Rabbi group delays decision on gay clergy, same-sex union


March 09, 2006|By STEPHANIE DESMON

A committee of Jewish legal scholars postponed a decision yesterday on whether Conservative Jews should allow gay rabbis and same-sex unions, putting off until December a vote on whether to revise some positions on homosexuality.

The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, a group of 30 rabbis that sets laws for Conservative Judaism, met this week at a conference center in Baltimore County to discuss position papers on homosexuality written by Jewish scholars. In 1992 -the last time the entire group took up the issue - it said gays and lesbians were welcome to be members of congregations, but it banned same-sex commitment ceremonies and openly gay rabbis. This week's meeting was the third time since 2003 that the committee has discussed changing its stance.

Rabbi Joel H. Meyers, a nonvoting member of the committee and the executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, which represents 1,600 Conservative rabbis, said the delay was not surprising. It is important for the committee to do its work in a "very good, thoughtful and deliberate way," he said.

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