'Amit' (an assumed name) will not be attending Thursday's gay pride parade in Jerusalem. As the chairman of 'Kamoha,' an LGBT support organization for religious Jews, he thinks that such parades send the message that violating halakha (Jewish law) is acceptable.
"The parade, while calling for tolerance, broadcasts that we need to eliminate what Jewish law says about homosexuality." Amit told Arutz Sheva. "It promotes a viewpoint which negates the existence of halakha.
"As a religious Jew, the entire idea of 'gay pride' is problematic,"Amit continued. "It is not the correct term for an issue that brings so many halakhic complications with it.That does not mean that homosexuals need to be broken and humiliated, but we need to find a balance.
"We also object to any parades that involve an extreme display of sexuality, whether it being with gay people or straight people."
Amit contends that the very existence of the parade aims to subvert family values. "For the past few years, it has been going in the direction of trying to erase the entire existence of the family," he said. "To them, there is no difference between a child with two fathers, or one with a mother and father. They are going very strongly in that direction. This uproots a strongly held construct that humanity has always held."
The Jerusalem pride parade differs in its nature from its larger counterpart in Tel Aviv. While the one in Tel Aviv is headlined under 'gay pride,' the parade in Jerusalem calls for tolerance and understanding. The Jerusalem parade also makes an effort to reach out to the religious community- many marchers bear signs listing the religious institutions they studied in, and a large mincha (afternoon prayer) is held.
Amit disputes the religious aspect of the parade. "The claim that 'love is love,' that it is okay for one to do as he wishes if it serves the purpose of love, is fundamentally un-Jewish." he contended.
Kamoha, which Amit heads, strives to assist homosexuals who want follow Jewish law. They are best known for setting up religious homosexuals with religious lesbians, and enjoy wide support from the rabbinic community. Other rabbis, such as Har Etzion Yeshiva dean Rabbi Yaakov Meidan and Rabbi Aaron Feldman of Ner Yisrael in Baltimore, have come out in support of people who are homosexual and Orthodox and choose abstinence. Rabbi Meidan calls them "tzadikim" - righteous ones.
The Torah states explicity (Leviticus 18:22) that relations between homosexuals are forbidden under all circumstances.