Saturday, June 23, 2007


Conservative Judiasm

Big Gay Jewish Wedding'Panelists look at Conservative stance on gay weddings (sorta), as LGBT group celebrates first year

N and I went with some other Jewbians last weekend to hear some local rabbis (and one Rabinical School Dean) talk about Conservative Judiasm and the changing religious laws concerning ordination of out gay rabbis. It was supposed to be about conservative rabbis and how they perform weddings/commitment ceremonies (now that they are "allowed" to by the movement) but the most interesting parts had to do with this really brilliant Rabbi Artson (the vice president of American Jewish University and dean of its Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in LA) and his battle through the years to decriminalize gay sex within the conservative jewish legal world. The Rabbi from the local gay synagogue, ordained as a conservative rabbi, but who left because it wasn't (at the time) gay friendly, was really really angry. There were also a few youngish orthodox men who were really, really angry. So my quote in this article that I've linked above is really about the old adage: Invite 5 Jews to a meeting and you'll have 8 different opinions. :) Of course, I love it.

Growing up conservative I laud the movement for making these changes (admitting out queers to Rabbinical and Cantorial School and performing gay unions (is this marriage? is this something else? the Rabbis/synogogues are allowed to decide- including deciding whether or not they're going to do it at all)). Yes, it sucks that for the last 100 years the movement has criminalized gay sex and yes, ofcourse this makes me angry. It sucks that Rabbis can refuse to marry queers. But consciously making a change for the better, a change that shows committment to human rights, should ALWAYS be congratulated. Even if it's not as big and revolutionary as one would hope- this is a great and forward and thoughtful change. Good Job Conservative Rabbis.

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