They should be celibate

They should be celibate

I am writing because I felt that two letters had to be responded to.

First of all as to the letter from Paul Frazier (“On gay marriage,” April 10), Orthodoxy differs from the contemporary Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Judaism in that the Jewish law is the total authority. It does change but does so within a narrow framework. Rabbi Weiss and others who have supported more involvement in religious leadership by women do so because they believe that there is precedence within the halachic system. The same cannot be said about gay marriage or intermarriage, which can never be brought within the halachic system without gutting it, just as abolition of kashrut or Shabbat would.

These are neither family nor communal decisions.

Secondly, as far as Shel Haas’s letter goes (“Love is a human right,” April 10), you have a perfect right to believe that all romantic relationships, be they of the same sex or another religion, are great. Orthodox Judaism does not share your belief. An interfaith marriage or a same sex marriage cannot be seen as a positive but as a negative. The only permissible option is an in-faith marriage – or, in the case of gay or lesbian, celibacy.

While gays should not be excluded from an Orthodox synagogue, their lifestyle cannot be seen as being permitted.