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 Post subject: Tampa Rabbinical Association speaks out on LGBT rights
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:53 am 
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We, the rabbis of your community, believe that it’s important that you know where we stand on this issue. Each of us believes, passionately and unequivocally, in equal rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

Each of us welcomes everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, into our synagogues and organizations. Each of us accepts everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, as equal members of our community. And, each of us would be willing to perform a commitment ceremony and/or the rites of kiddushin (Jewish marriage) for a same gendered couple (although, it’s important to say that we hold the same standards for all couples, regardless of their sexual orientation).

... The world’s understanding of homosexuality has evolved radically over the centuries, and especially in the last few decades. We are grateful for this new knowledge, and we embrace it, rather than hide from it, or try to deny it. We refuse to cherry pick verses in order to perpetuate an antiquated view of human nature and human sexuality.

... There are no viable nonreligious arguments against allowing same-sex marriage. Therefore, any laws that prevent it must be based on one, particular religious point of view. And that is patently unacceptable.



Please know that if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or if someone whom you love is, then we are here for you. You will find our synagogues and organizations welcoming, and our offices safe places for you.

The prophet Isaiah declared, “My house shall be a house for all people.” The time has come to make sure that everyone, regardless of whom they love, is welcome in our community, and in God’s house.


Read the whole thing here

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 Post subject: Re: Tampa Rabbinical Association speaks out on LGBT rights
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:10 am 
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wow, good for them!

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 Post subject: Re: Tampa Rabbinical Association speaks out on LGBT rights
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:33 pm 
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That is great (and fairly amazing).

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 Post subject: Re: Tampa Rabbinical Association speaks out on LGBT rights
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:18 pm 
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Good for them, although it's only a little amazing. All of the non-Orthodox rabbinical assemblies have come out in support of both civil marriage and Jewish marriage for same-sex couples, some several years ago (20 years was the oldest I could find). My rabbinical assembly was highly involved in advocating for New York State to legalize gay marriage and other assemblies have done similar work. (And the Orthodox, about 10-20% of American Jews, mostly don't care, as civil marriage doesn't affect them religiously, so people can do whatever they want.) This is only really remarkable in that city-wide rabbinical associations usually have Orthodox members who wouldn't make these kinds of statements, so this must be a city-wide rabbinical association that doesn't include Orthodox rabbis!

Also, the Movement for Reform Judaism in the UK (also called Liberal Judaism in the UK and elsewhere, tenuously associated with Reform Judaism in the US) began conducting religious same-sex weddings this past June. European Jewish communities have been considerably slower than American ones to take up this issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Tampa Rabbinical Association speaks out on LGBT rights
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:47 pm 
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^^ I am a victim of my own ignorance here - I didn't know any of that.

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 Post subject: Re: Tampa Rabbinical Association speaks out on LGBT rights
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:28 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
Good for them, although it's only a little amazing. All of the non-Orthodox rabbinical assemblies have come out in support of both civil marriage and Jewish marriage for same-sex couples, some several years ago (20 years was the oldest I could find). My rabbinical assembly was highly involved in advocating for New York State to legalize gay marriage and other assemblies have done similar work. (And the Orthodox, about 10-20% of American Jews, mostly don't care, as civil marriage doesn't affect them religiously, so people can do whatever they want.) This is only really remarkable in that city-wide rabbinical associations usually have Orthodox members who wouldn't make these kinds of statements, so this must be a city-wide rabbinical association that doesn't include Orthodox rabbis!

Also, the Movement for Reform Judaism in the UK (also called Liberal Judaism in the UK and elsewhere, tenuously associated with Reform Judaism in the US) began conducting religious same-sex weddings this past June. European Jewish communities have been considerably slower than American ones to take up this issue.

You know, I've never looked into who is a member. To be honest, there aren't non-Chabad Orthodox options in the area. The Chabad rabbis all appear to come from one of two families and I didn't see their names on the list.
Remember that it was only two years ago that Florida stopped enforcing it's ban on gay adoptions. That was only because they lost in court.

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 Post subject: Re: Tampa Rabbinical Association speaks out on LGBT rights
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Even among most Orthodox Jews I know (who tend to be younger and more Modern Orthodox, rather than Hasidic), the general attitude seems to be, "Well, we won't have same-sex weddings here in our synagogue, and we're kind of iffy about how welcome an openly gay couple would be if they attended here regularly, but if people want to do it somewhere else, why do we care?" Which is why it really surprised me (and made me have to think of a ton of new arguments, since my usual ones didn't work) when a religious Catholic friend was saying that allowing same-sex marriage anywhere would destroy the very definition of marriage, and then church marriages wouldn't mean anything anymore. (He had the same argument against contraception and divorce. I eventually just stopped arguing with him, because he was just getting annoying.)


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 Post subject: Re: Tampa Rabbinical Association speaks out on LGBT rights
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:05 pm 
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Yeah, the Orthodox are mostly live and let live about such things. Hasidic Jews are almost especially so because they totally insulate themselves from secular society (except for Chabad) so they especially don't give a crepe most of the time.

My impression is that Chabad does not generally join city rabbinic associations, although mainstream Orthodox rabbis do. Also remember that none of the rabbis on that list were trained to be rabbis in Florida - they were trained in NY, LA, Cincinnati, or Boston by other gay friendly rabbis.


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