The South African Union for Progressive Judaism (SAUPJ) welcomes the decision of the US Supreme Court to legalise same-sex marriage across the country.

In his immediate response to this court decision their president, Barack Obama, proudly declared to the world, “This ruling is a victory for America.  This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts…when all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.”  We wholeheartedly agree and as a worldwide movement of Progressive Jews we have for many years made similar statements in regard to same-sex marriage in Judaism. 

In December 2006, South Africa became the fifth country in the world to grant same-sex couples the same status and rights as heterosexual marriage partners. The SAUPJ, encouraged by the World Union for Progressive Judaism, was in fact one of the first faith groups in the country to allow its clergy to conduct same-sex marriages. The first Jewish same sex marriage took place in Cape Town.  In a press release at the time we marked that event with our statement “The SAUPJ honours the divine within all human beings, and their right to live with dignity.”

In celebration of the Supreme Court’s ruling, and of the many couples of all faiths who will finally be able to legally marry, the SAUPJ calls out to all Jewish same-sex couples who wish to get married to take up their place under the chuppah.  Please feel free to contact our office at to get more information or to book your rabbi for the event..


Alvin Kushner

National Chairman

South African Union for Progressive Judaism


Rabbi Greg Alexander


South African Association of Progressive Rabbis