This site uses cookies. By continuing, your consent is assumed. Learn more

148.9fm shares

Bat mitzvah reform judaism and homosexual marriage

Chicago Sinai's Life Cycle Events...

There are a range of views within the Jewish community about marriage equality in particular, and the acceptance of homosexuality in general. Liberal Jews of various denominations have become increasingly accepting of the place of LGBT people in their communities.

(Even though it was a...

The smaller Reconstructionist movement followed suited inin adopting full equality for same sex marriages. Inthe Conservative movement voted in favour of performing same-sex marriages also.

Opinion in the Orthodox community, the largest Jewish denomination in Australia, however, is considerably more negative about marriage equality. A majority of Orthodox rabbis are opposed to marriage equality, and indeed some are opposed to any acceptance of gay, lesbian and bisexual people at all. The crux of the matter is a verse in the Torah, the Jewish holy book: A minority of Orthodox rabbis, including celebrity rabbi Shmuley Boteach, have attempted to interpret halakha more liberally on the issue of marriage equality, but this remains controversial.

That is Bat mitzvah reform judaism and homosexual marriage say, that even religious laws can change if the rabbis want them to. Well we have regrettably not arrived at this point in mainstream Orthodoxy.

Instead, the Torah seems to be talking about sex in the context of non-Israelite religious practices, or abusive uses of power, or some kind of sexual contact outside established, consensual relationships. Other progressive Jews have looked to other parts of the Torah for moral guidance in the acceptance of homosexuality. Many Jews consider the idea of btzelem Elohimthe fact that in Torah all people are considered to be made in the divine image, to supercede Leviticus.

We participate in nearly every other aspect of their religious lives.

We bless and name them as infants, we celebrate with them as they become bnei mitzvah [ie bar or bat mitzvah], we bury their grandparents and parents and eventually them too. But right now we are barred from fully participating in their marriages, because the Federal marriage act says that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.