Friday, December 08, 2006

Dispatch from New York

I just got an amazing email from my cousin Rachel, who is attending the Conservative Jewish seminary in New York, and has been fighting hard from the inside to stand up for gay and lesbian rights. I am so proud of her I could burst. Here's her perspective on this week's ruling:

This has been quite a week in New York. The Conservative Movement finally passed a positive ruling on being gay or lesbian (and,because pluralism is our hallmark, also managed to pass a contradictory ruling affirming the status quo at the same time. sigh).

The ruling we passed was not ideal---I would never lie and say it is (I was hoping for a much more open and more intellectually honest one that got sidelined on politically motivated procedural grounds, which was by Rabbi Gordon Tucker and which was just brilliant and honest and daring).

However, given that even this ruling allows friends of mine to attend rabbinical school without having to go into the closet and will allow those rabbis who waiting for a ruling to do commitment ceremonies/same sex weddings (some of us have been doing them already) to do them, it is a big step. And in 5-10 years, we'll just have to pass a better ruling.

I've spent the last week in an activist flurry. The student group I have been active in (Keshet) did a media training last week, and so we were prepared with a press conference of our own. I'm excited--disappointed in some ways--but feeling like some steps towards doing God's work were done. It's about time. Some people are predicting this will cause the world to come to an end, but I really just don't think the actions of a million Conservative Jews matter that much to the apocalypse I don't believe in :)

I do think our actions are important to mainline Protestant groups, who are dealing with the same issues.

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