I wish to state my objection to both “Guidelines for same-sex marriage” (June 8) and the decision. The author acted as a cheerleader for gay marriage. As an objective journalist, he could have included comments for Conservative rabbis opposed to the decision about gay marriage, but he did not.
He included inflammatory comments by Rabbi Sharon Klein Baum. Are Orthodox or some Conservative Jews who oppose gay marriage radically right wing? Had an Orthodox rabbi used this kind of language, he would have been correctly condemned. Can’t we disagree without demonizing one another?
The decision shows a further unmooring of the Conservative movement to halachah. Even the author of the gay marriage admitted that any kind of same sexual intimacy is forbidden under traditional halachah. His position is that he can’t force celibacy on gays. The problem is that celibacy is the only halachic answer for those whose orientation is to the same sex. There is no difference between this decision and the abolition of other disciplines, such as the dietary laws or the Sabbath. In the end, this will accelerate the loss of younger members to the Reform movement, which is consistent in believing that adherence to halachah is voluntary.
The decision will have a negative impact on the health of the Jewish community. If you place personal desires over the needs of the Jewish community as a whole, how do you say no to intermarriage? How do you tell young marrieds to have children? In the long term, the numbers of Jews in North American will diminish.