The Jewish Week’s article on same-sex wedding announcements was partially misleading in saying that that the Statement of Principles signed by “more than 100 Orthodox rabbis, educators and mental health professionals … urges respect for homosexuals but stops short of condoning same-sex relationships” (“N.J. Newspaper Controversy Pits Gays Against Orthodox,” Oct. 8).
The Statement does, of course, urge respect for homosexuals but it also urges adherence to halacha. It therefore emphasizes that “Halachic Judaism views all male and female same-sex sexual interactions as prohibited” and “Halachic Judaism cannot give its blessing and imprimatur to Jewish religious same-sex commitment ceremonies and weddings, and halachic values proscribe individuals and communities from encouraging practices that grant religious legitimacy to gay marriage and couplehood.”
That’s significantly different from saying the Statement “stopped short of condoning same-sex relationships.” Those who wrote, and signed, the Statement were very careful not to confuse their sensitivity to those in the Orthodox community grappling with issues of homosexuality with their ironclad commitment to halacha.
The Jewish Week should emulate that care in its reporting on this issue.