N.J. newspaper ignites debate with wedding announcement of gay couple

By Steve Lipman, The N.Y. Jewish Week

NEW YORK — The decision by a major New Jersey Jewish newspaper to include the wedding announcement of two men in its Lifecycle section —then to apologize and reverse policy soon after before saying that its apology may have been hasty — is fueling a debate about the role of Jewish newspapers in the communities they cover.

The uproar at the New Jersey Jewish Standard comes less than four years after the Conservative movement began permitting rabbinic officiation at same-sex unions, and as growing numbers in the Orthodox world are taking a more lenient position toward gay and lesbian Jews.


In February, Yeshiva University hosted a panel on “Being Gay in the Orthodox World” and this summer more than 100 Orthodox rabbis, educators and mental health professionals signed onto a Statement of Principles that urges respect for homosexuals but stops short of condoning same-sex relationships. (The Reform and Reconstructionist movements have welcomed LGBT Jews for several decades.)

While the Standard is re-evaluating its policy, according to a statement released this week, several other U.S. Jewish newspapers report that they have begun including same-sex announcements without garnering major criticism.

Justin Rosen and Avi Smolen, whose wedding announcement appeared in the Sept. 24 issue of the Standard (and remained on the website as of Tuesday), were the first same-sex couple to appear in the paper’s Lifecycle section. And they may be the last.

Read more at http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/nj_newspaper_controversy_pits_gays_against_orthodox