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  • Jewish group condemns new Ugandan anti-gay law

    By Ryan Torok

    February 24, 2014 | 4:55 pm

    After Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Monday signed into law a bill assigning a life sentence to some forms of homosexual activity, the American Jewish World Service (AJWS), which has made LGBT rights its foremost issue, swiftly responded.

    “By signing this draconian bill...

  • Gay candidate blazes new trail in Israel mayoral race

    October 15, 2013 | 12:49 pm

    As a candidate to become the Middle East's first openly gay mayor, Nitzan Horowitz is hoping his bid to run Israel's famously liberal city of Tel Aviv will help homosexuals across a region where they are widely frowned upon.

    The left-wing legislator is not predicted to defeat the...

  • Obama welcomes Pope Francis’ remarks on gays, abortion

    October 2, 2013 | 2:03 pm

    President Barack Obama on Wednesday welcomed Pope Francis' recent remarks that the Catholic Church must shake off an obsession with teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuals, saying the pontiff was showing incredible humility.

    "I tell you, I have been hugely impressed...

  • Convert: Rico Collins

    August 7, 2013 | 1:24 pm

    Rico Collins, 39, was raised Southern Baptist in Jacksonville, Fla., but could never relate to the messages he heard in church as a boy. “It’s very fire and brimstone,” he said. “I didn’t like it.” 

    Collins said he didn’t fit in with the other kids at church and felt alienated...

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  • Madrid’s chief rabbi: Gays are ‘deviants’ who need re-educating

    August 2, 2013 | 10:15 am

    Madrid’s chief rabbi, Moshe Bendahan, called gays “deviants” who should be re-educated and said same-sex marriages are “monstrous.”

    “Homosexuality is a deviation from nature,” Bendahan is quoted as telling the online news site Religion Digital in an interview published Wednesday....

  • Jewish embrace of LGBT people recognizes the dignity of all

    By Rabbi David Wolpe

    June 28, 2013 | 9:45 am

    Attitudes toward same sex marriage in Judaism have undergone a dramatic change in the last quarter century. The prohibition recorded in Leviticus 18 has been affirmed by some, negated by others and reinterpreted by still others. Did the Torah intend loving same sex relationships?...

  • Feeds and reads: Jewish responses to same-sex marriage decisions

    June 26, 2013 | 10:18 am

    Much of the Jewish world is celebrating today’s Supreme Court ruling on two same-sex marriage cases.

    But two Jewish groups aren’t joining the party. We devoted a separate post to the brief response of the haredi Orthodox Agudath Israel. The Orthodox Union weighed in with this...

  • Middle East gay pride and LGBT safety exist only in Israel

    June 10, 2013 | 10:59 am

    Tel Aviv just hosted its 15th annual Gay Pride Festival, attended by a record-breaking 100,000 spectators and participants, including some of Israel’s most powerful politicians. Here is The Times of Israel report on the event:

    “Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai kicked off the...

  • Three arrested in 2009 attack on gay club in Tel Aviv

    June 5, 2013 | 2:12 pm

    Three suspects were arrested in connection with a 2009 shooting attack at a youth center for gays in Tel Aviv.

    The suspects, who are Jewish, were arrested on Wednesday and are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

    A teenager and a youth adviser were killed in the Aug. 1, 2009 attack on the Bar Noar club for gay, lesbian and transgender youth.

    A gag order remains on the details of the investigation in which more than 1,000 people have been interrogated.

  • Jewish scouts say lifting of ban on gays is ‘momentous’

    May 24, 2013 | 10:52 am

    Jewish scouting leaders say they are “overjoyed” after the Boy Scouts of America passed a resolution lifting a ban on gay youth.

    A.J. Kreimer, the outgoing chairman of the Nation Jewish Committee on Scouting, said Friday the decision reached at the BSA’s national convention in...

  • Rabbis to Boy Scouts: Lift ban on gay members

    May 22, 2013 | 10:39 am

    More than 500 rabbis and cantors urged the Boy Scouts of America to drop its ban on homosexual members when the youth group’s National Council convenes in Dallas this week.

    Representatives of the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements signed the letter, which was...

  • Jewish Scouting leaders vocal on gay inclusion

    May 9, 2013 | 6:06 pm

    Jewish Scouting leaders are taking a vocal role in efforts to pass a historic resolution that would partially lift a ban on gays in the Boy Scouts of America.

    In a meeting of the National Jewish Committee on Scouting in February, members voted overwhelmingly in favor of a...

  • Little Boxes on the Hillside

    By Beit T'shuvah

    March 14, 2013 | 10:28 am

    By M. Alexander

    Earlier this week, while running a Prevention group at a Hebrew School in the valley, we ran into a difficult dilemma when we split the group into boys and girls. The teacher fashions herself a progressive and decided that a split by gender was antiquated. What...

  • The queerness of love: A Jewish case for same-sex marriage

    January 24, 2013 | 4:17 pm

    Last year, I officiated at the first same-sex wedding in the 145-year history of my synagogue.  For a Conservative congregation, this was quite a break with tradition.  Nevertheless,  I was proud to stand beneath the wedding canopy with this couple, who affirmed the sacredness of...

  • One more reason to love Boy Scouts of America…

    By Julia Bendis

    July 19, 2012 | 3:08 pm

    I’ve always had an issue with Boy Scouts.  Plain and simple, something rubbed me the wrong way about the whole organization; the children standing in full nerd-gear at grocery stores trying to sell me some crap to raise money for G-d-knows what; the badges they are supposed to...

