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'Jewish Standard' Publisher: 'We May Have Acted Too Quickly' With Gay Announcement Ban, Will Reconsider

6a00d8341c730253ef0133f4dca460970b-800wi James Janoff, publisher of New Jersey's The Jewish Standard, today addressed popular outrage over his paper's decision to prohibit gay marriage announcements from its pages.

"We believe now that we may have acted too quickly in issuing the follow-up statement, responding only to one segment of the community," Janoff wrote in the letter published today after word spread that the paper had caved to conservative pressure.

The paper's team will now meet with local rabbis and other community leaders to decide how best to proceed.

In the meantime, Janoff asks everyone to "take a step back and reflect on what this series of events has taught us about the community we care so much about, and about the steps we must take to move forward together."

Read Janoff's short letter, AFTER THE JUMP.

We ran the wedding announcement because we felt, as a community newspaper, that it was our job to serve the entire community — something we have been doing for 80 years.

We did not expect the heated response we got, and — in truth — we believe now that we may have acted too quickly in issuing the follow-up statement, responding only to one segment of the community.

We are now having meetings with local rabbis and community leaders. We will also be printing, in the paper and online, many of the letters that have been pouring in since our statement was published.

We urge everyone to take a step back and reflect on what this series of events has taught us about the community we care so much about, and about the steps we must take to move forward together.

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Comments

  1. Thanks so much for following this story. Last time I checked, there were 370 comments on the editorial page, and I didn't see a single one that supported their original decision to stop running the announcements.

    Posted by: kenny | Oct 6, 2010 12:20:31 PM


  2. The media - even if tailored to a specific religious community - should be able to make independent editorial decisions without bending to a fringe of their readership.

    The Standard's initial decision to print same-sex wedding announcements was an example of such an independent decision.

    The decision to not publish these announcements because of orthodox pressure calls into question the editorial integrity of this paper. Any decisions they make hereafter are thus tainted.

    The editorial board should be replaced.

    Kudos on continuing to report this fascinating story.

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Oct 6, 2010 12:29:11 PM


  3. Flip flop much? That's what happens when you throw gays under the bus without a thought---you end up having to rethink.

    Posted by: Christopher | Oct 6, 2010 12:51:05 PM


  4. Um, not really, christopher. Most religious denominations are violently antigay...especially christian. If this were a southern baptist, mormon (desert news), or even catholic publication, there wouldn't even be a reconsidering...that's because jews are vastly superior to christians and mormons when it comes to gay rights, on average...and forget about islam.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 6, 2010 1:04:01 PM


  5. I'm always amazed at the irony of religious leaders of many different faiths agreeing on one thing: to condemn love and commitment.

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Oct 6, 2010 1:11:49 PM


  6. Prediction: they'll formally unveil a policy of assessing each submission on a case-by-case basis without regard to sexuality. Then, by an incredible stroke of coincidence, none of the submissions they approve will ever involve same-sex couples.

    Posted by: Pender | Oct 6, 2010 1:26:23 PM


  7. @Hue-Man, That's all religion is for, A series of rules to keep you unhappy. That's all its ever tried to be.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Oct 6, 2010 1:27:31 PM


  8. Not so fast with the celebrating

    FOLLOW UP Follow Up follow up

    Otherwise this could just turn into a way to quiet people and they never do anything

    Hopefully the readership of The Standard keeps the pressure on them

    Posted by: [email protected] | Oct 6, 2010 1:29:43 PM


  9. PS

    Well TANK that is because non orthedox Jews generally dont believe the myth BS and their philosophies tend to be Humanist... flavored with their cultural identy of being Jewish.

    It all comes down to "who is Jew" thing is it genetic, cultural, whatever. Many orthodox don't like to acknowledge reform Jews as "Real" Jews

    The actual religion "religion" of Judaism is not gay friendly. Reform Judaism really is not "Judaism" it is Humanism ,secularism, and enlightenment stuff with a good dose of agnosticism with matzoh ball soup on the side

    Thankfully though Reform Jews far far far outnumber the less enlightened orthodox counterparts and have more pull hopefully with The Standard

    Posted by: [email protected] | Oct 6, 2010 1:38:03 PM


  10. Really? Mr Janoff is telling us to take a step back and reflect. How about someone in the media taking a moment to reflect before the knee-jerk "throw the minority under the bus" reaction. Look at Obama's admin cow-towing to crazy bloggers and video editors.

