Can the Orthodox Jewish Religious Accept the LGBT People?


The weekend Jerusalem Post featured an article with the headline asking if the Orthodox Jewish Community could accept LGBT people and especially young people. It is interesting to note the phrasing. What does acceptance mean? Does it mean tolerance in spite of disagreement with the lifestyles of LGBT people? Or does it mean supporting their basic civil rights? Or does it mean endorsing the moral and religious legitimacy of their lifestyle? I think the modern Orthodox Jewish community will support the first two meanings of the term, but acceptance does not mean endorsing the lifestyle. The Modern Orthodox, for the most part, reject these lifestyles as immoral. The ultra-Orthodox is made up of many different streams which will for the most part not accept LGBT people. The ultra-Orthodox do not spend time on the issues of civil rights and are mostly concerned to perpetuate a ghetto of ultra-Orthodox practice, and they will reject openly LGBT people in their communities.

In the United States, civil rights are probably supported by most modern Orthodox Jews and Evangelical Orthodox Christians. However, that right ends when it would force artists to do creative expressions that would message fostering the LGBT lifestyles. The larger question today is if the LGBT community will accept the traditional Jews, Christians, and Muslims who want to proclaim that human sexual expression is reserved for those who are in committed heterosexual marriages and that all other sexual involvements are immoral. It is possible that both the LGBT and traditional religious communities could support one another in civil rights and mutual tolerance. But tolerance does not mean forced agreement. If you are an observer of the West and America in particular, the question now is if the civil rights of traditional religious people will be respected by the LGBT community or will they seek to get such people fired, shut down their businesses, and picket their homes! It seems as if anything less than endorsement is considered hate by the LGBT community. Traditional believers say they love the LGBT people but want to promote traditional morality and encourage the LGBT people to give up the LGBT lifestyle and become committed to traditional morality. This will probably only take place by a religious conversion experience.