Friday, December 08, 2006

More on Conservative Rabbi's: A Mixed Blessing

It turns out the story of the Conservative ruling Wednesday was much more complex than the original Washington Post and NY Times stories.

The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards actually passed three conflicting opinions. In the long history of Rabbi's debates going back before the midrash, the opinions leave it up to each seminary and each local rabbi to decide what is appropriate. The most liberal of the opinons calls commitment ceremonies "appropriate" and "welcomes" clergy who are gay while prohibiting anal intercourse (presumably only by male couples.) But a conservative opinion was also passed by enough votes for adoption that upheld the ban on marriages and clergy, and a third opinion calling for "reparative therapy" for gays also was adopted.

The end result is that with God's grace, some seminaries will begin ordaining gay and lesbian Conservative rabbis, and some Rabbis will perform unions for same sex couples.

I agree wholeheartedly with Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum's assessment: “It’s absolutely a step in the right direction. But justice demands full inclusion of gay and lesbians in Jewish life with no conditions attached. Functionally, the option of equality for gay men and lesbians has been achieved. A religious ideology of equality is still far away.”

That day is surely to come.

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