You might have been asking yourself what By Rabbi Joel Roth has been doing since he stepped down from The Conservative movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards. Apparently: writing for the JTA.
He recently wrote an insightful op-ed, letting the public into his thoughts regarding the recent Conservative movement’s handling of their Big Gay Issue. His overview, which he handles surprisingly succinctly for a Rabbi, mentions no personal feelings about homosexuality but rather looks at the halachic logic (or, in his view, lack their of) with an almost clinical sense of dispassion from the actual subject.
Roth’s conclusion that this decision was made using faulty halachic logic, along with last years UJC biennial keynote address from JTS professor Rabbi Neil Gillman which stated that the Conservative movements should stop calling itself halachic (referenced here and here) given that only 10-15% of it’s adherents even observe the basics of Shabbat and Kashrut, makes one wonder if the Conservative movement would not be better served by defining itself as influenced, rather than bound by halacha.
Nonetheless, no matter what your feelings on the the halachic legitimacy of homosexuality, it bears repeating that the state of being gay is no sin. Even if you follow the traditional viewpoint that the act of male homosexual sex is not permissible by Torah, a persons inability to keep one mitzvah is no reason for them not to keep as many of the others as they can, and certainly no reason to push them away from involvement in Jewish community life.
In other gay religious news, the New York Times has this article about the struggle of Gay Evangelicals in their quest for acceptance and partnership.
This, of course is coming out at the same time as evangelical leader leader resigns after admitting to engaging in gay sex.
It’s interesting times for gays and religious folks alike.