Opponent Of Gay Marriage Blames Child’s Murder On Gay Marriage

First, some background, about a week ago, a young Hasidic boy named Leiby Kletzky was abducted while walking home from a day camp in his Brooklyn neighborhood. When his body was found it was discovered that he had been brutally murdered and an Orthdox Jew who lived in the neighborhood has been arrested for his murder.

Now that you know that, here is Rabbi Yehuda Levin, who recently joined the National Organization for Marriage at a rally against New York’s new same-sex marriage law. A few days before that, he said this on his radio show:

Why was this [death of Kletzky] allowed to happen? Let’s think about it. If we go back to the cause, the effect was he was the victim, but the cause was a Jew [Yiddish] that the evil will come to destroy you within your midst. […] For too long we have been turning our cheek, we have been turning away and ignoring the agenda of the descendants of Amalek [evil] — first they [Gay’s] wanted rights, then they wanted adoption, they wanted special protections, and ultimately they wanted marriage — and we all know that we did precious little. If those three or fourth thousand people [who searched for the boy when we went missing], at the direction of the greater Israel and their leaders and their common sense, would have come out, maybe, against the marriage, against this final nail in the coffin of morality…maybe we wouldn’t have had to had this episode of Amalek [evil] replay itself. This is a time for introspection…This came in the very aftermath of the marriage bill, my dear friends, and not doing anything.”

If nothing else, I guess this proves that bigotry isn’t confined to a single religion. But I guess we already knew that.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. An Interested Party says:

    This is about on par with the statements of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell after 9/11…some religious figures really are vile and despicable scum…

  2. mantis says:

    Anything bad that happens in the world is God punishing us for the views of my political opponents.

    Wow, that’s useful in pretty much any situation! Terrorist attacks and hurricanes? God’s punishment for Pat Robertson’s opponents views. AIDS? That’s God’s punishment for “tolerance of gays” according to the late, assfaced Jerry Falwell. And for Falwell, of course the 9/11 attacks were God’s punishment for “pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way.”

    Lose your job? Clearly that’s because some people don’t want their kids forced to pray in school. A family member die of disease? Well obviously it’s those unionists who want collective bargaining. Stub a toe? Welfare queens.

  3. Franklin says:

    I wouldn’t call this bigotry so much as I’d call it bizarre. Clearly this Rabbi comes from a completely different background than me because that statement made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. Those two dots? You have to actually connect them in some way.

  4. Kylopod says:

    As a Jew, I’ve been aware of “Rabbi” Yehuda Levin for over a decade, and he appears to be a total fringe figure, comparable to Fred Phelps among Christians. He was co-chair of Pat Buchanan’s 1996 presidential campaign. So he’s cool with Buchanan, and a lot of what he does is attack Orthodox Jewish politicians who he sees as “soft” on gay rights, like Joe Lieberman, Dov Hikind, and Sheldon Silver. Two of those men are in fact opposed to gay marriage, and Hikind even once compared it to incest, but that isn’t good enough for Levin. His objection is that they support laws that protect gays from discrimination in the workplace. In New York’s gubernatorial election last year, he helped elect Andrew Cuomo by getting Paladino to give a speech so inflammatory and bigoted that Paladino had to walk it back. After Paladino announced that he supports anti-discrimination laws, the rabbi withdrew his endorsement, saying that Paladino had “turned gay.”

  5. Robert in SF says:

    What gets me about all the religious right-wing leaders who basically say:

    America brought this own themselves through the sinful nature of our decisions and tolerance of that which is unholy in God’s eyes….we deserve this, if you will….

    is that that message is essientally what Rev Wright, in the infamous sound clip of his sermon, was saying! His message was basically the same: God hates evil, America has done evil, so don’t expect God to bless America..

    “Not God bless America, God damn America. That’s in the Bible, for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating her citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme. The United States government has failed the vast majority of her citizens of African descent. Think about this, think about this….”

    Yet, not one wing-nut religious holier-than-thou came to his defense or even was called on the fact that the basically agreed with him on the principle!

    I wonder if The Daily Show ever put together a clip set of all the preachers and such, and had some context to the that now-famous sermon.

  6. mantis says:

    @Robert in SF:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Wright blamed disasters or other events on God’s wrath. He was saying that America does not follow God’s path, and he was himself criticizing America for that (i.e. America doesn’t deserve to be blessed for all the bad it’s done).

    This is, to me, a bit different than plucking a disaster out of the news and saying God is punishing humans for the views of one’s political opponents. One is saying that God should not bless America because of war, Native American genocide, slavery, the legacy of slavery, and all the rest of the indisputably terrible things our country has done. The other is saying that God is actively killing specific people because we outlaw discrimination against gays. These two claims are quite different.

  7. Robert in SF says:

    @mantis: I don’t think I see a layman’s difference in the two perspectives you propose.

    To me, there are religious groups that blame people for doing evil and thus bring God’s wrath on us (the collective us)…Just that when Rev Wright does it, everybody clips that one inflammatory sound bite, and plays it up, but Pat Robertson, et al, get a pass. But you are correct, as far I can tell from the sections I read…Rev Wright didn’t blame us for specific “curses” from God, but just used different sins to call out America.

    And just to clarify, I am speaking of the claims made about Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, etc, not this specific Rabbi’s statement.

  8. Heshy says:

    I as an orthodox Jew residing in Brooklyn agree with the Rabbi. The child was murdered as a result of community leaders allowing the gay marriage law to pass without talking to their elected officials who voted for it. It was all about money and funding programs that kept the leadership silence. In fact 25 million dollars in program funding was turned over suddenly on Sunday afternoon to the various leadership organizations by the city of New yorks gay leadership politician Christie Quinn..In Israel too a rabbi was murdered the day the Jerusalem gay parade happened and there was no community outcry as years before.