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 Conservative Movement Votes on Same Sex Marriage

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Dena

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PostSubject: Conservative Movement Votes on Same Sex Marriage   Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:50 am

Last week the Conservative movement voted on same sex marriage. They have outlined how these marriages could look in the responsa found here - Rabbinical Assembly
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Sarit

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PostSubject: Re: Conservative Movement Votes on Same Sex Marriage   Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:58 am

I saw it a couple of days ago! I think it's a big step, certainly!

Personally I vote for any kind of human rights, so I was very happy to hear the news! This is definitively a big step from the perspective of intertwining of religious and gender/sexuality issues.

What do you think? I would like to hear more opinions, so we could talk about it further. :)
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: Conservative Movement Votes on Same Sex Marriage   Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:49 am

I am supportive of the move and I agree that its a human rights issue.
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: Conservative Movement Votes on Same Sex Marriage   Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:58 pm

There has been the argument made that the original purpose of banning male homosexual activity (female homosexuality was never banned) was because in that time and place, homosexuality tended to be forced. Later Greeks and Romans ascribed to the belief that it was better to be the penetrator than the penetrated, and women and male slaves and young boys became possessions to be dominated and controlled. More often than not, homosexual relationships were not, as they are now, about two equals; they were about power.

Also, the Bible seems to indicate that a man's sperm was limited--which is also why male (although not female) masturbation was banned. (Break out in a rendition of Monty Python's "Every sperm is sacred.") If a man used up his sperm on another man, then he would have nothing left with which to produce children. And the collapse of societies such as Sparta (and, to a lesser degree, Rome), proves that heterosexual marriage and having children is necessary for survival.

But I think in this day and age, when we see that homosexuality occurs naturally in many species of animals and insects, it's hard to claim it's unnatural. Of course, that doesn't mean that Judaism can't ban it anyways (after all, from a health standpoint, it's okay to eat pork and shellfish, and there's nothing fundamentally wrong with clothes made from linen and wool), but given that many gay men cannot perform at all with a woman, it doesn't seem to make sense to ban them from having sex for the rest of their lives. Even the Bible acknowledges that sex is a necessary part of the human condition.

So, it would seem to me, that if you're going to engage in gay sex, it's best done in a committed relationship... just as heterosexual sex is best done in a relationship. I don't think marrying gays encourages people to be gay, but it does put them in a committed relationship, with responsibilities to another person. Even if it is a sin in Judaism (note that it's not prohibited in the Noahide laws), it's surely less of one when done in a committed relationship than if it's done randomly, with no care or consideration for one's self or others. Hurting others (and yourself) is always and unquestionably a sin.

And as the Bible says that adopting children and making converts is the same as having children, even a gay couple can fulfill the commandment to be fruitful and multiply.

And, to be perfectly honest, I don't understand the heterosexual fight against the idea--as if we'll be guilty by association. People may say that the Bible says such people should be persecuted, but it says that about adulterers, too, and when was the last time you saw one of those stoned? Our government would collapse if we banned all the adulterers from holding public office. Personally, I think a monogamous gay marriage is less of a problem than an unfaithful heterosexual marriage (see comment about not hurting others).

And if God ever questions me about my support of gay marriage, I will fall back on the admonishments to love my neighbor as myself and not hate my brother in my heart. Certainly I'm not perfect enough a Jew to judge anyone else's observance. God knows I can't keep all the mitzvot, either.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Conservative Movement Votes on Same Sex Marriage   Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:38 pm

Mychal wrote:
There has been the argument made that the original purpose of banning male homosexual activity (female homosexuality was never banned) was because in that time and place, homosexuality tended to be forced. Later Greeks and Romans ascribed to the belief that it was better to be the penetrator than the penetrated, and women and male slaves and young boys became possessions to be dominated and controlled. More often than not, homosexual relationships were not, as they are now, about two equals; they were about power.

This has been my Rabbis take on it too.

Mychal wrote:
(Break out in a rendition of Monty Python's "Every sperm is sacred.")

Laughing .

Mychal wrote:
But I think in this day and age, when we see that homosexuality occurs naturally in many species of animals and insects, it's hard to claim it's unnatural. Of course, that doesn't mean that Judaism can't ban it anyways (after all, from a health standpoint, it's okay to eat pork and shellfish, and there's nothing fundamentally wrong with clothes made from linen and wool), but given that many gay men cannot perform at all with a woman, it doesn't seem to make sense to ban them from having sex for the rest of their lives. Even the Bible acknowledges that sex is a necessary part of the human condition.

Another perspective is that the Torah forbids one act, right? So while that one particular act is forbidden for men, others are not and being in a loving, committed relationship is not either. We can therefore make the assumption that religious Jewish men are not participating in that act and if they are, it's none of our business. Same way we don't go around asking couples if they observe the Laws of Family purity. We don't stick our nose in other people's very personal business. I'm not stating this nearly as eloquently as others have but hopefully you get the idea.

Mychal wrote:
And, to be perfectly honest, I don't understand the heterosexual fight against the idea--as if we'll be guilty by association. People may say that the Bible says such people should be persecuted, but it says that about adulterers, too, and when was the last time you saw one of those stoned? Our government would collapse if we banned all the adulterers from holding public office. Personally, I think a monogamous gay marriage is less of a problem than an unfaithful heterosexual marriage (see comment about not hurting others).

I have actually met a few people who believe adulterers should be killed by the government. I kid you not. These people are out there and they are scary. Thankfully, most of American society probably thinks they are total nutters.

Mychal wrote:
And if God ever questions me about my support of gay marriage, I will fall back on the admonishments to love my neighbor as myself and not hate my brother in my heart. Certainly I'm not perfect enough a Jew to judge anyone else's observance. God knows I can't keep all the mitzvot, either.

Good point.
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: Conservative Movement Votes on Same Sex Marriage   Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:21 pm

Quote :
So while that one particular act is forbidden for men, others are not and being in a loving, committed relationship is not either. We can therefore make the assumption that religious Jewish men are not participating in that act and if they are, it's none of our business.

It is true that whatever a married couple wants to do in the bedroom, it's not forbidden, so long as it's mutually agreeable.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Conservative Movement Votes on Same Sex Marriage   Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:36 pm

Mychal wrote:


It is true that whatever a married couple wants to do in the bedroom, it's not forbidden, so long as it's mutually agreeable.

Yes,but that actually wasn't my point. I was talking strictly about men and how we should just assume they are not doing what is forbidden.
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