October 5, 2010

by Reb Yudel
Reaction to the Jewish Standard ban on same-sex marriage announcements

The New Jersey Jewish Standard published an announcement that the son of a prominent community member was marrying another man. My reaction: Mazal Tov! But an unnamed delegation of Orthodox rabbis expressed their "pain and consternation" to the newspaper, which promised to never again announce a same-sex simcha.

Andrew Silow-Carroll, editor of another North Jersey Jewish paper, has a good analysis of the pros and cons -- mostly cons -- of the Jewish Standard's approach.

I think that if the Jewish Standard respects the liberal Jewish community, it must stop printing wedding announcements that give non-Orthodox Jews "pain and consternation."

In particular:

* Weddings where women are acquired like chattel
* Weddings where women are not allowed to speak
* Weddings where husbands and wives are separated
* Weddings that create marriages that can only be ended by the husband
* Weddings where the woman will end up a unmarriagable because she doesn't want to live with her abusive husband and the abusive husband doesn't want to give her a divorce
* Weddings where divorce matters will be decided by corrupt, misogynist rabbinic courts
* Weddings where the marriages will end because one of the partners belatedly discovers their gay identity that had been buried under years of yeshiva repression.

I understand that some non-Orthodox practices may be deeply offensive to Orthodox Jews. But let's be clear: The reverse is true too. That, after all, is why we choose not to be Orthodox.

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