Thursday, October 14, 2010

A controversy

For those who are unaware, the New Jersey local Jewish paper, The Jewish Standard, ran a marriage announcement of two Jewish men from the local area who planned to wed about three weeks ago. A few days following the announcement they issued an apology and announced they would no longer run same-sex announcements in order not to offend anyone. A few days after that announcement, they announced that they will reconsider their ban on same-sex announcements, meet with community leaders and get back to us.

First of all, the whole situation was ridiculous. The Jewish Standard, a paper I have been reading my entire life, has never avoided issues that may offend members of the community. They run ads for non-Kosher restaurants, they run articles about sex, abuse, alcoholism, drugs, and even a few about sexuality. And my favorite- they celebrate every celebrity who's mother's first husband's father's cousin might have been a Jew. On their second page.
So they published a same-sex announcement. Without going into the politics of the Jewish Standard and how they terribly handled the situation by jumping to apologize then jumping to retract the apology, the focus here is on the reaction of those who opposed the announcement. Where are they when the publication runs other controversial things like intermarriage announcements? Why is it that only for this issue did people feel the need to pressure the Standard so much that they issued an apology? The real issue here is homophobia. There's a fine line between Halacha and Homophobia (as I have written about before), and just because someone is "scared" of "gay" making its way into their society, doesn't mean they get to run behind the Torah and claim that the announcement goes against their religion.

Anyway, I'm pretty confident the paper will never get back to us. They took the issue off the table by saying they haven't made a decision- but I'm assuming, and wait for them to prove my assumption wrong, that they will not be running any same sex announcements anytime in the near future. They'll just avoid issuing a statement that says they won't do it.

PS- please check out a new frum gay blog from a friend in London called "Gay in Golders Green"


  1. haha so true. especially about the second page. great post.

  2. Yasher koach!
    I'd guess that the paper will get back to you--not necessarily with the answer that you want to hear--since I don't think that the issue will go away--and there will be constant pressure upon the editors.
    I wouldn't be surprised if they come up with a compromise to announce gay or civil unions--but not call them weddings or have them listed under weddings.
    I also thank you for that link to Gay in Golders Green. He and you both have a way of sharing a very personal story in a universal manner.


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