I was extremely disappointed and upset by your recent decision to backtrack on allowing announcements for same-sex marriages in The Jewish Standard. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Jews are part of all of our families and communities, and are found in every denomination of Judaism – Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, unaffiliated, and Orthodox. By focusing on the pain caused to certain parts of the Orthodox establishment, rather than the pain you are causing to LGBT Jews, their families, and friends, you made a clear statement about whose concerns were valued and whose were not. The Bergen County Jewish community is a diverse one and that diversity should be reflected in the pages of the Standard.
The place of LGBT Jews in our community should not be a discussion of Orthodox Jews versus everyone else. Just this summer, more than 150 prominent Orthodox rabbis and educators signed a statement of principles welcoming LGBT Jews into their synagogues and institutions in the name of shalom bayit and klal yisrael. All parts of the Jewish community must work hard to truly be welcoming to our LGBT brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, and friends. The original announcement of the Smolen/Rosen wedding was an important step forward. It saddens me that this cloud now hangs over their simcha.