Ex-Telegraph editor Charles Moore: Chief Rabbi wrong not to vote again equal marriage

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Former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore has criticised the Chief Rabbi for not voting against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill during this month’s second reading the House of Lords.

Peers resumed debate of the bill on Monday afternoon.

In an article for The Spectator entitled “Opposing gay marriage now is as brave as being openly gay was in 1970”, Mr Moore, Lady Thatcher’s official biographer, wrote:

“Since one’s attitude to homosexual acts is now considered the main way of judging whether a person is civilised, one must salute those in public life who defy this. To oppose gay ‘equality’ today is roughly as brave as it was to be publicly homosexual in, say, 1970: your position is not absolutely illegal, but it is perilous. Given how wobbly many Anglicans are on the issue, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London should be commended for their courage in the House of Lords debate. The Chief Rabbi, Lords Sacks, should be reproved. Orthodox Judaism is absolutely clear on this issue, but Lord Sacks absented himself. Perhaps he feels that Jews should not intervene in secular society. But if such a key social institution as marriage is beyond his responsibility, why did he agree to become a legislator?”

Last year, in its official response to the government’s consultation on equal marriage for England and Wales, the office of the Chief Rabbi stated that Jewish Law prohibited “the practice of homosexuality,” and it argued against all same-sex unions, and same-sex marriages.

The Movement for Reform Judaism and Liberal Judaism officially support equal marriage.

Speaking to the broadcaster and journalist Sir David Frost last month, Lord Sacks, rejected a suggestion that he had “come out strongly” against same-sex unions.

He said: “I’ve not come out strongly, I’ve simply said that in Judaism we don’t do it.”