JRF Homosexuality Report and Inclusion of GLBTQ persons

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The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation has been on record in support of full equality of rights and opportunities for gay men and lesbians since 1984, when our sister seminary, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, began admitting openly gay and lesbian applicants.

We have over 100 affiliates nation-wide representing 17,000 households, including gay, lesbian, bi-sexual amd trans-gendered members. At its 1990 convention, the RRA recommended that the Reconstructionist movement establish a non-discrimination policy in rabbinic placement.

The following year, a movement-wide policy was enacted prohibiting discrimination in the referral of resumes of candidates for positions within congregations and in 1991, the RRA adopted a formal policy of non-discrimination in membership, thus acknowledging the previously unwritten policy.

The Reconstructionist movement has been at the forefront of efforts to include and integrate gay and lesbian Jews into all aspects of Jewish communal and religious life.

The following paragraph appears in Homosexuality and Judaism: The Reconstructionist Position, a groundbreaking report issued by the Reconstructionist movement in 1993:

“We regard the Jewish values that affirm the inherent dignity, integrity and equality of human beings as having primacy over historically conditioned attitudes… It is our duty to correct the misunderstandings and resulting injustice of the past and to fulfill the Jewish obligation to seek justice.”

To “seek justice,” the report urged “all Reconstructionist affiliates, rabbis, and members of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College community to engage in a process of education about the issues relating to Judaism and homosexuality.”

In 2004, we unanimously adopted a resolution in support of full legal equality for same-sex couples and the JRF has signed on in support of all amicus briefs we have been invited to do so on in support of same-sex marriage in State legal actions since that time.

At the November 2008 JRF board meeting, in response to propositions around the United States limiting the rights of Gay, lesbian, Bi-Sexual, and Transgendered (GLBT) persons to marry and adopt children, the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation (JRF) re-affirmed its resolutions supporting inclusivity in our communities of homosexual persons in 1993 and same-sex marriage in 2004 and the Jewish values that are the foundation of our unwavering commitment to work towards the ending of inequity and discrimination against GLBT persons.

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