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Gay Wedding Ceremonies Become Issue for Conservative Jews

Gay Wedding Ceremonies Become Issue for Conservative Jews

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As rabbis in the Conservative branch of Judaism try to create a template for same-sex wedding ceremonies, they are receiving some criticism for hewing to closely to the heterosexual model.

At issue, reportsThe Jewish Daily Forward, is language that implies one party "owns" the other. Yet the rabbis want to make sure that gay couples have a ceremony that is equal to the one straight couples have.

"In a way it's a shame, there is an opportunity for a less problematic, more contemporary liturgy," said Jay Michaelson, founding director of the LGBT Jewish group Nehirim.

The three leading rabbis who ruled in 2006 that the Conservative movement would bless same-sex unions are working on a draft of the template, which will likely be voted on at a meeting of rabbis next year. In the meantime, some rabbis and gay couples have created their own ceremonies.

The Conservative branch is Judaism's middle ground, with Reform Judaism being more liberal (and having long welcomed gays and blessed their unions) and the Orthodox movement being more, well, conservative.

Meanwhile, some Orthodox rabbis are calling on their brethren to sign a declaration endorsing so-called reparative therapy -- designed to help gays become straight, and rejected by most mental health professionals -- as the only appropriate response to homosexuality. Read more about the declaration here.

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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