1982 responsum to question regarding the acceptability of a "known and active homosexual" as a convert to Judaism. Cited in the teshuvah is a 1977 CCAR resolution calling for the decriminalization of "homosexual acts between consenting adults" and prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
1973 responsum to a question from Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler (at the time president-elect of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations) regarding a "congregation of homosexuals." Teshuvah is from Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof. The congregation that provoked the question is Beth Chayim Chadashim (Los Angeles), founded in 1972 and accepted as a member of the URJ in 1974.
1996 responsum regarding rabbinic officiation at a same gender wedding or commitment ceremony. The following topics are addressed: 1) Sexual Orientation, Homosexuality, and Jewish Tradition 2) Kiddushin, Reform Judaism, and Homosexuality 3) Gay and Lesbian Unions: Toward a Response
1986 responsum to a question regarding the participation of two lesbians in the service of their child's Bar Mitzvah service. There is a summary in the teshuvah of the traditional texts that address lesbianism.
1987 responsum to questions about the responsibilities of an "AIDS carrier" to society and about how Judaism would characterize "careless" behavior that could result in transmission of HIV to another person.
1985 responsum to a question about the traditional approach of Judaism to epidemics where there is no known cure for a disease. Both concern for public safety and for the ostracizing of people with AIDS form the context for the question.
The 1978 CCAR Responsum on Marriage after a Sex-Change Operation addresses the question: "May a rabbi officiate at a marriage of two Jews, one of whom has undergone a surgical operation which has changed his/her sex?"
In 1985, Rabbi L. Poller, of Larchmont, NY authored a Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Responsum on Homosexual Marriage, raising the question: "May a rabbi officiate at the 'marriage' of two homosexuals?" Poller argues, "a rabbi cannot participate in the 'marriage' of two homosexuals." He supports this view by saying it is his belief, "none of the elements of kiddushin (sanctification) normally associated with marriage can be invoked for this relationship." Pol
This CCAR Responsum addresses a complex two part question regarding: 1) "whether or not an applicant for conversion, after already having a sex-change operation, be allowed to have a religious conversion," and, 2) "if the applicant is converted, should the rabbi sanctify the civil marriage through a religious ceremony (kiddushin)? The particular situation is further complicated given that the applicant had a change of heart after sex reassignment surgery. After having his male genitalia removed and a cosmetic vagina constructed, he no longer desired to be a woman, and wanted to live as male.
This responsa clarifies why the Committee on Jewish Laws and Standards (CJLS) should maintain the 1992 resolution prohibiting marriage ceremonies of gay and lesbian members, the admittance of gay and lesbian students into rabbinical and cantorial programs, and the freedom for each rabbi to determine whether to hire homosexual teachers, and bestow honors or lay leadership positions to gay and lesbian congregants.
This responsa shifts CJLS policies regarding the admittance of gay and lesbian students into rabbinical and cantorial schools, but maintains some sexual prohibitions. While it does not provide kiddushin for same-sex couples, it does acknowledge that "stable, committed, Jewish relationships" are as necessary and beneficial for homosexual as for heterosexual couples.
This dissenting paper (not an official position by the CJLS) argues that gay and lesbian relationships "are permitted within the context of a recognizable consecrated relationships," that rabbis and cantors may officiate gay and lesbian marriage ceremonies, and gay and lesbian Jews may be ordained as rabbis and cantors.
This responsa explores issues of sexual activity, whether any student should be admitted to rabbinical or cantorial if they intend to violate the sexual prohibitions regularly, and opportunities for counseling, public education, and support lesbian and gay Jews. It affirms the 1992 teshuvah prohibiting same-sex marriages and importance of welcoming gay and lesbian Jews into Conservative congregations.
This responsa outlines the ramifications of a person having sex reassignment surgery, including the recognition of a new sex status under Jewish law, the necessity of a get, and implications for marriage.
This dissenting paper (not an official position by the CJLS) argues the need to expand the halakhic argument to better reconcile Judaism and homosexuality, and ultimately fully normalize gays and lesbians in the Conservative movement.
This concurring statement (not an official position by the CJLS) argues that the Conservative Movement must continue halachic prohibitions against homosexual acts, despite the secular values accepted in the larger American society. Weiss argues that the Conservative Movement's survival depends on the continuing to establish standards.
This responsa counters the resolutions by Rabbi Roth and Rabbi Artson regarding homosexuality, and recommends that the CJLS take a different course than upholding the 1991 resolution. Instead, he encourages the CJLS to engage in a movement-wide discussion about appropriate standards for sexuality in this age to develop standards that apply to all Jews.
Along with three other responsa, this serves as the legal and philosophical rationale for the "Consensus Statement on Homosexuality" (1992). This statement argues that heterosexuality is the will of God as expressed in the Torah, that changing biblical law is by showing that the change will be for the good of the Jewish Community, prohibiting the discrimination against gays and lesbians in all areas of life, including synagogue membership, prohibiting those who advocate homosexuality as an acceptable Jewish lifestyle from holding positions of leadership, and obligating synagogues to welcome gay and lesbian non-advocates into congregations with the same rights and privileges as other members.
This statement outlines Liberal Judaism's stance on gay and lesbian inclusion. It rejects the Torah being used to stigmatize gay and lesbian Jews, and offers alternative interpretations of Leviticus 18:22. Additionally, Liberal Judaism concludes that it is wrong to discriminate against gays and lesbians, that since many gays and lesbians died at Hitler's hands, Jews should be especially sympathetic toward gays and lesbians' situations, that monogamous relationships are encouraged in heterosexual and same-sex couples, that same-sex couples are raising families in new and creative ways, and that gay men and lesbians should be able to live as God made them to be.
This article from the Yeshiva University newspaper, "The Observer," explores the halakhic ramifications of Orthodox Jewish transsexuals having sexual reassignment surgery, based on several resources, including "Contemporary Halakhic Problems," Volume 1, and "Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics," volume 3. Ultimately, sexual reassignment surgery is largely viewed as violations of halakhic prohibitions. If a person decides to change their sex, there are conflicting positions -- one that external appearances rule and the other that biology and genetics rule. The author also notes that members of the transsexual community claim that Orthodox Rabbanim have given permission to transition, but this prominent Rabbi was not available for comment.
In repsonse to a question concerning a congregating wishing to conduct a discussion program about homosexuality, Solomon Freehof discusses the various Biblical references to male homosexuality. He concludes that the lack of Biblical and post-biblical law, Jewish people suggests the "normalcy and the purity of the Jewish people." Some later authors argue that this response is a traditional position and would not be challenged at the time.
This responsum can be found in the book Current Reform Responsa published in 1969.
Six years after approving three different teshuvah about homosexuality and gay and lesbian people, the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly approved these rituals and documents developed by Rabbis Dorff, Nevins, and Reisner. This document addresses the difficulties related to nomenclature, the importance of the suspension of rabbinic level prohibitions in order to ensure human dignity, issues of kiddushin, and the history of the document development. The document includes two wedding ceremonies – one which is more traditional and one that “starts fresh.” There is also a dissolution document included.