ORTHODOX GAY DEBATE, CONT'D - Friday, July 10
In reply to the letter which personifies the pillar of empathy and understanding for lesbians and gays (the following was told to me by a rabbi): Your theory that a gay lifestyle should be viewed as a situation thrust upon you without leaving room for choice is totally erroneous from a Torah standpoint. True, one may possess natural or environmental factors which create a leaning towards this off-course way of life. But it is within man's domain of free choice (albeit with difficulty) to discipline and control his drives, no matter what they are. The creator of man and author of the operating manual (the Torah) that goes with every Jewish "model", classifies active gayness or lesbianism as abominable. This means that one who thinks he can righteously blend a lifestlye of these warped bents into a genuine Torah commitment is in the same philosophical boat as the "cannibal-vegetarian."
Yes, we love all Jews - including gays and lesbians - and do honor your quote from "Ethics of the Fathers" - as long as they don't try to condone or grant license for maintaining their aberrations. When one engages in these philosophical manipulations, he manufactures his own brand of Torah, and cannot classify himself as a faithful adhering Orthodox Jew. The Torah community can accept a gay or lesbian as a good Jew if he or she ceases in these activities and realizes that this must be done from a Torah viewpoint. Otherwise, if one wishes to live an active gay life, and believes it to be within the framework of a Torah and orthodox Jew's way of life, then better to join some oddball cult.
by Chaya Rochel Schwartz