Dec 12, 2011
In light of the extensive media coverage concerning the attitude
of Orthodox Judaism towards homosexuality, the Rabbinical Council of
America, the largest Rabbinical group within Orthodox Judaism, has
decided to issue the following clarifications:
1. The Torah and Jewish tradition, in the clearest of terms, prohibit
the practice of homosexuality. Same-sex unions are against both the
letter and the spirit of Jewish law, which sanctions only the union of a
man and a woman in matrimony.
2. Attempts to ritualize or celebrate same-sex unions are antithetical
to Jewish law. Any clergyman who performs or celebrates a same-sex union
cannot claim the mantle of Orthodox Judaism.
3. While homosexual behavior is prohibited, individuals with homosexual
inclinations should be treated with the care and concern appropriate to
all human beings. As Rabbis we recognize the acute and painful
challenges faced by homosexual Jews in their quest to remain connected
and faithful to God and tradition. We urge those Orthodox Jews with
homosexual tendencies to seek counsel from their Rabbis. Equally, we
urge all Rabbis to show compassion to all those who approach them.
4. On the subject of reparative therapy, it is our view that, as Rabbis,
we can neither endorse nor reject any therapy or method that is
intended to assist those who are struggling with same-sex attraction. We
insist, however, that therapy of any type be performed only by
licensed, trained practitioners. In addition, we maintain that no
individual should be coerced to participate in a therapeutic course with
which he or she is acutely uncomfortable.
5. We pray that God will ease the way for all who struggle with a full heart to feel His presence in their lives