Some words on Marriage Equality from Rabbi Conover

It’s almost hard to recall the sunny, forty-five degree weather I encountered in Springfield, Illinois, as I now sit in freezing, snow-covered Chicago. On Wednesday, I drove to our state capitol with Rabbi Max Weiss where we met forty other clergy members to lobby for Marriage Equality. Our day in Springfield began with a press conference at which I read a joint statement from Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Rabbi Michael Siegel, and me. We were able to speak with one voice though we represent different movements within Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform). In the statement, we used the words of Psalm 89 as our guide as it teaches: “This world shall be built on love… Righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne, compassion and truth go forth from it.” After the Press Conference, we lunched near the capitol building and watched Governor Quinn’s State Address where he reiterated his support for Marriage Equality. Afterward, we scurried to speak with our state senators and representatives before they returned to their district offices. While I was unable to catch Senator Cullerton or Representative Feigenholtz, their support of this issue has inspired many in our district. As I reflect back on Wednesday, I am most impressed by the diversity of clergy who took the time to lobby for Marriage Equality. The cross-section of races and religions represents the diversity of Illinois itself. Yet, while diverse, we felt unified in common cause. As the other rabbis and I wrote in our statement: “Some clergy will officiate at all weddings and some will not, yet we know that supporting full marriage equality through the Illinois legislature is our opportunity and sacred obligation to create a world of love, filled with justice, compassion, peace and pride.”