Let us perform civil partnerships in our Shuls


By Rabbi Aaron Gol...
February 23, 2010
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Liberal Judaism has always been committed to promoting justice and equality for all members of society. In 2005 we became the first religious movement in the UK to publish official liturgy, the B’rit Ahavah, for same sex partnership blessings. However, a same sex couple wishing to have their civil partnership take place in a religious building is currently prevented from doing so by UK law. Liberal Judaism regrets this and is therefore supporting Lord Alli's amendment to the Equality Bill which will permit civil partnerships to take place inside religious buildings.

You can read about Liberal Judaism’s support for the Bill in today’s Times:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/article7036936.... AND
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7037062.ece

You can read the letter from the Anglican Bishops here:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article7036547.ece
For details on the amendment, which was proposed by Lord Alli, you can consult Hansard:
http://tiny.cc/E4j6J or visit http://equalitybill.com/ to learn more about the campaign to support the amendment.

COMMENTS

John Gold

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 18:09

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Rabbi.

If the Liberal arm of Judaism, all think it's fine and have a large number of open homosexuals - then I guess it should be allowed to hold these ceremonies for gay couples.

But with all respect, my personal opinion is that practicing homosexuality and Torah (or Christianity) are incompatible...

My opinion is that if a person is born gay (or consistently chooses that path) - then if they are to follow Hashem's way then they must remain celibate.


Jon_i_Cohen

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 19:12

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Sorry "rabbi"
Of course you should NOT be allowed to do this in a Synagogue!

It states clearly in Leviticus Chapter 18 verse 22 " 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

If you want to be "considered" Jewish, this is the rule that we must abide by. There is no choice in the matter - it is crystal clear.

If you do not want to be considered Jewish then the "rules" do not apply and you can do what you like - in the privacy of your own home, but NOT in a public place.

As John Gold says, the two things are incompatible; homosexuality and a torah or religious ceremony, or a civil ceremony in a house of worship do NOT go together.

Please, please take up another cause.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 19:32

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Jon, Leviticus was written a few thousand years ago after being passed by word of mouth by people who lived a nomadic life in the desert. It was fine for thr morals of the desert thousands of years ago. It ain't now.


Akiva

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 20:06

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Liberal Judaism's largest commitment seems to be putting the will of secular humanity above that of HaShem. Is it any wonder there is such a large alienation amongst the youth in this movement at it's clear lack of "Judaism"?


returning sephardim

Tue, 02/23/2010 - 21:36

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Jon_i_Cohen, are you honestly suggesting that a Rabbi; an intensive student of Torah, must fight to be considered Jewish, or is it just those born gay you think you have a right to tell they are not Jewish? Are you so infallible in your interpretation of ancient words with complex meanings, so without human error? People are hurt, killed or loose hope through condemnation. Are we not told not to judge? Surely we must check always how much we pass the word on or prejudiced accounts?

Sodom is often cited as an anti-gay warning but it was said to be doomed before homosexuality is even mentioned. Ezekiel 16:48-49 tell us: "This is the sin of Sodom; she and her suburbs had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not help or encourage the poor and needy. They were arrogant and this was abominable in G_d's eyes.' Oops, I think we may all be for it! Sodomy suddenly has new interpretations. Deuteronomy 22:13-21 'If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Torah demands that she be executed by stoning immediately'. If we adhered to this one strictly it would certainly tackle any population problems but Tulmud states 'Jews are compassionate children of compassionate ancestors, and one who is not compassionate cannot truly be a descendant of our father Abraham'.Talmud, Beitzah 32b. If we implemented these ancient laws without care to the multi-faceted meanings of words we would surely be low on compassion and high on hypocrisy?

A translation of Deuteronomy 25:11-12 stipulates that 'If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy's genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her'. Well, I am being immodest here, but as my absolute last choice, if my man was likely to die I would take the risk and defend him, the above obviously being the last resort. Leviticus also prohibits round haircuts and wearing certain mixed fibre fabrics. There is argument as to which fibres should not be mixed and why. So how many should stand outside the doors of the Shul, shamed by fellow men?

Leviticus is sometimes seen as a holiness code, sometimes as hygiene manifesto for life 3000yrs ago in arid lands;. I am uncomfortable with some of it, or limited interpretations of it into today. I have close, wonderful friends who are gay and keep more of the 'laws' then many others who speak of righteousness but do not seek it in their hearts. Some of these friends are better than I am, certainly kinder than I am. The heart and soul is where G_d speaks strongest and where love speaks.

It could be argued that it is not physically possible for a man to lie with a man in the same way as a woman or that the latter chapter (Leviticus 20:13) may link to enforced or violent intercourse as an alternitave translation. I cannot be sure and whilst I am human, with capacity for error and capacity for love I do not feel equipped to make judgement on another human in such fundamental ways that leave doors shut to them and eyes closed to them.

Celebrating life and love is something I am drawn to do. We are given free will and told that the breath and spark of the divine is breathed into each of us. Love, in its many forms, is expression of finding that in another. I know I rant and kivetch but ultimately I prefer to try to support the capacities to follow free will and to love. I prefer to trust the strength of other's souls. Before you close your eyes look to your heart!


Yvetta

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 08:07

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Jon Cohen, well put. This move by Liberal Judaism is a step too far. It mocks the Torah and marriage as the Almighty and nature intended it to be, for the companionship of male and female and the procreation of children.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 09:46

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Yvetta, do you really think that the all-powerful, omnipresent almighty really gives a monkey's about what two mere humans do? I find that the religious among us give this Almighty human characteristics which tend to be the same as their own-intolerant, narrow-minded and interfering. That does not, IMHO, reveal the Almighty as being all mighty.


Akiva

Wed, 02/24/2010 - 11:00

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Moshetzarfati2 - The only person putting the Infinite in human terms, ie, making G-d in your own image, is you. You say G-d doesn't "give a monkeys", how do you know that? How does a finite being hope to comprehend the will of the Infinite?

All we know of HaShem is what He tells us - and He tells us homosexuality is an abomination.

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