It is not my intention to comment in a lengthy fashion on homosexual marriage. I see the matter thusly: in a secular amoral society, there is no compelling reason that a marriage cannot be defined as the union of any two people. Without a Divine anchor for its values, nothing demands that society define marriage in a way that excludes a small segment of its population.
The only real hypocrisy of the matter for me is the attitude of the gay lobby when it comes to redefining marriage. In the same breath as they demand freedom for any two people to wed, they also protest against polygamy and incest. This is completely irrational. If a marriage can consist of two people, why not three or more? Why does close blood relationship disqualify a union if any two consenting adults can join up otherwise?
What does bother me is how non-observant Jewish leaders wrap themselves in their self-determined flag of "Jewish values" and condemn those who speak out against gay marriage for religious reasons. If one wants to support gay marriage because in a secular society there's no reason to bar it, fine. But to say that one supports it because one's Jewish religious values demand it is deceptive and erroneous.
As I've noted before, what separates Jewish values and those in the secular liberal realm is the difference between responsibilities and rights. America has its Bill of Rights. Canada has its Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But the Torah is about limitations for it is through that which we withhold ourselves from that we raise our level of sanctity. The glory of man doesn't come from ploughing through life in a hedonistic fashion but rather from elevating oneself from the material and towards the spiritual.
It is this regard that the Conservatives and Reformers completely misunderstand the essential nature of Judaism and Torah. For the Reformers, Judaism is secular liberalism with an impotent godhead, one which grants automatic approval for any desires and values, as long as they are politically correct. Conservatism is virtually identical except that it still pretends to grant this state of religious anarchy an "halachic" imprimatur.
For observant Jews, the process is different. We do not demand God approve of our values but try to adopt His as our own. As a result, it is possible for an observant Jew to be deeply conflicted. He may have a gut feeling, or have been influenced by secular culture, into believing certain values are "right" only to find out that the Torah opinion of them is completely different. His ability to overcome his feelings and accept the Torah's opinion over his own is what sanctifies his behaviour and proves his Divinely granted free will.
The article referenced above displays this twisted thinking in all its glory. Note carefully how the author moves from his revulsion over gay bashing to opposition over gay marriage. The moral he is imparting is quite clear: if you're a good Jew you're against gay bashing. And since you're against gay bashing, you must also support gay marriage.
The thrust of one such passage should not override an overarching biblical ethos that teaches us that God loves and affirms the full humanity of each human being.
Except that does not mean that God, in spite of His infinite love for us, automatically approves of anything we want. The unnatural connection between opposing gay marriage and being in favour of violence against them must be challenged. In my community, after a prominent gay cafe owner was attacked a few years ago, our rav attended the protest against this assault held afterwards. This was fully in consonance with Jewish values. We cannot tolerate a society in which any person (other than confirmed communists and those guys who check the parking meters) can be attacked with impunity and without fear of the law. That does not mean, however, that we must approve of the values these people hold. I am against gay bashing but I cannot say that gay marriage is approved of by real Jewish values.
In response to his final assertion:
I see no reason why religious believers like me have any less right than my more fundamentalist brothers and sisters to speak for religion in the public square. Votes against same-sex unions discriminate against gays and lesbians and run counter to the ethos of love that the Bible teaches. It also discriminates against those of us whose religious beliefs mandate us to perform same-sex weddings.
I fully agree. I just don't think religious believes like him should mislead people by saying they are expressing Jewish values.