There’s a controversial initiative moving through the Jewish world, and I’m pretty sure that the people involved in it aren’t reading the same book I’m reading. This web-based movement seeks to match religiously inclined homosexual men and lesbians – leading to marriage, procreation, and therapy to repair their ‘deviant’ desires. The Israel-based website will ‘help’ gay men and lesbians enter into relationships void of attraction, but capable of creating families filled with religiously raised children
Because… after all… that is what it’s all about. Generations upon generations of Jewish children. It’s the promise of Torah, isn’t it? That’s what sex is all about – the generations that were promised to us.
Mishnah tells us that sex should be enjoyable, that it should bring the marriage closer. The root word comes from the verb ‘to know’ – it’s about intimacy and caring and the joining of two people until they know each other.
Where is this in the initiative to marry gay men and lesbians into attraction-free marriages solely for the purpose of ‘rehabilitation’ and procreation? I’m trying to imagine these marriages and the children they will raise. How will they learn to love, to be attracted, to express themselves in healthy sexual ways when mom and dad never touch each other, when mom and dad long for someone else? How will these children learn about the joy of knowing someone physically, when their parents see their physical relationship as an obligation?
How will these children learn that they do not need to be ashamed of who they are, if they are raised by parents mired in shame and guilt about their own identities?
We are, each of us, created in the image of God. Torah makes this abundantly clear. Part of that image of God is joyful embrace of our sexuality, our partner’s sexualities, and the gift of closeness that those sexualities bring. I cannot believe that loveless, passionless marriages are living into this. And I am ashamed of a Judaism which would not only allow but actively support such a betrayal of God’s gifts.