Hillel Council of New England Supporting & Connecting Jewish Life Across Campuses

Judaism and LGBTQ Issues: An Overview

Posted on July 3rd, 2017
BY BEN HARRIS for myjewishlearning.com 
Attitudes have shifted dramatically in recent decades, with sharp differences between the Orthodox and liberal movements.


As social attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people have undergone a sea change in North America, Western Europe, and Israel, official Jewish views, among the liberal denominations at least, have changed along with them.

Although as recently as 1990, the Reform movement’s rabbinic leaders officially considered heterosexual relationships “the ideal human relationship for the perpetuation of species, covenantal fulfillment, and the preservation of the Jewish people,” by the mid-1990s, the movement had fully endorsed same-sex marriage — two decades before it became legal across the United States. A decade later, the Conservative movement reversed its longstanding ban on gay sexual activity and reversed its policy of not ordaining gay and lesbian rabbis. 

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