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What does Reform Judaism say about homosexuality?

What does Reform Judaism say about homosexuality?
Answer By: 
Rabbi Victor Appell

Reform Judaism has a long and proud history of working for the full inclusion of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) 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 arm of the Reform Movement, the Religious Action Center, (RAC) has been at the forefront of the fight for LGBT equality.

We are guided by the very basic belief that all human beings are created b’tselem 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 of the RAC has said, “regardless 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 individuals, including gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, for the stamp of the Divine is present in each and every one of us.”

Today, in addition to several congregations whose primary outreach is to the LGBT community, LGBT Jews and their families are welcome in all of Reform temples. LGBT 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.