I was incredibly dismayed and saddened to read last week’s statement that you would no longer run announcements of gay weddings and commitment ceremonies because of the pain and controversy it has caused in the traditional Orthodox community. Have you considered the other side of this issue? What about the pain you are now causing gay individuals and their friends and family members by taking this editorial stance?
I do not understand how you can take this stance and run such a statement the very week that a Rutgers Universality student threw himself off of the George Washington Bridge because his roommate publicized his gay affair? The shame that the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender) community still feels because of their sexual identify is the cause of high suicide rates and depression among this group. By taking your editorial stance, you have now added to the centuries of shame heaped upon this group.
In addition, your statement that “We have decided, therefore, since this is such a divisive issue, not to run such announcements in the future,” strikes me as an odd statement coming from a newspaper. Is not the very mission of a newspaper to print news? Since when would a paper shy away from printing a story simply because it is controversial? Two weeks ago you printed a cover story on Gloria Steinem. Would you have printed this story in the 1970s when she was more of a controversial figure? As a female Conservative rabbi, I owe her and the feminist movement a great debt of thanks for their work. Without their “controversial” writings I would not today be an ordained rabbi and full-time working mother.
You must revisit your editorial stance on printing gay wedding announcements. By adding shame on to a marginalized community and shying away from “controversial” issues you have made The Jewish Standard, a very narrow-minded, marginal paper that certainly does not speak for me, my friends, my family, or my community.