Conservative Jewish Panel Votes to Allow Gay Rabbis

Jewish_gay2Opening a schism between Jewish religious leaders, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly voted to allow gay rabbis and same-sex commitment ceremonies. Four conservative rabbis immediately resigned from the committee following the controversial vote:

“The decision, which followed years of debate, was denounced by traditionalists in the movement as an indication that Conservative Judaism had abandoned its commitment to adhere to Jewish law, but celebrated by others as a long-awaited move toward full equality for gay people.”

The move is expected to create divisions within Conservative Judaism, much like what happened in the Anglican church when it approved the ordination of oenly gay Bishop Gene Robinson.

Said Rabbi Jerome Epstein, a law committee member: “Most of our congregations will not be of one mind, the same way that we were not of one mind. Our mandate is to help congregations deal with this pluralism.”

The ruling does have its limitations however: “The ruling accepting gay rabbis is itself a compromise. It favors ordaining gay rabbis and blessing same-sex unions, as long as the men do not practice sodomy.”

Conservative Jews Allow Gay Rabbis and Unions [nyt]