    Posted by: jonny | Oct 6, 2010 1:42:58 PM


  11. Ah, I know why. That most jews aren't, in fact, orthodox in the united states.

    "It all comes down to "who is Jew" thing is it genetic, cultural, whatever."

    I go by the standard of oppression. If you have jewish parents (one or two), you're jewish in the eyes of the antisemite, regardless of what you say and do. That's the only standard that has any cash value in reality.

    "Many orthodox don't like to acknowledge reform Jews as "Real" Jews"

    Right, and your point is? I don't think that this matters at all to actual jewish identity.

    "The actual religion "religion" of Judaism is not gay friendly. Reform Judaism really is not "Judaism""

    Oh, you sound like an unthinking moron. My family, for example, is conservative, and come from a long line of orthodox. But the fact remains that there is absolutely NO SUCH THING as "true faith," and that includes denominations within a given faith. You are abritrarily defining what it means to be jewish (it has to be antigay, just like christianity has to be antigay), and many reform jews would justifiably argue you under the table over these baseless and absurd accusations. There are gay friendly orthodox jews as well as reform and conservative; and there are gay friendly christians. The difference between christianity and judaism with respect to gay friendliness is that in judaism, gay friendly is the norm, and in christianity, it's the exception.


    "it is Humanism ,secularism, and enlightenment stuff with a good dose of agnosticism with matzoh ball soup on the side"

    Hey, that's funny. Don't mind me pushing you down a flight of stairs, douche.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 6, 2010 1:57:22 PM


  12. And, of course...jews, like christians and muslims, regardless of whether or not they're gay friendly (and in christianity and islam, I remind people, being gay friendly is the exception, not the norm as it is in judaism...and in islam in particular, it's the extreme exception compared to christianity and judaism) they share the blame for their antigay counterparts behaviors due to an appeal to the same source of normativity. For that, they are all responsible for homophobia perpetuated by religion, and all religionists have blood on their hands, whatever their sexuality.

    Second, all religious faith and beliefs are unjustifiable, epistemically bankrupt idiocy that in many cases cease to flirt with meaninglessness and become cognitively insignificant.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 6, 2010 2:03:08 PM


  13. "meetings with local rabbis"

    Yet, they are sill kowtowing to religious leaders and bigots. How about doing what's right, regardless of what believers think?

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 6, 2010 2:05:54 PM


  14. What it's taught us is that the paper is run by idiots who overreact instead of deciding what they really want to do.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Oct 6, 2010 2:29:49 PM


  15. "Second, all religious faith and beliefs are unjustifiable, epistemically bankrupt idiocy that in many cases cease to flirt with meaninglessness and become cognitively insignificant."

    Agreed

    Here is where we disagree

    Goyim raised within fundamentalist crazy xtianity who leave said myth are not considered xtian any longer though they r Goy

    A Jew who leaves orthodox crazyness is still identified as a Jew so ur analogy that Judaism is superior to xtianity as far as gays is FALSE

    SECULAR HUMANIST REFORM JEWS r not Judaism the religion. There r court cases and trys at passing laws in Israel by the orthodox defining "who is a Jew" and many reform wouldn't make the cut under such crazyness. Anyway; they r genetic Hebrew people with a Jewish cultural influence and it makes for a false comparison by u between Judaism and Xtianity on gay issues

    Orthodox Jews = Schande vor den Goyim = A shame in front of the gentiles

    Both religions + islam and hinduism and budhism etc are all crap barbaric fairy tales

    Reform Jews are very supportive of gay rights and issues just like many secular humanist Goyim who might have been born to 2 xtians are supportive of gay rights and issues

    Judaism is NOT supportive of Gays. Xtianity is NOT supportive of Gays, Islam Budhism etc are not supportive of Gays

    Modern humanist secular Reform Jews are supportive of gay rights and issues. Modern securalist humanist Goyim are supportive of gay rights

    ---------------------------

    Full disclosure, I am of Hebrew genetic stock but totally reject the crazy myth BS


