As part of the government’s consultation on Gay Marriage they recently submitted a request for a succinct representation of our community’s views. The Bored – in keeping with our policy on resourcing and exceeding governmental expectations – have invested 200 man (or woman) (or person) hours producing a moderately-sized tome on the matter.
The size of the document is a consequence of the plurality of religious groups and views within our community ranging from those who refuse to say brachot over a rainbow (for fear of association), to streams so open-minded that homosexuality is a pre-requisite for membership and a Gaylord is a deity.
The Bored are proud to straddle the line between antiquity and acceptability on such modern British issues and generally our guideline on such matters is to stand just far enough away from the Muslim Council of Great Britain to avoid any (metaphorical) splash-back. However, the government came calling so here are a few choice segments of the report that offer a taste of Gay Jews and how the community feels about the subject.
“…In defining key terms for this document, it is important to state that all references to the word ‘gay’ should be understood as homosexual and not taken to mean ‘bad’. We acknowledge that readers of our recent consultation on The Language of The Hasmonean School Playground may find this reversal confusing. Specifically a ‘Gay Marriage’ is the union of two people of the same gender and not a wedding with a bridge roll reception, a mehitzah and carriages at 10.30.”
Homosexuality in Orthodoxy
“…The United Synagogue provided us with the following statement: We do not have a direct issue with Gay congregants, we see them the same way as we do Mamzerim, Reform Jews or women. In return for us granting them ‘Dimi’ status, all we ask is that they are open and honest about their sexuality… but without ever mentioning it aloud.
To address this 15 years ago we commissioned those Multi-coloured tallits (prayer shawls) you sometimes see worn in communities (the only problem is some people just wear them because they like the design… or so they say).
We also encourage gay community members to get involved in certain aspects of Shul and community life. Specifically, they are permitted to join the choir, the ladies guild or run the Synagogue’s Scouts troop. We’ve had particular success with our kiddish-iative with many Gay guilders displaying a real zest for biscuit and Danish alignment and a thorough appreciation of the strudel continuum. However we retain our tradition and heritage by only allowing mothers of 3+ children to handle the herring.
When asked about the issue of female homosexuality amongst congregants the US replied “you aren’t going to trick us with that again! Everyone knows Lesbians are mythical creatures, like Leprechauns, Ewoks and Maoris.”
On the issue of gay marriage in general the Ultra-Orthodox view was surprisingly accepting, explaining that whilst they wouldn’t perform one themselves, they don’t mind them happening nearby.
“We would never conduct a gay marriage but we are happy for them to take place just a stone’s throw away.”
The Masorti community were asked a number of questions about their view on Gay Marriage which they refused to respond to, especially those seeking a comparison to their counterparts across the ponds. In the end they sent the following exasperated statement “FOR G-D’S SAKE, IF YOU AREN’T COMPARING UK MASORTIS UNFAVOURABLLY WITH ONE U.S. IT’S THE OTHER U.S.! IT’S ALWAYS THE AMERICAN MASORTIS APPROVE OF THIS, OR THE AMERICAN MASORTIS TURN A BLIND EYE TO THAT!!! WE DON’T ALWAYS HAVE TO COPY THE AMERICAN MASORTIS!!! IF THE AMERICAN MASORTIS JUMPED OFF A CLIFF OR WENT INTO A DESERT WAR ON FALSE PROMISES OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, WOULD YOU??? EXACTLY!”
The Bored struggled to get in touch with the Reform community for comment but eventually caught up with their spokesperson who was sitting on a wagon, with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, U2 and Coldplay complaining of a damaged knee from too much jumping, whilst the wagon followed what appeared to be a crowd (including Quakers and Liberal Jews) whilst cursing the fact that they were going to be late for the party.
Views on Israel
Away from religious practice there were a variety of stances on the interaction between Jewish culture and the Gay world. Many people were very proud that Tel Aviv was the planet’s 3rd gayest city but not so keen for their kid’s school to have a similar status. One contributor remarked
“It’s clear from Israeli culture and Judaism and Homosexuality can easily co-exist, you only have to look at Rikkudei Am (traditional Israel folk dancing), it’s hard to conceive of a gayer activity.”
Many people will be curious to know exactly how Jewish schools feel about this issue (including some of the school’s themselves) but this chapter was deemed too “under review” to reprint. That is apart from the Bored’s investigation in to JONAH an organisation that encourages “growth out of Homosexuality”, mentioned in some schools curriculum amongst a plurality of views. The Bored have examined JONAH thoroughly and found the reason for their name is not an acronym as advertised. They, in fact, took the name because they rely heavily on sunken profits and hope that people who visit them will swallow anything.
The Bored will be back very soon with our Passover Blog, shining a candle light on the idiosyncrasies of everyone’s least favourite festival before sweeping them up with a feather.
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