Sunday, January 3, 2010

More on the Gay Question

by Luke Skyhopper

Ok, I am admittedly a bit sick of the discussions surrounding the Gay question of Orthodox Judaism. As a devotee of Orthopraxy, consenting adults are welcome to behave towards each other however they wish. The repression and ostracism of law abiding and innocent people is despicable; end of story.

However I was wondering, what might happen if the greater Orthodox community capitulated to most of the demands pressed by the Gay community at this conference. Orthodoxy can never fully accept the concept of Gay sex or marriage because of conflict with Jewish law, however let us say that everyone openly admits to the existence of people with same-sex attraction. How would that change the atmosphere in Yeshivas (non-coed) ones? Given that the notion of a boys Yeshivas operates, at least partially, with the intent to stifle adolescent attention towards the opposite sex (and focus on the Limmud), what would be done with Gay students? Place them in Beis Yakkov? How could one justify a uniform all-boys approach if it would be counter-productive according to the basic operating principles?...What about male Mikvahs?

Any wide-spread admission and open discussion of Gays within the wider Orthodox community (which I am still skeptical of) would precipitate a rethinking of other social norms. If one discusses the needs of Gay men, why not bring in the Ta'avahs of others such as unmarried people. Admittedly the YU conference was not about the issues of sexual fulfillment, but rather social acceptance. Nonetheless, I can't imagine the former issue remaining dormant for terribly much longer.

Since Gays are a group that seeks intimate fulfillment in way that "deviates" from the accepted norm, conceivably there will have to be repercussions inherent with rethinking such social structures. While such a widespread social reaction within Orthodoxy is still more or less a fantasy, one cannot help but wonder what normative changes such a spreading discussion might bring.

Now on to another topic please.

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