    Posted by: [email protected] | Oct 6, 2010 2:30:26 PM


  16. "Goyim raised within fundamentalist crazy xtianity who leave said myth are not considered xtian any longer though they r Goy

    A Jew who leaves orthodox crazyness is still identified as a Jew so ur analogy that Judaism is superior to xtianity as far as gays is FALSE"

    ? The fuck are you yammering about? Let's roll it back a little bit, so you can comprehend, hopefully... If consideration were all that mattered to determining "true" from "false" religious faith, then the difference between christian and jew in that regard could be settled by what one believes...but it clearly can't...so it really doesn't matter if jews consider non-practicing jews to be jewish still...their beliefs simply don't matter to the situation. But this has nothing at all to do with the fact that no denomination of judaism, whether it be reformer, conservative or orthodox, is the "TRUE"...okay? Just like no denomination of christianity is the TRUE...do you get it? Probably not...when all you have is the faith that your faith is the correct faith, that does not make it so anymore than believing that unicorns exist makes it the case that unicorns exist...yabbadabbadoo...that other shoe droppin' yet?

    Now, to repeat, on average in the united states, jewish identified people are overwhelmingly supportive of gay rights...this is largely due to the fact that orthodox jews are a minority within a minority. However, that being said, there are gay friendly orthodox jews, too...but they're rare, and moreso, are a minority of jews in general.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 6, 2010 2:39:10 PM


  17. "jewish identified people are overwhelmingly supportive of gay rights...this is largely due to the fact that orthodox jews are a minority within a minority. However, that being said, there are gay friendly orthodox jews, too...but they're rare, and moreso, are a minority of jews in general. "

    agreed


    Posted by: [email protected] | Oct 6, 2010 2:42:34 PM


  18. It's always been a bit confusing - what with "Jewish" being both a religion and a cultural identity quite apart from that religion. But people are people, and any person can question the dogma and doctrines of their handed-down religious teachings.

    I was raised by (technically) Orthodox Jews, with values of (a) education and intelligence (thus disabusing myself of religious nonsense pretty quickly) and (b) empathy and solidarity will all oppressed peoples. Um, that would include gays.

    I don't know what the fuck happened to the Israeli's, but my branch of Jews who lost family members in the Holocaust would rather die than oppress, contribute to the oppression, or silently support the oppression of other people.

    These are not values unique to Jewish upbringing of course, but I found them very prevalent in the Jewish culture I was raised in.

    Posted by: Zlick | Oct 6, 2010 3:00:23 PM


  19. "Angry opening! Broad generalization. Broad generalization. Attempt at wit. Demand for universal agreement! Declaration of dissenters' stupidity. Broad generalization. Fuck off."

    --Tank

    Posted by: rafi | Oct 6, 2010 4:03:45 PM


  20. @Tank: Just FYI it's *not* desert news it's Deseret News.

    Posted by: Joseph Singer | Oct 6, 2010 4:51:43 PM


  21. Thank you, citizen, for that irrelevant detail. It's a bigot rag.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 6, 2010 5:10:06 PM


  22. zlick

    "..empathy and solidarity with all oppressed peoples..."

    Interesting u mention that, a side note Cantor (R) the lone repub Jewish caucus person said

    "Mr. Cantor believes the American-Jewish community is overwhelmingly Democratic because Jews "are prone to want to help the underdog."

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/10/6/907717/-Eric-Cantor:-Dems-are-fighting-for-the-little-guy

    a rare moment of truth

    Posted by: [email protected] | Oct 6, 2010 5:30:39 PM


  23. Unless The Jewish Standard reverses their decision and apologises, they should be viewed as homophobic scum.

    Simple as that.

    Posted by: SteveC | Oct 6, 2010 7:44:57 PM


  24. My bet is that a major advertiser called and threatened to pull his ads if the paper ran gay wedding announcements. The publisher panicked, and reversed the policy. Then readers jammed the phone lines objecting to the new policy and threatened to cancel their subscriptions. The publisher panicked again, tried to reverse course...and decided that the safest thing is to ask the rabbi.

    Posted by: wimsy | Oct 7, 2010 11:47:11 AM


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