Three Montreal rabbis became the latest signatories yesterday of a statement calling for the acceptance of Jewish gay men and lesbians into synagogues.
The document is the result of a debate between Orthodox rabbis, educators, mental health professionals and gay Jews worldwide. The full title is “Statement of Principles on the Place of Jews with a Homosexual Orientation in Our Community”.
It had already been signed by 150 Orthodox rabbis worldwide before reaching Canada.
Speaking to CBC News, Adam Scheier, Rabbi of the Shaar Hashomayim Congregation and president of the Montreal Board of Rabbis said: “We have wonderful members of our community in our congregation who are gay, and come to us anticipating and expecting to be welcomed into our community.”
According to the Montreal Gazette, the statement begins: “All human beings are created in the image of God and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect (kevod haberiyot).”
It continues, “Embarrassing, harassing or demeaning someone with a homosexual orientation or same-sex attraction is a violation of Torah prohibitions that embody the deepest values of Judaism.”
The document also states that the issue of whether or not sexual orientation is genetic or environmentally generated is irrelevant when it comes to how LGBT people should be treated.