Religious gays battle for acceptance

A once unimaginable movement is emerging from within Israel’s insular Orthodox Jewish community: Homosexuals demanding to be accepted and embraced, no matter what the Bible says.

Living alongside a secular majority that has largely embraced the Western gay rights movement, Israel’s religious gays are increasingly rejecting age-old dictates to ignore their attraction, abstain from sex or undergo therapy that supposedly will make them straight.

A decade ago, says Yuval Cherlow, a heterosexual Orthodox rabbi, he would have dismissed the phenomenon as “two or four crazy people that are assimilating into Western world culture.”


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