The Rights of Gay Men and Lesbian Women

Resolutions & Statements: 1991

Resolutions & Statements: 1991

Issue 

  1. To insure civil rights protection for gay men and lesbian women.
     
  2. To encourage full inclusion of gay and lesbian Jews in all areas of synagogue life.


Background

In accordance with the teaching of our faith that all human beings are created betzelem elohim (in the divine image), the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods passed the 1977 resolution, “Rights of Individuals,” which establishes commitment to a society in which “the civil, legal, social and political rights and guarantees for education, housing, employment, pursuit of self-fulfillment, the expression of cultural and ethnic identity and the absence of coercion or invasion of privacy shall be guaranteed for all persons regardless of color, sex, sexual preference of consenting adults, national origin, religion and political point of view.”

During the last fifteen years the Union of American Hebrew Congregations has admitted to membership congregations with a special outreach to gay and lesbian Jews. Although these congregations meet the needs of many gay and lesbian Jews, there are others who wish to be part of mainstream congregational life. In 1987 the Union of American Hebrew Congregations expressed its commitment to full inclusion of gay and lesbian Jews in all areas of synagogue life. 

In 1990 the Central Conference of American Rabbis adopted the report which recommended that “all rabbis, regardless of sexual orientation, be accorded the opportunity to fulfill the sacred vocation which they have chosen.”


Resolution

Therefore to support gay and lesbian Jews in fulfilling their communal and spiritual aspirations, the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods calls on member Sisterhoods to:

  1. Support legislation and regulations on the state and federal levels which provide full opportunity and civil protection to gay men and lesbian women.
     
  2. Advocate the full integration of gay and lesbian Jews within our congregations and communities.
     
  3. Accept gay and lesbian individuals and families into congregations and affirm their right to affiliate as individuals or as families with all the privileges thereof.
     
  4. Educate their members that commitment to human rights includes that gay and lesbian Jews have the opportunities to fulfill their aspirations to serve as rabbis, cantors and other professionals in anyof our synagogues. Urge their religious schools to sensitize our youth to the diversity of families and life styles.