I believe that babies come into this world predisposed to personality traits and sexual orientation. So do I support the LGBTQ struggle for equality, respect and full inclusion in every aspect of life. I further believe that one’s sexual orientation is not a choice that an individual makes. Rather, I would maintain that it is in our genetic makeup from the time we are born. That is to say that for me, one’s sexual orientation is a matter of nature, and not nurture or environment. I suspect that some of you may not agree with me, but it’s good that we communicate and share thoughts and ideas. Such is the Jewish way in our quest to shape a humane and just society – and I will welcome any response from you.
I was recently asked: “What does Reform Judaism advocate regarding LGBTQ?” Or, in my words, what is today’s Reform Jewish attitude toward those who identify sexually as something other than their physical bodies would appear to reveal? So let me share a few “official” statements with you.
-In 1977 our Reform movement passed a resolution stating that “homosexual persons are entitled to equal protection under the law” and affirming their opposition to “discriminating against homosexuals in areas of opportunity, including employment and housing.”
-In 2015 our Reform movement adopted a historic resolution on the rights of Transgender people affirming “the full equality, inclusion and acceptance of people of all gender identities and gender expressions.”
-Today LGBTQ rabbis are ordained in the Reform movement, embracing the ideal that “all rabbis, regardless of sexual orientation, be accorded the opportunity to fulfill the sacred vocation that they have chosen.”
I think that our Reform Jewish attitude is toward LGBTQ people is reflected in these words: “Each of us, created in God’s image has a unique talent, with which we can contribute to the high moral purpose of Tikun Olam, the repair of our world. Excluding anyone from our community lessens our chance of achieving the goal of a more perfect world.”
I suspect that we have all become more thoughtful and enlightened about LGBTQ matters, much as we have yet to learn. That that should make us all the more sensitive to the longings of so many people whose sexually is different than ours. So let’s keep learning and affirming the sacredness of every person.
Rabbi David Greenberg
*Our Temple LGBTQ committee has recommended the following article related to these matters, here.