life.

But, before you do that, please put your own life in order. Take care of your standards, your wife's and your children's middos, before you embark on telling the goyim how *they* should behave.

We'd have a better argument had we fought against the legalization of idolatry, blasphemy, and (in many states) adultery.

We'd also have a better case if fewer of us were defending allegedly frum Jews who have been caught engaging in drug smuggling, bank fraud, and money laundering. Frankly, we don't have a lot of moral credibility any more.

27

 Jun 15, 2011 at 07:58 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #21  
sechelyoshor Says:

Shariya Law is whole 'nother level.

We're talking here about the most basic of law for all mankind.

If we don't object, we are partners in our society's decadence. Do you know why Shimon and Levi weren't chayav misa for killing the men of Schem? Because they were chayav misa. And what was their crime? They they knew their prince had raped Dina and nobody complained.

If they tried to make a new law that sanctioned aishes ish, there too we ought to object.

Another point: In a democracy, the majority's moral views impact the legal process. When the founding fathers of the USA wrote the constitution, much of their moral compass was rooted in their religious views, even with separation of church and state.
We too, as citizens of the USA, are entitled to be part of that legal process. I suppose Muslims who want to bring in Sharia law feel the same way. That's their business. Our business is to work within the democratic process to attempt to have laws that are moral for all Mankind, according to our understanding of what that is. If we lose the battle, at least we tried. That's our obligation.

And we will fight Sharia law with the same citizens' rights as they will to promote it.

The Founding Fathers wrote a Constitution that allows an idolater or blasphemer to be elected President of the US. Those are both prohibited to Noachides. And many of those Founding Fathers were heretics or infidels. Ever read Jefferson or Paine?

Also, Rav Hirsch definitely complains about the actions of Shimon and Levi!

28

 Jun 15, 2011 at 08:21 PM Number 10, you are ridiculous Says:

Firstly, I've never seen anyone here rave about or worry about sharia law. That circumstance is a product of your imagination.
Secondly, sheva mitzvos bnei noach is not OUR morality, it's THEIR obligation.
They (your avg goy) may not be aware of it, but it's their responsibility to keep it and their loss if they don't.
Us reminding them is a favor to them and possibly a responsibility of ours to do.
As citizens of a democracy we have every right to express and vote for our beliefs and creeds; that is not in any way an imposition of OUR morality on anyone, especially as we believe it is primarily in THEIR interest.

29

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