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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 17, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 25
Orthodox Chief Rabbi of the UK says open the synagogues to LGBT Jews
Section One
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Orthodox Chief Rabbi of the UK says open the synagogues to LGBT Jews

Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, Orthodox Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, said in a statement that LGBT Jews must be welcomed into Orthodox synagogues that had previously banned them. Mirvis's statement ran in Britain's Jewish News next to a rainbow masthead.

'In the face of such unspeakable violence, we must be introspective,' Mirvis said.

'The Torah takes a clear, well-known position on acts of homosexual intimacy but it also leaves us in no doubt about our responsibility to provide a welcoming environment in our synagogues and beyond for all Jews, regardless of their level of religious observance, ethnicity, or sexuality.

'After Orlando, we must take a step beyond condemnation and open our hearts and our synagogues so that no Jew feels persecuted or excluded from the warm embrace of our communities.

'Together with adherents of all faiths and none, may we all find the courage to overcome the forces of division and darkness so that we might create a more peaceful and tolerant world&

'As Jews, we join with all of those across the world who stand defiant and united in declaring that there is absolutely no place for hatred or intolerance in our societies.

'We must also be honest enough to recognize that there are places where the scourge of homophobia persists, even in our own communities, and that is totally unacceptable.

'Where that hate is religiously motivated, faith leaders and faith communities carry a particular responsibility to act.'

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