Board adviser's view on same-sex marriage 'does not reflect offical policy'

By Simon Rocker, June 3, 2013
France's first gay marriage last month (Photo: Guillaume Horcajuelo)

France's first gay marriage last month (Photo: Guillaume Horcajuelo)

The Board of Deputies has made it clear that a letter co-signed by its interfaith adviser Rabbi Natan Levy, which calls on the government to halt legislation to allow same-sex marriage, does not reflect its policy.

Rabbi Levy, the former minister of Shenley United Synagogue, was the only Jewish figure to put his name to the letter to the Daily Telegraph which was signed predominantly by Christians and Muslims.

In the letter, they said; “We are disappointed that the government has failed to engage in meaningful debate with many different communities in Britain. It has wrongly assumed that opposition to the redefinition of marriage is confined to a small number of Christians.”

Board president Vivian Wineman said on Monday: “Rabbi Natan Levy, our interfaith consultant, decided to sign this letter in a personal capacity. His personal views, to which he is perfectly entitled, do not represent those of the Board.

“The Board is cross-communal and has worked with civil servants and ministers to ensure that the final legislation works to allow each denomination of Judaism to practise their chosen beliefs as they best see fit and to ensure that no-one is obliged to act contrary to his own beliefs.”

Other signatories of the letter include the Anglican Bishop of Bristol Michael Hill, Shaykh Abdul Qayum of the East London Mosque and controversial preacher Shaykh Haitham al-Haddad.

A bill to promote the legalisation of same-sex marriage is due to be debated by the Lords today.

Last updated: 2:35pm, June 3 2013