Liberals celebrate a same-sex wedding

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 2, 2011

The first same-sex Jewish ceremony officially to be termed a marriage by Liberal Judaism has taken place in Manchester.

Last Sunday, Manchester Liberal Jewish Community members Jeffrey Levine and Roman Hunter-Fox exchanged vows, a ketubah and rings under a chuppah at the city's Lowry Hotel.


Harrow learns to love Limmud

March 31, 2011

The newly appointed chief executive of the Movement for Reform Judaism has said the Jewish community should learn lessons from the gay pride movement.

Ben Rich, who is also a communications consultant, spoke to a crowd at the first Harrow Day Limmud at Heathfield School in Pinner on Sunday.


'Shuls don't know how to show gay Jews they are welcome'

February 24, 2011

Natalie Grazin, 38, has a one-year-old daughter and two-year-old son with partner Samantha Cohen.

She feels the focus for gay rights in the community has been too much on weddings. "I think a lot of communities get very hung up on the most extreme question, whether to hold chupahs for same-sex couples in shul. That's absolutely not the key question. It's everyday things that matter."


Group seeks to become united voice for Jewish gays

By Jessica Elgot, February 24, 2011

A new gay rights group aims to highlight issues in the community affecting gay parents, elderly gay couples and children from same-sex relationships.


Gay group backs down on Israeli apartheid party

By Jennifer Lipman, February 23, 2011

A US gay advocacy group has cancelled plans to allow pro-Palestinian campaigners to host a "Smash Israeli Apartheid" party at its New York headquarters.

The event was due to take place at the city’s LGBT community centre as part of international “Israeli Apartheid Week” at the beginning of March.


Gay couples may be able to wed in synagogue

By Marcus Dysch, February 17, 2011

Gay couples may soon be able to marry legally in both Reform and Liberal synagogues under proposed changes to marriage laws.

Same-sex couples are expected to be given the right to hold legal civil
partnership ceremonies in places of worship.

The move would enable non-Orthodox communities to hold a wedding under a chuppah, and immediately follow it with a civil ceremony in a shul.

Liberal Judaism, Quakers and gay rights groups, led the pressure on the government to offer greater equality.


Peter Tatchell guests at gay group

By Jessica Elgot, February 3, 2011

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell praised Liberal Judaism for its same-sex commitment ceremonies when he addressed a Friday night dinner of the Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group in central London.

Mr Tatchell, co-founder of OutRage, also told the 50 diners that the UK had become one of the most progressive societies in the Western world in terms of gay rights.

Rabbis Judith Levitt, Mark Solomon and Ariel Friedlander were also among the guests.

JGLG vice-president Ed Teeger said Mr Tatchell had been "inspirational. He has done such good work for gay rights and for human rights.


How far can Orthodoxy recognise gay rights?

By Joseph Mintz, November 18, 2010

In October, Barack Obama, in response to a recent spike in suicides among America's gay teenagers, launched a video speaking out against homosexual bullying. In the same month, Shmuley Boteach, the "Hollywood Rabbi", wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal criticising the harsh view taken of gays in most Orthodox congregations in the USA. Both events beg the same question: how do we square the biblical prohibition against homosexuality with modern notions of equality?


When 'tradition' means 'bigotry'

By Paul Berger, November 1, 2010

New Yorkers opened their newspapers a couple of weekends ago to read of a brutal attack on three gay men in the Bronx who were kidnapped, beaten, tortured and sexually assaulted by a gang of nine men. In Belgrade, over the same weekend, about 100 people, mainly policemen, were injured after far-right demonstrators rioted because of a gay parade.


Gay wedding notice banned

By Simon Rocker, October 7, 2010

A Jewish newspaper in New Jersey has banned same-sex marriage announcements, the day after the first happy couple had their nuptials printed. Justin Rosen and Avi Smolen's wedding announcement was in the Jewish Standard, complete with a smiling picture of the couple.

The newspaper said that following "negative comments", other such announcements would not be printed. Editor Rebecca Kaplan Boroson wrote an editorial explaining that it was a "divisive issue". But after outraged comments on the newspaper's website, publisher James Janoff said they were reconsidering their decision.