Rabbi Brad Hirschfield and Rabbi Irwin Kula both have articles about the advancement and inclusion of gay people in society. The reason? this week’s Torah parashah includes Lev. 18:22, a verse that has been used to the point of obsession against gays and lesbians (even though the verse very specifically only applies to males).
Rabbi Hirschfield’s posts often approach controversial issues and often produce more questions than answers. While this may sound pointless and annoying, it is actually helpful because it allows a variety of different kinds of people to consider different possibilities in their own minds.
The issue of gayness is among the most polarizing issues in our society, especially among people who describe themselves as religious. Without addressing what the “right” answers are, there is no question that there are few issues over which we hurt each other more than in how we address homosexuality in general and far more importantly, gay men and women in particular. How can we stop hurting each other?
Rabbi Kula has reached the conclusion that while equality happens slowly, it is inevitable.
At some point very small numbers of people from the dominant class begin to see the light and realize that fellow human beings just like them have been denied equal rights simply because they are different. If the modern period is of any evidence, once this movement perceived as one of human rights begins — though it may entail great struggle, sacrifice, and bitterness — it inexorably results in the marginal population being given the same legal rights as the majority population. So America of 2010 is far more inclusive than America of 1810; classes of people denied equal rights and barely seen as human in 1810 have gained their rights by 2010.
Both articles offer different perspectives but both treat the issue with the human dignity of gays in mind. And both are examples of clergymen who support discussion of the issue without framing it with “I love gays BUT…” or “sin is sin.”