Bar-Ilan University drew condemnation from the National Student Union after its local gay chapter claimed the academic body had blocked plans to hold a public event in the campus including other gay organizations on June 22.
“Given that fact that the gay chapter in Bar Ilan includes all the complex components of humanity at the institution and acts in considerate and non-provocative ways, we don’t see any reason that they shouldn’t mark gay month, and of course [we] support their actions,” student union head Gilad Arditi told Army Radio.
Representatives of the university’s administration met with the chapter’s leadership to discuss alternatives for the event. Student Omer Mahluf said students dean Professor Uri Nir had suggested the group’s 90 members hold “a respectful meeting in which there are various speakers, such as psychologists and rabbis, who can offer the participants help.”
According to a report in the Haarez news site, university spokesperson Haim Zisowitz explained that homosexual acts are against halacha traditional Jews laws and that as a religious institution, the university couldn’t appear to condone such activities.
“The university has a religious character, and the subject of same-sex relationships is halachically forbidden for men, a clear halachic prohibition,” he said. “Therefore, you can’t allow in a religious university a call to commit an act that transgresses a halachic prohibition.”
To hold such an event, he continued, “is to say that we are in favor without making a comparison, and don’t get me wrong but a group that says, We want and believe in pedophilia, in permitting sex with minors, and we want to have a happening’ every call to break the law is a problem and those are the laws of the Torah.”