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Homosexuality

Answer By: 
Rabbi Victor Appell

Mazel tov on your upcoming wedding. Although different rabbis may respond differently, nearly all Reform clergy would be happy to work with you.  Reform Judaism has a long and proud history of supporting civil marriage equality and supporting clergy who perform Jewish weddings and commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples. Many Reform rabbis and cantors will be happy to officiate at your wedding. Depending on the rabbi or cantor, and on your wishes, the ceremony can have both traditional and creative elements. Visit ReformJudaism.org to begin learning about and planning your Jewish wedding. Beyond Breaking the Glass - A Spiritual Guide to Your Jewish Wedding is a wonderful resource for today's couples.

Answer By: 
Rabbi Victor Appell
Rainbow flag with Star of David on it

Reform Judaism has a long and proud history of working for the full inclusion of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning) people in Jewish life and for their full civil rights. As early as 1965, the Women of Reform Judaism called for the decriminalization of homosexuality. Resolutions by the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis followed. The social justice hub of the Reform Movement, the Religious Action Center (RAC), has been at the forefront of the fight for LGBTQ equality.

We are guided by the very basic belief that all human beings are created b’tzelem Elohim (in the Divine image), as it says in Genesis 1:27,

“And God created humans in God’s own image, in the image of God, God created them; male and female God created them.”

Rabbi David Saperstein, director emeritus of the RAC, has said,

“[R]egardless of context, discrimination against any person arising from apathy, insensitivity, ignorance, fear, or hatred is inconsistent with this fundamental belief. We oppose discrimination against all [LGBTQ individuals], for the stamp of the Divine is present in each and every one of us.”

In 2015, the Reform Jewish Movement led the religious community in affirming the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming people. The Movement stated that it: 

"Affirms its commitment to the full equality, inclusion, and acceptance of people of all gender identities and gender expressions."

Today, in addition to several congregations whose primary outreach is to the LGBTQ community, LGBTQ Jews and their families are welcome in all Reform congregations and communities. LGBTQ Jews may be ordained as rabbis and cantors and they serve throughout the Reform movement. Most Reform rabbis and cantors gladly officiate at same-sex ceremonies.

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