“…halakha is currently paying a steep price for Orthodoxy’s exclusion of the queer community”

…halakha is currently paying a steep price for Orthodoxy’s exclusion of the queer community. Halakha’s *discriminatory attitude toward the gay community alienates many of MO’s younger generation.

It could very well be that halakha is willing to incur that expense (יעקור הדין את ההר; יאבדו מאה כמותו ואל יאבד אות אחת בתורה וכו), but when those dropping out are either your students, relatives or loved ones, the pain of losing them is difficult to bear. It is hard to then not second-guess your religious choices.

You start wondering: what would happen if we were to do a cost-benefit analyses in which we assess what is gained by Orthodox halakha’s exclusion of the gay community against what is lost? Is it possible that the evidence would definitively prove that the damage is far greater than the benefit? Could it perhaps establish that fidelity to what is seemingly God’s will comes at the price of high rates of orthodox attrition? Then, if it turns out that it is indeed the case, how do we counteract that? At that point, is halakhic and religious apathy still an option?

Our students, relatives and loved ones demand that we answer these questions. Ignoring them is to our detriment. It is, very likely, a huge factor in the significantly high attrition rate in our community and we need to account for that, sociologically and religiously. Our halakhic stances have בין אדם לחברו AND בין אדם למקום implications.

Rabbi Ysoscher Katz, Facebook post (3 April 2019) [https://www.facebook.com/ysoscher/posts/10156125885113639]