Israeli Orthodox leader: Judaism does not forbid same-sex couples from building a family

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10/12/2020

(JTA) — A prominent Israeli Orthodox rabbi said that Jewish law does not forbid LGBTQ people from building a family. Rabbi Benny Lau made the statement as part of a set of guidelines for observant LGBTQ Jews and their families released Saturday evening under the heading “It is Not Good for Man to be Alone.” The guidelines, published on Lau’s Facebook page, seek to reconcile a desire to welcome LGBTQ Jews into Jewish communities within the constraints of religious law. According to Lau, Jewish law “does not forbid members of the LGBTQ community from raising children and building a family,” though he acknowledges that Jewish legal issues may arise for couples who use surrogacy or a sperm donor in order to have children. Lau also discouraged family members of LGBTQ Jews from encouraging conversion therapy, a debunked practice that seeks to change someone’s sexual orientation. The rabbi said those attracted to members of the same sex should not attempt to enter heterosexual marriage if they are repulsed by their partner. And he affirmed that LGBTQ couples and their children should be full members of the community and that their dignity should not be harmed.

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