Dr Jonathan Romain is the minister of the Maidenhead Synagogue and is known for his pro LGBT stance. The Rabbi has waded into the debate surrounding marriage equality slamming critics who oppose same-sex marriage on the basis of their religious beliefs. Dr. Romain argues that the “pick and mix” attitude of religious people towards the Bible, and other religious scripture, is contradictory and is just a front to hide their homophobic prejudice.
Dr Romain was speaking at an open debate in London on marriage equality held by the anti-gay equality group Catholic Voices and the pro equality British Humanist Association. Dr Romain argued that some opponents are quick to pick out verses in the Bible which apparently condemn homosexuality but are not so quick to adhere to other passages in the texts about circumcision, the consumption of some food products or the type of garments they wear!
“No Christian or secularist can quote those passages – or certainly not with any credibility…..For if they do suddenly start getting pious about verses in the Bible,…by which I mean the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, then they can only do so if they adhere to other verses in it such as circumcising all your male children, as it also commands; abstaining from pork or prawns, as it also commands; not wearing garments in which wool and linen is mixed, as it also commands…..If you don’t keep up these, but do object to homosexuality, then you are just doing a pick and mix job, and are driven not by religious beliefs but by [homophobic] prejudice… If you take this approach to scripture you should also not object to stoning rebellious children or nailing your slave’s ear to the door post.” – Dr Romain quoted by Pink News
Earlier this week a coalition of religious groups who support marriage equality wrote to the Prime Minister urging him not to waver in his support for gay marriage. The letter was signed by representatives of Quakers in the UK, Liberal Jews and Unitarians. Meanwhile the Out4Marriage campaign continues to attract high profile support with politicians such as Theresa May, Jack Straw, Ed Balls, Caroline Lucas, Michael Cashman and Andy Burnham recording video messages of support alongside others such as Oona King, Stephen Fry, Richard Branson and girl group The Saturdays.
The public consultation on equal marriage in England and Wales will remain open for two weeks. The SNP led administration in Scotland has already held its own consultation on the issue.
[Written by Martha Kirkpatrick, LGBT editor]