Gay Marriage Issue Galvanizing Orthodox Against Weprin

We’ll take a closer look at the campaign of Democrat Assemblyman David Weprin for Congress in this week’s paper, but I’d be remiss in not blogging today about what I am hearing is a groundswell of anti-Weprin sentiment among the Orthodox in the district because of his vote in support of same-sex marriage in June. I am told that prominent haredi rabbis are urging a strong vote for Republican Bob Turner as a de facto protest vote against the marriage equality bill.

Compounding the anger is a sense that as an Orthodox Jew Weprin betrayed his community’s beliefs, something that doesn’t seem to be directed at Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who not only supported the bill but ushered it to a vote and praised it afterward.

Bundled with the tide of anti-Obama sentiment Weprin is saddled with, the likely low turnout among people who aren’t strongly motivated and the fact that a meager six points separate the two candidates, this could be significant. 

On Monday a fellow Orthodox assemblyman, Dov Hikind said he would not support Weprin because of the gay marriage issue, although only a small portion of his congressional district overlaps with the 9th Congressional District.

Republican Bob Turner opposes gay marriage and said he supports the Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996, portions of which (related to federal recognition) have been declared unconstitutional in court challenges.



About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.