LGBTQ Rights and Jewish Values
The two most often cited Biblical texts concerning homosexuality are both found in the book of Leviticus, where they are in the context of a larger section directing sexual behavior. First, it is written: "Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence." (Leviticus 18:22) The second citation is from Leviticus 20:13, where we read that "If a man lies with a male as one lies with a woman, the two of them have done an abhorrent thing; they shall be put to death-their blood guilt is upon them."
However, we are also guided by the very basic belief that all human beings are created b’tselem Elohim (in the Divine image), as it says in Genesis 1:27, "And God created humans in God’s own image, in the image of God, God created them; male and female God created them." Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said in an interview with Fox News, "As it says in Genesis, all humans were created in the image of God. And that means that every person, every soul, is a creature of God that looks like God, whether they are transgender or lesbian or gay, and so we welcome all of them."
Each of us, created in God’s image, has a unique talent, with which we can contribute to the high moral purpose of tikkun olam, the repair of our world. Excluding anyone from our community lessens our chance of achieving this goal of a more perfect world.