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.


Fury as Jewish paper pulls same-sex marriage announcements

By Jennifer Lipman, October 6, 2010

The publisher of a Jewish newspaper has said a controversial decision to stop printing same-sex marriage announcements may have been made “too quickly”.

The New Jersey Jewish Standard had published a piece on its “Lifecycles page” marking the engagement of Avichai David Smolen, 23, and Justin Taylor Rosen, 24, in the September 24 edition of the New Jersey weekly.


Scientists hear how gays can be 'cured'

By Paul Berger, August 5, 2010

An Orthodox scientific group has sparked controversy by giving a platform to a Jewish organisation that believes homosexuality can be cured.

The Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists invited Arthur Goldberg to speak at its annual convention in Connecticut last month.

Mr Goldberg is a proponent of reparative therapy, which seeks to transform gays and bisexuals into heterosexuals through therapy.

In 1999, he co-founded JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality). Opponents claim such therapies are ineffective and even harmful.


Glee creator to make film about Jewish activist

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2010

A play about a Jewish Aids activist is to be made into a film by the creator of television show Glee.

American Jewish playwright Larry Kramer is to adapt his semi-autobiographical 1985 drama The Normal Heart for the screen.

Mr Kramer drew on his experiences as one of the founders of the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) in the early 1980s to create the part of advocate Ned Weeks.

The GMHC were crucial in challenging the idea that Aids was only a “gay cancer”.


Gay Pride set for big Jewish turnout

July 1, 2010

Jewish groups will be one of the best represented at this weekend's London Gay Pride march, with over 100 people from the Jewish community expected to take part.

Three Jewish gay groups are marching together for the first time - the Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group, Gay Jews in London and Beit Klal Yisrael.

Some will wave Israeli flags and flags with pink and rainbow Magen Davids. There will also be some wearing T-shirts which say "Jewlicious: 100% kosher".

Ben Kaye, 32, a former JFS pupil, began Gay Jews in London as a
Facebook group, which now has nearly 200 members.


Gay Pride row over Israel deepens

By Ron Csillag, July 1, 2010

Organisers of Toronto's annual Gay Pride parade have reversed a decision to ban use of the phrase "Israeli apartheid" in the event.

A bitter row involving back-and-forth allegations of censorship and antisemitism has raged ever since a local activist group, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA), announced its intention to march in the July 4 parade.

Jewish groups, backed by several prominent politicians, convinced Pride that QuAIA was violating Toronto's anti-discrimination policies. Several weeks ago Pride organisers ruled the group could march, but not under its name.


Gay parade bans anti-Israel banners

June 17, 2010

Toronto's annual Gay Pride parade, considered a major event on Canada's cultural calendar, is threatening to devolve into confrontation - and not between gay and straight people.

Event organisers, responding to complaints from Jewish organisations, among others, have forbidden the activist group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QAIA) from marching in the parade under that name.

More accurately, Pride Toronto is "disallowing" use of the phrase "Israeli Apartheid" in the 2010 parade.


Former Czech minister's Jewish slur

April 8, 2010

The former Czech prime minister has resigned as chair of the Civic Democratic Party after making derogatory comments about Jews and gays.

During an informal conversation with the staff of the gay magazine Lui, Mirek Topolanek said that Transport Minister Gustav Slamecka is a homosexual who "gives in when he faces a serious problem".

Jewish Prime Minister Jan Fischer, he said is "simply a Jew; he's not gay and he gives in even sooner".


Time for gay shul weddings

By Rabbi David Mitchell and Rabbi Judith Levitt, March 4, 2010

As part of the newest generation of lesbian and gay rabbis, we are delighted to learn after a successful debate in the House of Lords, Civil Partnerships can now take place within religious institutions.

Inevitably, this change in legislation will be most applicable to those synagogues, rabbis and movements who have already enabled same-sex couples to affirm their commitments to one another within a Jewish context. For example, in Liberal Judaism, the same-sex B'rit Ahavah (Covenant of Love) pre-dated the UK Civil Partnership Act.