UK Jewish heterosexual couple seeks same legal rights as LGBTs

Posted on March 20th, 2017
BY JENNI FRAZER for The Times of Israel    

Civil partnership has been possible for gay spouses in Britain since 2004, and marriage since 2013 — but mixed-sex pairs may only wed. Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld are pushing for change

Seven years ago, Charles Keidan and Rebecca Steinfeld met at a lecture at the London School of Economics.

“Actually, it was about Gaza,” they smile.

Today, the two are making English legal history as they seek to change the law on civil partnership. They argue that the Civil Partnership Act of 2004 is discriminatory because only same-sex couples are eligible, and they want the law to be extended to heterosexual couples, too.

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Trans is the New Gay: Acknowledging the "T" in LGBT

Posted on March 13th, 2017
Surat-Shaan Knan, blog for The Schusterman Family Foundation

Laverne Cox in Orange is the New Black, Caitlyn Jenner in Vanity Fair magazine, British boxing legend Kellie Maloney on tabloid covers—the “T” word has certainly found its way into mainstream media. Big time.

Recently, I added “trans is the new gay” to my ever-growing repertoire of LGBT-themed catchphrases. Everything “trans” is a major trending topic as of late, and the people who take pride in having a customary GBF (“gay best friend”) are suddenly on the hunt for a TBF. As a member of the transgender community, these recent developments should probably make me happy.

Not so much.

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Taking off the Mask for Purim

Posted on March 6th, 2017
Chaim Levin for HuffPost

This year’s Purim marks three years since I started my incredible journey of coming out. Until three years ago I struggled in isolation with my identity as a gay man and an Orthodox Jew. I had spent the previous two years surrounded only by people who rejected themselves as gay and was part of the “ex gay” movement.”

My first time attending a Purim event with gay Jews who had reconciled their faith with their sexual orientation and were living honestly and openly was really scary for me. I’ll never forget the moment I walked into the LGBT Jewish Purim event at the Jewish Community Center on New York City’s Upper West Side. Many of the other attendees were Orthodox or had grown up Orthodox, just like I had. The first 10 minutes were the scariest. I was self-conscious of the way I looked and the way people looked at me. I had constant questions running through my head. “Is the way I’m walking too gay or not gay enough?” “Can people recognize how nervous I am?”

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For some great Purim ideas, check out our Purim Resource Kit.


Judaism and LGBTQ Issues: An Overview

Posted on February 27th, 2017
By Ben Harris for

Jewish attitudes about non-heterosexual identities have shifted dramatically in recent decades, with sharp differences between the Orthodox and liberal movements.

As social attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people have undergone a sea change in North America, Western Europe and Israel, official Jewish views, among the liberal denominations at least, have changed along with them.

Although as recently as 1990, the Reform movement’s rabbinic leaders officially considered heterosexual relationships “the ideal human relationship for the perpetuation of species, covenantal fulfillment, and the preservation of the Jewish people,” by the mid-1990s, the movement had fully endorsed same-sex marriage — two decades before it became legal across the United States. A decade later, the Conservative movement reversed its longstanding ban on gay sexual activity and reversed its policy of not ordaining gay and lesbian rabbis. In 2012, the movement endorsed gay marriage.

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Talking to My Daughter About Her Friend’s Transgender Parent

Posted on February 20th, 2017
Sharrona Pearl for Kveller 

Will she go by Ms. Lynne or Mrs. Lynne?

That was my oldest daughter’s first question when I told her that her friend’s parent was transitioning from a man to a woman, and transitioning from being called Max to being called Lynne. Ms. or Mrs. She wanted to get the naming right. And the pronouns weren’t the confusing part.

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