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.