Responsa on Homosexuality

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As expected, the Conservative movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards announced today that it has accepted multiple, conflicting responsa regarding the denomination’s stance on homosexuality .

JTA reports:

In the end, the committee endorsed three separate teshuvot, or responsa, on the issue. One, by Rabbi Joel Roth, affirmed the movement’s traditional ban on gay rabbis and commitment ceremonies. Another, by Rabbis Elliot Dorff, Daniel Nevins and Avram Reisner, reversed those positions while upholding the biblical prohibition on male intercourse. Both papers earned 13 votes, a majority of the 25-member committee.

A third opinion, by Rabbi Leonard Levy, also affirmed the movement’s traditional position on homosexuality while rejecting the now-common view that homosexuality is an orientation one cannot control. Levy’s position earned the minimum six votes required for acceptance.

Jay Michaelson, author of God in Your Body and Director of Nehirim: A Spiritual Initiative for GLBT Jews, was at the Conservative movement’s press conference today, and I asked him to post his thoughts about the day — its meaning and significance — here on the MJL blog. (We’ll have that up soon.)

Posted on December 7, 2006

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