Tag Archives: LGBT Rights
church street and state street signs pointing in different directions

Sermons, Politics and the Constitution

On Wednesday, the Washington Post wrote about the topics most clergy members discuss from the pulpit as a way to illustrate that the issues most associated with communities of faith — reproductive rights and LGBT rights/same-sex marriage, due much in part to  the Religious Right — is not what is actually happening on the ground. Read more…

Remembering Transgender Service Members

This coming Monday (May 25) we will observe Memorial Day, a federal holiday dedicated to remembering the people who died while serving in the military. There are many Americans who have died in battle whose names we will never know because their names were lost to history. However, there are many service members who lost their lives in the line of duty whose true names we will never know because they were never able to share them: transgender service members.

Read more…

Support Legislation to End Discrimination in Adoption

Today, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Representative John Lewis (D-GA), and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) reintroduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act. The Every Child Deserves a Family Act (ECDF) would prevent discrimination in public adoption and foster care on the basis of potential parents’ – or the child’s – sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. By doing so, this vital legislation would help ensure the ability of thousands of children to find permanent, loving families.

Read more…

No Matter What the Supreme Court Decides, We’ve Already Won

By Cantor Jason Kaufman

I often think about how fortunate I am to live in this period of time when social justice for the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community is advancing at such a rapid pace.

I never felt this more profoundly than on April 28, when I stood outside the United States Supreme Court to demonstrate my support for marriage equality.  Thanks also to a great deal of luck, I was even able to sit inside the chamber and listen to the oral arguments for a few brief minutes.  As I walked into the courtroom I consciously called to mind LGBTQ heroes and righteous allies who helped to make the day possible – individuals who helped to bend the arc of justice that Dr. King spoke about, so that we could even approach this time when the Supreme Court would consider granting the LGBTQ community a fraction of our fundamental rights as American citizens. Read more…

Food and Drug Administration Logo

New Blood Donation Guidelines Still Problematic

Last December, I wrote that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had announced that it would be changing its policy on blood donations by men who have sex with men (MSM). For decades, the FDA has banned MSM from donating blood indefinitely. However, last December the FDA announced that it will be replacing its current indefinite deferral policy with a policy that allows MSM to give blood if they have not had sex with another man in the past year. Earlier this week, the FDA released “Revised Recommendations for Reducing the Risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission by Blood and Blood Products,” which address the FDA’s policy on MSM blood donations.

Read more…

Man holding Torah at dawn

Beyond Cheesecake: Social Justice on Shavuot

Over Memorial Day Weekend, Americans will be honoring the lives of those lost in service to their country. This weekend is also known as the celebration of the symbolic beginning of summer (often with barbecues and white pants, sometimes a dangerous combination). And, coinciding with Memorial Day Weekend this year is the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, when we celebrate the giving of the Torah at Sinai (and cheesecake). Read more…

Get Ready to Celebrate Pride Month

In a month, we will mark LGBT Pride Month which occurs every year in June, the month of the Stonewall Riots. On June 28, 1969, riots erupted following a raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City by police. The Stonewall Riots are considered by many as the beginning of the modern LGBT rights movement, and each June various cities and organizations hold events to celebrate LGBT pride. Read more…

Developing our own Holiness Code

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to deliver the following words before the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism at the RAC’s Consultation on Conscience:

Read more…