Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Two Jews, Three Opinions

So the old saying goes. Anyway, a Conservative Jewish panel on the issue of same-sex sex, ordination, and commitment ceremonies has approved 3 teshuvot (legal opinions) on the subject--two of which uphold the traditional view, and a third which allows for gay commitment ceremonies and ordinations, but still forbids anal sex.

This strikes me as a bit of an odd compromise--like getting Goodridge without Lawrence, but I'll take what I can get. As I noted in my previous post, Jewish teshuvot do not have to mutually compatible, or apparently even mutually intelligible. So, like with Hillel and Shammai, both "these and these are the words of the living God." The Post's article also says that three members of the 25-person panel resigned in protest of the decision, although they did not say which teshuvot they were protesting.

If anyone has links to the Teshuvot, I'd be quite interested in reading them.

UPDATE: Still no links to the Teshuvot. However, according to one site, one of the traditionalist Teshuvot "upholds the ban on gay sexual relationships in Jewish law and mentions the option for gays to undergo therapy aimed at changing their sexual orientation." If so, that is extraordinarily disappointing. I think that there are solid textualist reasons to maintain the ban on homosexual activity as a (not the, but a) teshuvot, but I think that stepping further than that into reparative therapy has no religious or normative justification, and clashes severely with the predominant scientific literature on the issue. It is a perversion of principles of Halakhah, and Rabbis should not be permitted to press for it.

Jeremy Blumenthal also has more.

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