The Jewish Standard kicks out the gays

Timothy Kincaid

October 5th, 2010

Last week the Jewish Standard ran the engagement notice of Avi Smolen to Justin Rosen. However, Orthodox Rabbis thought that this was simply unacceptable. So they expressed their discontent.

And as it seems that the Jewish Standard believes that Smolen and Rosen’s sexual orientation makes them less Jewish (or at least less important), they’ve adopted an all-new “no homos” policy. And they have apologized. To the rabbis.

We set off a firestorm last week by publishing a same-sex couple’s announcement of their intent to marry. Given the tenor of the times, we did not expect the volume of comments we have received, many of them against our decision to run the announcement, but many supportive as well.

A group of rabbis has reached out to us and conveyed the deep sensitivities within the traditional/Orthodox community to this issue. Our subsequent discussions with representatives from that community have made us aware that publication of the announcement caused pain and consternation, and we apologize for any pain we may have caused.

The Jewish Standard has always striven to draw the community together, rather than drive its many segments apart. We have decided, therefore, since this is such a divisive issue, not to run such announcements in the future.

Well guess what, JS, you haven’t brought ANYONE together. When you throw some Jews out of the family due to the whining of others, you don’t have cohesion, you have coercion. And I think you’ll soon come to discover that there are more Jews in this country (and in New Jersey) who believe in inclusion than in winnowing out the not-Jewish-enough.

occono

October 5th, 2010

The comments on that article are heartening :)

werdna

October 5th, 2010

It’d be nice if you could link to the article…

Chris McCoy

October 5th, 2010

Here’s the link to the JS statement.

lurker

October 5th, 2010

wow. what an outpouring of love and outrage in the comments to the JS statement. I particularly like Wayne’s:

“I assume the Standard will also stop running articles about women who work outside the home, wear immodest clothing, or sing in the presence of men, since those people might behave in way that offends the delicate sensitivities of a few readers? . . . pushing certain people back into invisibility in order to avoid being ‘divisive’ is, in itself, a horribly divisive stand. Shame.”

occono

October 5th, 2010

I should have linked to it, I didn’t notice it wasn’t, sorry.

TampaZeke

October 5th, 2010

They probably caved to 5-6 Orthodox rabbi’s but won’t be swayed by hundreds of outraged readers.

Aconite

October 5th, 2010

So far, of all the responses to the new exclusionary policy posted on the website, there is ONE agreeing with the policy. And that person posted anonymously.

ONE.

Every. single. other. response condemns the bigotry, often in quite sharp and pointed language. My favorite response states that if the announcement of a joyous life event causes you pain, you need therapy.

WMDKitty

October 5th, 2010

Of all communities, the Jews?

Oy…

werdna

October 6th, 2010

Thanks for the links, y’all, and, yes, I do know how to use the google! I just wish Timothy would be a little more careful about linking to his sources in his posts.

MattNYC

October 6th, 2010

“publication of the announcement caused pain”

Unless their eyes started bleeding from it, I fail to comprehend how mere publication caused anyone pain. Retracting it–especially so conspicuously–certainly did.

Ben in Oakland

October 6th, 2010

I posted this there yesterday:

I am a Jewish, gay man, legally married in california to my partner of 9 years. When I was a boy, my aunt bell’s only son was going to marry a goy. Aunt Bell was ready to sit shiva for him. My father talked her out of it, pointing out that she was going to lose her son. When Howard died a few years later from cancer, Wanda was with him until the end, and Aunt Bell loved her like the dutiful daughter she had been.

Aunt Bell chose love instead of “pain and consternation”. She was rewarded for it, even in the depths of her sorrow.

Let’s fast forward. Would you also refuse to run a wedding announcement between a Jewish woman and a non-religious man, lest it cause pain to someone who does not know the people and is not involved in their lives? Let’s suppose that a secular newspaper refused to run a wedding announcement for a Jewish couple on the off chance that their bigoted readers might object? That would be just fine, right?

It always amazes me when fundamentalist (or otherwise) Jews manage to come up with excuses for bigotry. Gay people and Jews have been subject to Christian persecution for 2000 years. It is hard to tell which group has been hated more. There is a simple solution for those orthodox Jews who are so bothered by the existence of gay people that even the announcement of their existence causes “pain and consternation”.

It’s called live and let live.

If you don’t like gay people– excuse me, if your religious beliefs are offended by gay people– don’t be gay. don’t go to same-sex weddings. If you are so deeply offended that you cannot just skip that particular wedding announcement, then stop taking the Jewish standard.

Your problem is solved. the standard may lose a few readers, but it has contributed to the light in the world, not pervasive bigotry, whether it is admitted for what it is, or dressed up in its Saturday-go-to-Shabbat’ drag of “sincere religious belief”.

If the orthodox are so offended by the existence of gay people, maybe they should start their very own newspaper, where they can then exclude anyone they want.

Maybe they could call it “The Shtetl”.

darkmoonman

October 6th, 2010

Always amazing how those who have suffered at the hand of prejudice are only too eager to practice it themselves.

Timothy Kincaid

October 6th, 2010

I looked through some of the comments on their announcement. As expected, the Jewish Standard has found itself the target of some really angry Jews.

I have noticed that among the most vocal and determined supporters of our community you will always find Jews: rabbis, community leaders, politicians, and grandmas.

Emily K

October 6th, 2010

I’m proud so many of my people have spoken up for the right side of history. The comments section is gold.

Ray

October 6th, 2010

Ben. Brilliant.

It seems such a short time ago when Christians were saying there weren’t any gay Jews. Funny how I sort of believed that until I encountered an Orthodox Jew wearing the standard uniform with a fur hat walking down Santa Monica Blvd. holding hands with an enormous black man at the Pride Parade.

Mark F.

October 6th, 2010

Well, the comments section after that statement really cheered me up. We are winning!

Tommy

October 6th, 2010

Well, looks like they attempted to diffuse the overwhelming animosity they generated, while not actually backing down from their position, by really listening to an anonymous group of people.

A Statement From the Publisher

We ran the wedding announcement because we felt, as a community newspaper, that it was our job to serve the entire community — something we have been doing for 80 years.

We did not expect the heated response we got, and — in truth — we believe now that we may have acted too quickly in issuing the follow-up statement, responding only to one segment of the community.

We are now having meetings with local rabbis and community leaders. We will also be printing, in the paper and online, many of the letters that have been pouring in since our statement was published.

We urge everyone to take a step back and reflect on what this series of events has taught us about the community we care so much about, and about the steps we must take to move forward together.

James Janoff, Publisher
New Jersey Jewish Standard

Ben in Oakland

October 7th, 2010

Thanks, Ray.

Mark F.

October 8th, 2010

Well, the paper may pull a Linda Lingle (Jewish , by the way). Listen to both sides and then spit in our face.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Ghana: Muslim Cleric Says Gay Sex Causes Earthquakes

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1919: First Pro-Gay Film Released

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Emphasis Mine

Today In History, 1948: "Homosexual Ring Broken Up" At Mizzou

Today In History, 1960: Daughters of Bilitis Hold First National Convention

Today In History, 1969: "One Profession Frowned Upon In Hollywood"

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.