[This is part of a response to Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, senior rabbi of the largest Conservative synagogue in DC, who came out as gay and divorced his wife.]
Steps like yours no doubt feel like the right thing to do for gay men in loveless marriages. But you’re not just any gay man. You’re one of the most important Jewish leaders in your city. Part of your job is to help model a loving Jewish family.
Leave aside homosexuality. What does your announcement say to the many men in your synagogue who are more sexually attracted to younger women than to their wives? I doubt you’d approve of a congregant breaking up his family to chase after his 28-year-old secretary.
Oh, but you say being attracted to men is “who you are.” Well, for a lot of heterosexual males, being attracted to younger women is “who they are” too, but we don’t give them dispensation to seek – casualties be damned – self-actualization.
I’m not telling you this as an Orthodox Jew to a Conservative one – or as a celibate gay man to one who wants to explore same-sex relationships. I speak as a coreligionist who is concerned about the impact your decision will inevitably have on the people around you.
Yes, you came out yesterday. That doesn’t mean you can’t “go back in” today. If you don’t, I recommend that Adas Israel start looking for a new senior rabbi.