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Judaism Studies 2 Divergent Views on Gays

From Religious News Service

Ordination of practicing homosexuals--an issue that has been divisive and emotional for virtually every religious group that has tackled it--is being examined by leaders of the Conservative branch of Judaism from radically different perspectives.

Members of the movement’s law committee heard two papers from rabbis at a recent meeting at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. One recommended that Conservative Judaism develop ceremonies for sanctifying committed, monogamous homosexual relationships. The other proposes that rabbis should be dismissed if their approach toward homosexual behavior is permissive.

The law committee is affiliated with the Rabbinical Assembly, an organization of 1,500 Conservative rabbis. The Conservative branch is the largest branch of Judaism in the United States. About 40% of American Jews affiliated with a movement are estimated to be Conservatives.

Both Reform and Reconstructionist branches of Judaism permit practicing homosexuals to be ordained. Orthodox Judaism opposes homosexuality.

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