From JTA

Orthodox Jewish and Catholic leaders signed a joint statement affirming a “shared commitment” to marriage between a man and a woman.

Noting the rise in demand for the legal establishment of same-sex marriage, the statement authors acknowledge the equal human dignity of all people but insist that this dignity “does not justify the creation of a new definition for a term whose traditional meaning is of critical importance to the furtherance of a fundamental societal interest.”

Laws describing same-sex unions as marriage, the statement argues, “dilute the special standing of marriage between a man and a woman.”

The statement released Sept. 4 concluded: “While others have the freedom to disagree with us, we hope that even those outside of our common religious traditions will recognize that we speak from the truth of human nature itself which is consistent with both reason and the moral life.”

Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld of the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills in New York City, the chairman of the OU/RCA Joint Committee on Interreligious Affairs, signed the document along with the bishop of Rockville Centre on Long Island, N.Y., William Murphy, representing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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