Sunday, May 8, 2011

Legal Matters

A question that I wanted to address is one that I've thought about for a while, but never realized some of you guys were thinking about it too. The question is- I preach open conversation about sexuality, acceptance and open-mindedness, but how can I then say that homosexual acts are wrong? Isn't it inevitable that more discussion and openness will lead to more people questioning and experimenting?

The answer is I don't know. I don't control how other people interpret openness and tolerance. I know that the more I open up to my friends and people in my life about sexuality, the more they feel comfortable talking about it. In no way do I control whether or not others will experiment or question their sexual attractions. All I hope with my posts is for people to entertain the thought that a same sex relationship may not be "disgusting" and that just because we may not have grown up dealing with a specific issue, doesn't mean we have to keep ignoring the issue as adults.
It also seems the more openly I discuss sexuality, the more closeted people come to me for sex or experimentation- but that's not my intention. Being open about sexuality and sexual matters does not mean one needs to go and act on every impulse or desire, it simply means that one can and should entertain the thought- but then let their moral or Torah conscience be their guide.

Honestly, my hope is as follows- if you start talking about sexuality and questioning, and you're a religious person, you will be in enough awe of the Torah and of Halakha (Jewish law) not to experiment just because you feel like it. You should be comfortable enough to entertain the thought of sexual tolerance and understanding, but that doesn't mean you have to go out and do everything you feel. That's part of living in a Halakhic society, self control and limitations. If you feel that your attraction is stronger to one sex as opposed to the other, or you feel that you sexual identity expresses itself in a very specific way, that's yours to confront and your decision how that will impact your life as an observant Jew.


  1. Isn't it inevitable that more discussion and openness will lead to more people questioning and experimenting?

    Questioning, maybe. Experimenting? I don't think so. Straight guys aren't going to read your posts and suddenly go out and give it a try. When I went OTD, I eventually got around to trying pretty much every non-kosher food there is from bacon to raw octopus, but I've never been the slightest bit interested in "experimenting" with a guy.

    As for gay/bi guys, if you make them more likely to question or experiment instead of just jumping into marriage with an unsuspecting woman, well I think that's a pretty huge win all around, don't you?

    Besides, you (and others) are providing an option that people didn't realize they had. Previously, they may have thought that they had to stay totally closeted OR go OTD. Now, there's a third option. Personally, I think it's an inferior option to OTD, but from the Ortho perspective, it'll probably help retain some Jews who would have gone OTD previously. So a net good from that perspective.

    Somehow for Modern Orthodoxy to survive, it's going to have to come to terms with this issue. A generation from now, opposing gay marriage in America will (rightly) be seen as offensive as opposing black-white marriage. Hasidim can maintain separate mores, but the MO world can't, not by that degree. You and those like you (I was acquainted with a few some years back) are laying the groundwork for where MO has to go to remain viable.

  2. I just think it's so sad and I'M NOT IN ANY WAY JUDGING that people go off the derech cause our religion doesn't understand or condone Homosexuality. It discusses me and we have to stop putting on blindfolds and wishing this would go away . Our yidden want to so badly want to remain frumm. How can they?


It Gets Better- Gay Orthodox Jews