Wednesday, February 3, 2010

could new british law create gay orthodox rabbis?

I rarely write about current events - not because I'm not informed, but rather because the last thing this world needs is yet another outlet for depressing news stories. But then this morning I came across this article on the CNN website that I thought was MM-worthy, if only because it brought up a point that could possibly be pertinent to the 'frum community'.

So to sum up the article - basically, there's this Equality Bill that is pending in British Parliament which would effectively end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (as well as gender and race, etc). The catholic pope got upset because this would mean that the church could be prosecuted for turning down gay priesthood candidates. British government then countered by amending the legislation to give certain allowances when it comes to priests and ministers - but not other staff members. Feel free to read the bill yourself, if you're legal-minded.

Anyhow - whether or not this bill becomes law, with whatever amendments made to it - an interesting issue has been brought up that no doubt we will probably come across sometime soon on this side of the Atlantic. What happens then?


Mark said...

There are already laws banning discrimination based on gender and yet we see lno litigation requiring organizations to appoint female rabbis.

Clearly any legislation would probably allow for the "religous groups exemption".

(Parenthetically), though, I think it would only be proper and just to have female and/or gay rabbis... but that's just 'cause I don't believe in intolerance and inequality of any kind.)


Anonymous said...

I'm with Mark, I'd love to see that. I'm not Jewish, but many in my religion use Hebrew texts to defend discrimination against gays (and to a lesser extent, women) while many of us don't think those groups have a leg to stand on.

Sadly, some of the most vocal and influential opponents of this nondiscrimination legislation have come from our sister church in England.

Maidel said...

it's interesting isn't it - that from a legal perspective, religion is allowed to be intolerant.

(i'm not saying that I think all religions are actually intolerant)

Data said...

The separation of church and state. Henry VIII made himself leader of the Anglican church, thereby bringing it under the auspices of the government.

I don't know if that's how it works nowadays, but the American government doesn't have authority over religious organizations. So no worries.

The Jewish Free School takes money from the government, as does YU, so they have to defer to their policies. If you don't take their money, than no problem.