The National Organization for Marriage committed to spending $75,000 to defeat David Weprin in today’s special election in New York to fill Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D) seat. The spending is part of NOM’s absurd $2 million effort to overturn marriage equality in New York by unseating the legislators who voted for it over the next few years. But despite being a not-so-secretly Catholic group, NOM is feigning Orthodox Judaism to pit Jews against Jews as to who is the better Jewish candidate. In its $26,000 direct mailing campaign, NOM suggested that Weprin “defied Jewish law” by supporting civil marriage for same-sex couples, telling voters, “Do not let David Weprin mock our Torah!” Our Torah?
This week, NOM is pushing a big robocall campaign against Weprin featuring a sermon by Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein, who says, “Why do you have earthquakes? The retribution for the sin of homosexuality… Earthquakes are caused by homosexuality.” Listen:
Jeremy Hooper points out that Wallerstein is the second rabbi NOM has highlighted recently who blames gays for the earthquake.
NOM isn’t alone in using marriage equality as a wedge issue in today’s election. Another group of Flatbush rabbonim have signed a letter stating that it is forbidden by Torah law to “vote for, campaign for, fund, or otherwise support” Weprin’s campaign. The letter cites Weprin’s pro-gay record, as well as the fact he has marched in “the wicked ones’” pride parades.
Weprin is down 47-41 in the polls going into today’s election. What impact NOM’s efforts at preaching about Jewish law will have on the vote have yet to be seen.