The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), representing over 1000 traditional American rabbis in public policy, today endorsed the letter of 200 Israeli colleagues supporting the position of Jerusalem Chief Rabbi HaRav Aryeh Stern in favor of traditional marriage and in opposition to normalization of same-gender couples.
A group of several dozen Open Orthodox clergy — falsely depicted in media reports as "American and Israeli Orthodox rabbis" — then published a "rabbinic letter" rejecting the traditional viewpoint and favoring open welcome of homosexual couples into synagogues.
"Everyone has private challenges, which need to be dealt with discreetly and with sensitivity," said Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Chairman of the CJV Rabbinic Circle. "We do not turn people away because of personal bad decisions on Sabbath or Kashrus observance, either."
"But to publicly endorse same-gender couples is an entirely different matter, and to encourage this in the streets of Jerusalem or in the Knesset is offensive to our values and to the Holy Land."
The rabbis pointed to strong evidence that — contrary to earlier, faulty studies promoted by LGBT activists — children of parents in same-sex relationships are two to three times more likely to suffer from emotional and/or developmental problems and to require mental health treatment. This substantiated Rav Stern's assertion that placing children in homes without a mother and father increases "the possibility that they will, in the end, be miserable."
"To dismiss core Biblical values as 'homophobia' is cynical and the epitome of intolerance," said Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Eastern Regional Vice-President of the CJV. "And to cite the obligation to 'love your neighbor as yourself' as a catch-all to permit every sin is a crude distortion of that cardinal principle."
"There is no 'fear' of the homosexual, as the loaded term implies. Rather, there is love and compassion for every person, combined with an utter rejection of actions deemed sinful by the Torah. We are guided by explicit expression of the Divine Will rather than our own personal biases, a set of values which continue to make the world a better place."