Pro-gay marriage Portland Bar Mitzvah goes viral

Pro-gay marriage Portland Bar Mitzvah goes viral

Credit: YouTube/Congregation Beth Israel

Pro-gay marriage Portland Bar Mitzvah goes viral

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by Jeff Thompson, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 3 at 11:58 AM

PORTLAND -- A young man at Portland's Congregation Beth Israel gave his Bar Mitzvah speech in defense of same-sex marriage last month, and now that speech has gone viral.

For the Jewish rite of passage, Duncan McAlpine Sennett was tasked with reading a portion of the Torah and relating the text to something he's passionate about.

"I am a very, very strong supporter of equal rights, and the freedom of men and women to marry whomever they love," he says in the video (below).

Duncan says it would be irresponsible of him, after studying his Torah, to leave out the topic of gay marriage.

He argues that the marriage has changed a lot since the days of the Torah.

"No longer do fathers arrange marriages, and women can marry whomever they want," he says in the speech.

He points to the marriage of Jacob to two sisters, who were his first cousins. He says it was much more of a business deal than a loving union.

In contrast, Duncan mentions family friends, same sex couples, who are "wonderful people, wonderful parents, and wonderful couples," but are still not allowed to be married in Oregon.

"My Torah portion taught me that the definition of traditional marriage has changed a lot since the days of the Torah," he says. "So why can't it change just a little bit more, so everybody can marry who they love?"

"And now that I'm a Bar Mitzvah," he concludes, "I will not only continue to support, but encourage other people to support equal marriage rights."

The video has been viewed nearly 100,000 times since it was posted a week ago.

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