LAT: In historic move, the largest U.S. branch of Judaism backs transgender rights

The Torah has so much to say about transgender rights!

Chaim Amalek: “This is the future of American Judaism: multigender bathrooms, sexual fluidity, and all the rest that we see in Torah.”

Los Angeles Times: The largest branch of Judaism in the United States passed a far-reaching resolution supporting transgender rights Thursday, the latest step in a year that has seen the issue move from the shadows into the limelight.

At its biennial meeting in Orlando, Fla., members of the Union for Reform Judaism approved the resolution that calls for their congregations and children’s camps to have gender-neutral bathrooms and encourages gender-neutral language. The resolution, which passed on a voice vote, also calls for religious school staffers to receive training on gender issues and urges members to lobby governments on behalf of the transgender community.

Transgender issues have never been more visible or politically controversial. This year, celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner have come out as transgender, propelling the issue into the mainstream media and national conversation.

Just this week in Houston, 60% of voters rejected a city measure that would have outlawed discrimination against gay and transgender people.

Opponents called it the “bathroom ordinance” and argued that restrooms could be used by everyone regardless of gender.

Bathrooms were not seen as controversial in the nine-point resolution adopted by the Reform Jews.

“This is a very historic resolution,” said Rabbi Denise Eger of Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood. Eger is also president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, with 2,300 members the largest and oldest rabbinical organization in North America. She is the third woman and first lesbian to head the group.

Her congregation has about 300 households, she said. About 60% identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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