Jewish Religion supporting Marriage for Gays and Lesbians

When I read anything about those suggesting or demanding that they use their faith to change their sexual and romantic orientation because religion does not validate homosexuality, I always point out that, being Jewish, that is not true for me.

In Michigan we are about to have a proposal voted on to ban marriage for gays. We already have DOMA which bans gay marriage and yet we are one of many states to have proposal two which would be a state constitutional ammendment. I am always amazed when people use religion against gays. Being a Jew, I know that Reform Judaism and Reconstructionist Judaism states marriage for gays and lesbians is valid.

I want to post this information which comes from Michigan Jewish
Community Council. What I love about Wayne Besen’s position on the
ex-gay movement is that using religion as a basis to "convert" from gay
to straight does not apply to Jews as he writes so well about in his
book, "Anything But Straight".

Here is what was released to oppose any support to ban marriage for
Gays and Lesbians. I think it applies to why oppose the ex-gay movement
as well.

On October 9, 2004, the Jewish Community Council publicly announced
its vote to oppose Proposal 2, which will be decided by Michigan voters
in November. The Jewish Community Council (JCC) represents Jews from
all the denominations of Judaism who take a variety of different and
sometimes opposing religious and political positions. The overwhelming
consensus of the JCC board of directors was that passage of Proposal 2
would enshrine discrimination in the Michigan Constitution. Below are
some of the reasons why Jews from all perspectives and sides of the
political aisle oppose Proposal 2. a discriminatory amendment to our
state constitution would set a frightening precedent for Jews.

Proposal 2 obstructs Rabbinic Discourse.

Rabbis and leaders from all denominations of Judaism are currently
taking a long and sober look at previously unaddressed issues
surrounding gay and lesbian rights. The Reform and Reconstructionist
movements have already endorsed same sex marriage. The Conservative
movement is engaged in profound and painstaking deliberations and
halachic discourse on this subject, and numerous Orthodox leaders have
called for increased compassion and understanding towards gays and

The Central Conference of American Rabbis of the Reform Movement
endorses the affirmation of same gender couples through appropriate
Jewish ritual, based upon resolutions in support of civil marriage for
gays and lesbians.

The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association "opposes all efforts to ban civil marriage for gay men and lesbian women."

The Social Action Committee of the Conservative Movement "supports full equality for gays and lesbians in national life".

Proposal 2 ignores the Torah’s pursuit of justice.

The Torah teaches us to fight injustice. Over the centuries, Jews
have fought for the underprivileged, the oppressed, women, the
handicapped, and gays and lesbians. Two thousand years ago the rabbis
dared to reinterpret statutes in the Torah in the interest of
underlying Jewish values. In extending Deuteronomy’s injunction tzedek
tzedek tirdof (justice, justice shall you pursue) to more and more of
humanity, we are intensifying the work of Tikkun Olam.

Proposal 2 would write discrimination into the State Constitution.
For the first time, the Constitution would be used to single out a
group of people for unequal treatment under the law. The
Constitutionally protected separation of church and state, which has
guaranteed Jews a place of dignity and protection under the law, is
being eroded.

What’s bad for gays is bad for Jews.

Homosexuals were targeted in Nazi Germany with the same blind hate
aimed at Jews. When we perpetuate a climate of hatred, we become the
objects of hatred. Both the Jewish people and the values we carry are
most likely to flourish in a world that recognizes the worth and
dignity of all human beings. In the words of Rabbi David Ellenson, the
President of Hebrew Union College:

The desire that full rights be extended to lesbians and gays
reflects the Jewish belief that gays and lesbians are human beings
created in the image of God. The time has come for that truth to guide
our culture, and religious Jews should not be hesitant in saying so.
Until the day arrives that our gay and lesbian friends enjoy full
rights, we who are religious should not rest. When that day of liberty
and freedom arrives, justice will at long last roll down like waters
and righteousness like a mighty stream.

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