Text of report, adopted by the CCAR, that summarizes the committee's deliberations, conclusions and recommendations on homosexuality and the rabbinate. The report covers Concern for Gay and Lesbian Colleagues, Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights, Origin and Nature of Sexual Orientation, Sexual Morality and the Rabbi, Our Relationship to Klal Yisrael and the Non-Jewish Community, Congregational Issues, Admissions Policy of the College-Institute, Membership in the CCAR, and Placement.
Text of report to the CCAR Convention, June, 1998, concluding "that kiddushah may be present in committed, same gender relationships between two Jews" and laying a foundation for the 2000 CCAR Resolution on Same Gender Officiation. The report includes an extensive description of Reform Jewish sexual values as the basis for the committee's conclusion.
At their convention in 1991, members of the American Conference of Cantors (ACC) voted and approved a policy statement of acknowledgement that "there are members of the organization who are gay and lesbian, and they be accorded the opportunity to fulfill the sacred vocation which they have chosen." The statement goes on to note ACC is in agreement with the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) "urging cantors, rabbis and congregations to treat with respect and integrate fully all Jews into the life of the community regardless of sexual orientation."
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President of the URJ, 2004-2005 Regional Biennial speech affirmed that "Reform Jews will fight the battle" and "will not bend " with regard to advocating support for same-sex marriage. Rabbi Yoffie makes the point, "the fact that gay marriage is widely unpopular in some places cannot obscure the fact that it is morally momentous and morally right." He urges those in the Reform movement to "educate our fellow citizens" on the basis "America does not mistreat people because of what they are." He goes on to champion the point-of-view that same-sex marriage is not a "special right," rather, "it is simply a component of equal citizenship."
Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion stakes out a position in opposition to religious literalists of all faiths prone to claiming they are "speaking on behalf of religion" regarding issues concerning gay and lesbian rights. Rabbi Ellenson discusses both biblical and Talmudic passages and builds the case for advocating "full rights be extended to lesbians and gays."
Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, argues against Proposition 8, which would ban gay marriage, on the eve of election day. He argues that negative judgments of LGBT people must be challenged from a religious perspective.
The Jewish Renewal Movement has long been a supporter of LGBT rights. In this statement of principles, Aleph specifically welcomes people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and family structures.
In the 1993 Report of the Reconstructionist Commission on Homosexuality, they wrote, "Same-gender partnerships have the same potential for embodying these qualities as do heterosexual marriages. As we support the long-term commitment of heterosexual couples and acknowledge the kedushah of their marriages, so do we support long-term partnerships between gays or lesbians and affirm that kedushah resides in committed relationships between same-gender Jewish couples.” (p. 37). The Reconstructionist Rabbinic Association (RRA) encourages their members to officiate at same-gender ceremonies, but does not mandate that they do so.
In 2006, The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism issued a statement the USCJ opposed any governmental action to define marriage and discriminate against gay and lesbians in regards to civil marriage.
In this concurring opinion, Rabbi Alexander applauds the work of Rabbis Dorff, Nevins, and Reisner for creating same-gender marriage ceremonies. He also provides alternative perspectives on the usage of proclaiming that same-gender marriages are 'according to Laws of Moses and Israel' (he believes this can be publically and officially proclaimed) and how a rabbi and couple might maintain the original formulation of the Sheva Berakhot (Seven Blessings).
In response to Rabbi Abelson's "Placing Homosexual Rabbis in Congregations", Rabbi Bergman argues that the Rabbinical Assembly should not deny "avowed homosexual members" access to services that are provided to other members. His argument is based in part on the inconsistency related to a resolution which called for the end of the discrimination of homosexuals in many areas, including employment.
In a hesitant concurrence with Rabbi Goodman's teshuvah, Rabbi Mackler explains that the issue of homosexuality and the rabbinate is a complex one, such that each situation might pose a different response. He notes that Rabbi Abelson's teshuvah is too blunt of an approach, and that Rabbi Goodman's gets closer to the true issue -- "treating violations of the halakhic prohibition of
homosexuality similarly to other halakhic violations."
This concurring statement outlines why Rabbi Reisner supported the traditional prohibition of homosexuality outlined in the "Consensus Statement on Homosexuality" and a text which he found persuasive in his thinking.
This teshuvah was composed two years before the multiple teshuvot on homosexuality that were voted on as law by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standard (CJLS) of the Conservative movement. As the mara d’atra, or halachic authority on Jewish Law for his congregation, Rabbi Samuel Barth needed to resolve the question of gay and lesbian commitment ceremonies for himself and his congregation. He examines the question from several perspectives – including current scientific and medical understandings of homosexuality as biological and not a choice, changing halakhic norms, and the rabbinic authority to reinterpret the Torah based on modern life. Rabbi Barth references several major rabbinic scholars on the issue, including Rabbi Dr. Elliot Dorff and Rabbi Gordon Tucker, Rabbi Harold Shulweis, and Rabbi Dr. Joel Roth, and concludes that he supports gay and lesbian commitment ceremonies and will bless those between two Jewish partners in his Congregation.