Metro Weekly

Conservative rabbis support transgender rights

International Jewish organization affirms the rights of transgender individuals

Rabbi Gil Steinlauf -- Photo by Todd Franson

Rabbi Gil Steinlauf — Photo by Todd Franson

“We have long known that God’s presence is manifest in a multiplicity of expressions of our genders and our lives.”

Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, of Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C., speaking with the HRC after the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism, a global organization of Conservative rabbis, passed a resolution affirming the rights of transgender and non-conforming congregants.

“Be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly affirm its commitment to the full welcome, acceptance, and inclusion of people of all gender identities in Jewish life and general society,” the resolution reads.

It also encourages all programs and organizations withing the Conservative Movement to “educate themselves and their employees about the needs of transgender and gender non-conforming people, so as to create fully inclusive settings.” It also encourages synagogues and organizations to “work toward becoming explicitly welcoming, safe spaces for transgender and gender non-conforming people.”

The resolution also encourages “all levels of government” to review policies and practices with regards the transgender community. It comes in the wake of a spate of anti-transgender “bathroom” bills and anti-LGBT legislation in various Republican-led states.

“Since Talmudic times, our people have recognized that the human condition is not just binary,” Steinlauf said. “I hope this resolution will go far in promoting this deep truth of our religion in our society and in the world.”

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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