LGBT Life and Halakhah

Homosexuality, Human Dignity and Halakhah was  a landmark opinion that I co-authored with Rabbi Elliot Dorff and Rabbi Avram Reisner, which was approved by the CJLS on December 6, 2006. In it we argued that the halakhic demand to preserve human dignity and prevent humiliation superseded the rabbinic level prohibitions on same-sex intimacy. This resulted in a normalization of status for gay and lesbian Jews, their eligibility for all forms of religious leadership, and the possibility of recognizing same-sex marriages. It paved the way for the admission of openly gay and lesbian Jews to the rabbinical and cantorial schools of JTS, of the Ziegler School, and eventually, the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, as well as their ability to be members of The Rabbinical Assembly and The Cantors Assembly.

Subsequently, we returned to the topic with  Ceremonies and Documents for Same Sex Marriage and Divorce developing several ceremony templates and documents for each in a responsum approved by the CJLS on May 31, 2012.