Thursday, February 22, 2007

Haaretz | The gay question and the Jewish question

By Yoav Sivan LGBT coordinator of Young Meretz and of the International Union of Socialist Youth

"The Orthodox monopoly in Israel competes with itself in raising the bar of ignorance and extremism among religious circles. Homophobic expressions have an influential public dimension, as we have so readily witnessed in the events that preceded the Jerusalem gay pride parade, but hardly any halakhic significance, as they do not reflect any attempt to tackle questions regarding homosexuality within a sincere and thoughtful discourse. Considering homosexuality within a framework of halakhic discussion requires, first and foremost, respect for every human being as a creation in the image of God and recognition of one's identity, needs and distress. Regretfully, when Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) shares whenever he can his view on LGBT people - "gays and lesbians are sick people" - he actually admits that for him homosexuality is a disease whose treatment should remain within the domain of medical science rather than the domain of halakha."

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