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Rabbinic group issues ritual guidelines for same-sex weddings

Rabbi Avram Reisner

NEW YORK – The group of rabbinic Conservatives, which had already affirmed that same-sex marriages have “the same sense of holiness and joy as that expressed in heterosexual marriages” have now established rituals for same-sex wedding ceremonies.

JTA reports that the landmark vote by the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly follows a 2006 ruling by the committee “favor[ing] the establishment of committed and loving relationships for gay and lesbian Jews.”

But the 2006 responsum declined to specify rituals for establishing gay and lesbian relationships, calling them “complicated and controversial questions that deserve a separate study.”

The recent position paper, which was adopted by a vote of 13-0, with one abstention, fills that void by outlining two possible marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.

The paper’s authors, Rabbis Elliot Dorff, Daniel Nevins and Avram Reisner, also wrote a 2006 responsum titled Homosexuality, Human Dignity and Halakhah, which declared gays eligible for rabbinic ordination.

“This is the next step in the process of bringing about the full inclusion of LGBT Jews,” said Rabbi Aaron Weininger, using the acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. “Visibility of LGBT people as individuals and couples makes us stronger as a Jewish community.”

The first openly gay student admitted to the rabbinical school at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary, Weininger received his rabbinic ordination last month. He was consulted during the composition of the recent paper.



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Posted by LGBT Weekly on Jun 14, 2012. Filed under Around the Nation, Bottom Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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