  • Orthodox gay activist sues cousin for assault

    July 3, 2012 | 2:00 pm

    An Orthodox blogger sued his cousin, whose family owns a large New York Judaica store, for assaulting him.

    Chaim Levin, now a gay activist, has sued cousin Sholom Eichler in a Brooklyn court, according to the New York Post. Eichler’s family owns Eichler’s Judaica Store in Brooklyn.

    Levin claims that Eichler assaulted him weekly beginning when he was 6, from 1996 to 1999, at the Eichler family home and at a synagogue.

  • Gad Beck, the last known gay Holocaust survivor, dies at 88

    June 26, 2012 | 10:34 am

    Gad Beck, the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, died in Berlin. 

    Beck, 88, who was a resistance fighter during World War II for Chug Chaluzi, an underground Zionist resistance youth group, died on June 24, just six days before his 89th birthday. Chug Chaluzi played a...

  • Conservative rabbis approve same-sex marriage ceremonies

    June 1, 2012 | 8:28 am

    The Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards—which sets halachic policy for the Conservative movement—has voted unanimously to provide the approximately 1,600 Conservative rabbis with guidelines on performing same-sex marriages.

    The move is an official sanction...

  • Jewish groups back Obama on gay marriage

    May 9, 2012 | 3:15 pm

    Jewish leaders praised President Barack Obama’s statement that he personally supports gay marriage.

    “I am pleased that the President has made a decisive statement in support of marriage equality,” said National Jewish Democratic Council chair Marc R. Stanley in an emailed...

  • Proposition 8 overturn prompts hundreds to celebrate in West Hollywood [VIDEO]

    By Ryan Torok

    February 7, 2012 | 10:22 pm

    Celebrating the overturning of Proposition 8 – California’s gay marriage ban – hundreds of supporters of gay marriage gathered in West Hollywood on the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 7.

    The crowd marched up and down Santa Monica boulevard, going several blocks east from the West...

  • California gay marriage ban overturned, appeal planned

    February 7, 2012 | 11:11 am

    A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday found California’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional in a case that is likely to lead to a showdown on the issue in the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Proponents of the ban said they would appeal the ruling, and the Protect Marriage coalition that sponsored the...

  • Homosexual Israeli soldiers claim harassment

    August 16, 2011 | 10:18 am

    Gay and lesbian soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces said they have been sexually harassed during their military service.

    Forty percent of the homosexual soldiers said they were verbally abused and 4 percent said they were physically abused, according to a new survey by the Israel...

  • Preparing for Same-Gender Weddings

    June 28, 2011 | 6:10 pm

    All eyes will still be on New York in the coming weeks as the state prepares for marriage equality. I learned a lot in the run-up to wedding mania here in California in 2008, so I thought I would share some tips with those in New York.

    Clergy, officiants and recorders: Meet...

  • James Franco Q & A:  His Film on Tortured Gay Poet Hart Crane

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    June 15, 2011 | 9:48 pm

    One has to wonder when James Franco ever sleeps. Hollywood’s most educated thespian — perhaps best-known for his Oscar-nominated turn as the guy who cut off his own arm in Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” – has famously juggled acting on soap operas and in blockbusters (think Rupert...

  • Synagogues Working to Be More Open to Gays

    March 13, 2009 | 2:17 pm

    [UPDATE]

    NEW YORK (JTA)—The newsletter sent out last month by Temple Israel of New Rochelle contained the usual sort of announcements, including a reminder about the synagogue’s upcoming Purim carnival, mazal tovs and condolences, and information about a social event at a local...

  • Marriage is a Jewish issue

    November 20, 2008 | 2:55 am

    This week's Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, is the biblical equivalent of JDate. After Sarah's death, Abraham gets busy trying to find the right wife for his son, Isaac. He sends his servant, Eliezer, to Abraham's hometown to make the match. Eliezer prays that the right girl will show...
  • It can’t happen here

    By Rob Eshman

    November 12, 2008 | 12:29 am

    A coalition of black and Mormon leaders have begun laying the groundwork for a 2012 California ballot initiative that would ban Jews from marrying Jews.

    Flush from the passage of Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state, the leaders say they want to extend the ban to...

  • Two out of state rabbis offer two opinions on anti-gay-marriage Prop. 8

    November 3, 2008 | 2:41 pm

    Op-Ed: Prop 8 goes against God's love for every person

    By Rabbi David Ellenson

    NEW YORK (JTA)--As a rabbi, I would urge all residents of California to vote No on Proposition 8, the state ballot measure that would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.

    In...

  • Religious “No!” to Proposition 8

    October 28, 2008 | 8:59 pm

    "My Christian friends say homosexuality is a sin. Isn't Judaism based on the same Old Testament bible?  How does our synagogue welcome homosexuals with acceptance and equality?"
     
    I was substituting for our rabbi in our 10th grade confirmation class.  Homosexuality is not a...
  • Herb Gold, elder statesman of the Beat Generation, writes on

    By Tom Teicholz

    August 13, 2008 | 3:34 am

    "Still Alive! (A Temporary Condition)" by Herbert Gold (Arcade, $25).

    Herbert Gold, who at 84 is among the elder statesmen of the Beat Generation, has a new book out, his 28th, a memoir titled "Still Alive! (A Temporary Condition)."

    It is not an autobiography so much as a series...

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