Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple, the
oldest and largest conservative Jewish congregation in Los Angeles,
has responded to anger over the decision to perform gay weddings.
Ahead of the Supreme Court decision
which paved the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California,
Wolpe announced that same-sex weddings will be performed at his
The decision angered some members of
the congregation. Loud protests were heard form the temple's sizable
group of Iranian-American Jews.
“To officiate a union that is
expressly not for the same godly purpose of procreation and to call
such a relationship 'sanctified' is unacceptable to a sound mind,”
wrote N. Michael Nunn in an open letter to fellow congregants.
“Homosexuality is explicitly condemned in Scripture and has been
categorically and passionately rejected by all classical Jewish legal
and ethical thinkers as a cardinal vice in the same category as
incest, murder and idolatry.”
In an appearance on PRI's The
World, Wolpe said that he wasn't surprised by the level of
“But it also should be said that the
response subsequently, including from members of the Iranian
community, has been positive and sometimes even overwhelmingly so,”
Wolpe said. “And I think that the velocity of social change that
you see in America in general also has its own momentum inside
institutions. And once you begin to introduce this idea, even people
who initially react against it start to moderate and mollify a little
bit and see it in a different light.”
Wolpe added that he has yet to be asked
to perform such a ceremony.