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  • U.S. embassy issues first visas to same-sex Israeli couples

    August 8, 2013 | 1:42 pm

    The American embassy in Tel Aviv issued its first derivative visas to same-sex Israeli couples.

    The derivative visa allows the applicant to receive a visa through a spouse or first-degree relative who is eligible for residence in the United States.

    The embassy on Thursday...

  • 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....

  • Opposing gay marriage is opposing love

    July 17, 2013 | 10:10 am

    One comes to understand many things after 97 years of life. Here’s one: Sex may fade, but love ... that’s forever.

    So says Issur Danielovitch, the man better known to the world as the nonagenarian actor Kirk Douglas. In an item this week on the Huffington Post, Douglas comes to...

  • 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?...

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  • Gay rights response: Let us eat (wedding) cake!

    June 26, 2013 | 4:23 pm

    Doors opened early this morning at the Abbey, a gay bar in West Hollywood where people gathered to watch the Supreme Court rule that part of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional by denying federal benefits to same-sex couples.

    The watch party began at 6:30 a.m....

  • Jewish values dictate protecting gay marriage

    June 26, 2013 | 2:15 pm

    In the early 1970s, while I was CEO of the Seagram Company, public dialogue about gay rights was largely nonexistent in corporate America. Social discourse had not yet even evolved into the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ethos that dominated the following decades. Homosexuality was simply...

  • 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...

  • Joan Rivers helps Israeli gay couple

    JTA

    March 12, 2013 | 4:02 pm

    Yuval and Liran, a gay Israeli couple, want to have a child -- and they are using any help they can get, even from Hollywood. Joan Rivers and Kelly Osbourne have joined a campaign to help the couple by posting photos of themselves holding a sign in Hebrew showing their support.

    A...

  • Jews vocal on both sides of France’s gay marriage debate

    February 5, 2013 | 11:42 am

    Wide-eyed and smiley, Elay-Gabriel seems utterly unaffected by the French media’s sudden interest in him.

    A dozen French journalists have visited the 18-month-old in recent months because he is trapped in a sort of legal limbo: He cannot obtain citizenship because the state does...

  • 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...

  • Illinois lawmakers begin considering approval of same-sex marriage

    January 3, 2013 | 9:55 am

    Illinois lawmakers began considering a measure on Wednesday that would make President Barack Obama's home state the 10th in the nation to legalize gay marriage.

    Supporters and opponents furiously lobbied lawmakers as a leading sponsor of the proposal pressed for a quick vote in...

  • Pope praises French rabbi’s essay against gay marriage

    December 21, 2012 | 2:03 pm

    In his Christmas address to Vatican officials, Pope Benedict reportedly praised an essay by France’s chief rabbi on the negative effects of gay marriage.

    According to Reuters, the Pope called the essay by Rabbi Gilles Bernheim “profoundly moving” during the Pope’s speech in the...

  • A more modern view of homosexuality

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    December 5, 2012 | 10:29 am

    The American Modern Orthodox community has just entered uncharted territory. Last week, our largest rabbinic organization, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) formally withdrew its support of JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality). JONAH has long been the...

  • Israel gets same-sex divorce before same-sex marriage

    December 4, 2012 | 2:12 pm

    An Israeli court has awarded the country's first divorce to a gay couple, which experts called an ironic milestone since same-sex marriages cannot be legally conducted in the Jewish state.

    A decision this week by a family court in the Tel Aviv area "determined that the marriage...

  • Conservative day school cancels Boy Scout troops over exclusion of gay leaders

    October 25, 2012 | 9:48 am

    A Conservative Jewish day school will not renew its Boy Scouts charter because of the organization's policy excluding gay and lesbian adults as leaders.

    The Golda Och Academy in West Orange, N.J., said in a letter to parents last week that the Scouts' policy presents a...

  • New Reform wedding edition confronts same-sex ceremonies

    August 16, 2012 | 10:22 am

    A new edition of a user-friendly guide to making a modern Jewish wedding has changed its approach to same-sex weddings.

    Rabbi Hara Person, publisher and director of CCAR Press, which publishes books for the Reform movement, said the new edition of “Beyond Breaking the Glass: A...

  • Conservative rabbinic group issues guidelines for same-sex wedding rituals

    June 4, 2012 | 10:56 am

    A landmark vote last week by the Conservative movement’s rabbinic committee has established rituals for same-sex wedding ceremonies, affirming that same-sex marriages have “the same sense of holiness and joy as that expressed in heterosexual marriages.”

    The decision by the...

