Counting the Omer and Counting on Equality

photo 3 (1)What a thrill it was to gather with congregants in celebration of today’s ruling that Pennsylvania’s ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional!  There is plenty of work still to do in our commonwealth and our nation, for the cause of LGBT civil rights.  But today, we celebrate.

Thank you, Michael Riccardi, for sharing this article:

Judge Strikes Down State’s Ban on Gay Marriage

Saranac Hale Spencer, The Legal Intelligencer

Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania joined a dozen other federal courts over the last year in tossing the restriction of marriage to only opposite-sex couples.

“Some of our citizens are made deeply uncomfortable by the notion of same-sex marriage. However, that same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional,” Jones said in his 39-page opinion in Whitewood v. Wolf.

Of the marriage laws like Pennsylvania’s, modeled on the federal Defense of Marriage Act that had defined marriage as being between one man and one woman, Jones said, “We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”

The case was the first to challenge Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in United States v. Windsor last year, gutting the federal DOMA by declaring that its definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman is unconstitutional.

A spate of cases have been filed across the country in the year since Windsor was issued, challenging various state laws restricting marriage to heterosexual couples.

Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha-olam asher kidishanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu al s’firat ha’omer. Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Ruler of the universe, who makes us holy with sacred actions and enjoins us to count the omer.

Hayom shishah ushiloshim yom, shehem chamishah shavuot v’yom echad la-omer.

Today is 36 days which is 5 weeks and 1 day of the Omer.

Have a meaningful Omer Counting–Your RS Clergy