Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An idea for gay marriage that is muter

Ha'aretz has an article about an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi and his efforts to to marry gay men and women to each other. You can read more about it here. (If you haven't caught on or were misled by the purposely ambiguous post title the idea is for gay men to marry gay women.)

This idea, clearly, is not for everyone. Some might see it as a sham; others might be unwilling to give up the sexual side of themselves and to commit to playing house with someone they don't find sexually attractive. But marrying a fellow homosexual might be the right move for a gay man or woman who meets the following criteria:

(1) Wants to live halachically and understands this to mean "no same gender sex"
(2) What to fit in, and to conform with the general society's idea of "family" and "marriage"
(3) Wants the acceptance of (distant) friends and neighbors.
(4) Wants to have kids, and all the things that go with that (especially for Orthodox Jews)
(5) Does not consider it a "lie" to live celibately with a spouse, pretending to be straight (or does consider it a lie, but doesn't care.)

I understand that not every gay person shares these values; such a person, obviously, should not participate in this Rabbi's program; however for others who meet the criteria it might be the perfect trade-off. (Yes, of course its shame that society forces people to make such trade-offs, but you know what? Marriage is always about compromise. Whenever we commit ourselves to someone else give up a part of ourselves. If these gay men and women are willing to trade their sexuality (a sexuality they believe they are forbidden to use) for a set of benefits they value its not our place to judge them.)

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