  • Obama’s same-sex marriage nod echoes historic Catholic-Jewish debate

    May 24, 2012 | 4:20 pm

    When President Obama publicly endorsed same-sex marriage two weeks ago, most secular Jewish leaders applauded while some religious ones disagreed—the latter group joining their Catholic counterparts.

    In doing so, these representatives echoed sentiments thrust into the public sphere...

  • Same-sex marriage campaigns should heed local sentiments

    May 23, 2012 | 2:30 pm

    The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Since the May 8 vote to approve North Carolina’s Amendment One referendum, which constitutionally bars the state from recognizing as legal any marriage other...

  • Lesbian couple can both be child’s mother, Israeli court rules

    March 5, 2012 | 10:28 am

    Both members of a lesbian couple who had a child together can be recognized as the child’s mother, an Israeli court ruled.

    The egg of one of the women was fertilized with donated sperm and implanted in the second woman’s uterus. Only the woman who gave birth to the baby boy was...

  • Minn. rabbinical group opposes ban on same-sex marriages

    February 9, 2012 | 11:03 am

    Members of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association have signed a statement opposing a state ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriages.

    The group represents rabbis from 15 congregations in the state from the Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements. No Orthodox...

  • Jewish couple the first same-sex pair to tie knot in NYC

    July 25, 2011 | 3:37 pm

    Two elderly Jewish women were the first same-sex couple to marry in New York City.

    Phyllis Siegel, 77, and Connie Kopelov, 85, were married in Lower Manhattan at 9:02 a.m. Sunday in a ceremony witnessed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and officiated by City Clerk Michael...

  • Same-sex Jewish couple united in Amsterdam shul

    January 18, 2011 | 1:13 pm

    Holland’s first same-sex Jewish commitment ceremony was held in Amsterdam.

    The couple, who were not named in the Radio Netherlands report, was united Sunday in the synagogue of the Liberal Jewish Community.

    The Council of Rabbis of the Dutch Union of Progressive Judaism recently ruled that such ceremonies may be held in the country’s nine Liberal synagogues. The ceremony, called a brit ahava, or covenant of love, is not an official Jewish wedding, a rabbinic spokesman told reporters.

    Same-sex marriage has been legal in the Netherlands since 2001.

  • Judaism and Same-Sex Marriage

    May 26, 2009 | 7:19 pm

    While voting to keep intact the marriages of approximately 18,000 Californians, including many Jewish couples, the California Supreme Court voted today to uphold Proposition 8, an initiative that amended California’s Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.  Another chapter in the...

  • Gays get married and I’m still single

    By Amy Klein

    June 26, 2008 | 11:32 am

    I hate gay men. OK, so I don't literally hate them -- some of my best ... no, actually my best friend is a gay man -- but I hate that there's yet another group of guys who are unavailable to me. Married people, actors, Republicans and other men who don't like women: Gay men.

    In this...

  • Big Bay Area Jewish turnout for gay weddings

    June 22, 2008 | 4:53 pm

    SAN FRANCISCO (JTA)—Three years ago, Sharon Papo and Amber Weiss stood under a chupah in a Santa Cruz redwood grove and recited their vows before 100 relatives and friends.

    They stomped on a glass, stood nose to nose wrapped in a tallit and sipped from a kiddush cup—Jewish rituals...

  • Same-sex marriage and the fabric of society: What does it all mean?

    By Julie G Fax

    June 17, 2008 | 9:04 pm

    If you look at the fine print, last month's landmark Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage doesn't change much in practical terms. Domestic partnership, available to Californians since 2005, gave couples nearly all the same legal rights and responsibilities as marriage,...
  • Gay rabbis getting married—and marrying

    By Amy Klein Religion Editor

    June 17, 2008 | 8:53 pm

    It's almost 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 17, and the line at the West Hollywood Park snakes around itself, as some 400 people wait to obtain marriage licenses on this first official day that the State of California is issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples (aside from one wedding on...
  • Finding their way home to Judaism: three same-sex couples share their conversion stories

    By Nick Street

    October 12, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "My parents were old hippies," said Felicia Park-Rogers, who grew up in the Bay Area. "They were very suspicious of organized religion and anything else smacking of authority."
     
    When Park-Rogers, 35, met Rachel Timoner, her partner-to-be, in San Francisco in the early 1990s, she was...
  • Producer Channels

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 5, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Gays weren't even on the radar in Ilene Chaiken's Jewish community in Philadelphia back in the 1960s.

    The creator of Showtime's lesbian drama, "The L Word," grew up in a home of "good liberal Jews" and belonged to a Reform temple.

    "But I think the closest one ever came to...

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