Conservative Religious Groups Soften Stances

Rabbi Asher Lopatin

Two recent news stories suggest that even conservative religious groups are re-examining their views on homosexuality.

First, a group of Orthodox rabbis, including Chicago’s Rabbi Asher Lopatin, signed a statement promoting compassion and inclusion for lesbian and gay people. The document does not reinterpret Jewish law. It maintains that same-sex conduct remains against the law, but says that there is a place for gay and lesbian people in the Orthodox community. Rabbi Lopatin is also a signatory on the civil unions petition.

Also, the NPR radio program Fresh Air recently featured an interview with Richard Cizik about his ouster as the chief lobbyist of the National Association of Evangelicals. Cizik lost his job in December 2008 in part because of his public statements in favor of civil unions for same-sex couples. Since then, he has founded The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, an evangelical group promoting social justice concerns.

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