Letter Stirs Orthodox Debate on Gays
By Cara Hogan Advocate Staff August 5, 2010
Matt Feczko has a dream of his future life.
“I want to walk to an Orthodox synagogue with my husband on Shabbos and feel comfortable,” said Feczko. “I want to send my kids to Maimonides or any other day school.”
The 23-year-old Cambridge resident sees reason for hope in a joint letter released last month by 90 Orthodox rabbis.
Called a “Statement of Principles on the Place of Jews with a Homosexual Orientation in Our Community,” the letter tries to strike a balance by welcoming GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) Jews without advocating for a change in Jewish law that governs sexuality.
“All human beings are created in the image of G-d and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” the letter says. “Embarrassing, harassing or demeaning someone with a homosexual orientation or same-sex attraction is a violation of Torah prohibitions that embody the deepest values of Judaism.”
The letter also states that GLBT Jews should be treated like any other member of their synagogues and be allowed to participate in religious rituals and be eligible for honors like aliyot.