The article “For Orthodox Lesbians, A Home Online” (Aug. 20) focused on American and Israeli women who are observant and seek to stay in the Orthodox community, notwithstanding their homosexuality. It is a struggle that arouses compassion for the extremely difficult waters that these women must chart. However, there were two things in the article troubled me.
One was the statement that they have not addressed the halachic details and are dealing with homophobia as their priority. Every Orthodox Jew’s first priority is about living within halachic boundaries; it cannot be an afterthought. This presents unique challenges for lesbians to be sure, and thankfully these are starting to be addressed by rabbis. But gay men and women must also understand that whatever accommodations might be made within the Orthodox community, there are some red lines that cannot be crossed. This is not homophobia: it is Torah.
Second was the photo showing the leaders of Bat Kol at a gay pride march in Jerusalem. Participation in such marches is extremely inappropriate. Sexual matters are private in the Orthodox community. Lesbians and gay men in the Orthodox community should distance themselves from such “in your face” public demonstrations that often involve inappropriate public displays of sexuality and demands for the advancement of an agenda in conflict with Torah values and law. There are ways to advance an agenda of acceptance without associating with the more extreme elements in the LGBT community.