Posted June 4th, 2012 by John M. Becker
Great news: last week, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards — which sets policy for the Conservative branch of American Judaism — voted 13-0 to formally approve same-sex weddings. The panel approved two ceremony templates — one more traditional and one more contemporary — that can individual rabbis can customize depending on the needs of each couple. Guidelines for same-sex divorce were also passed.
According to a report by the Associated Press, Conservative Judaism is the second-largest Jewish movement in North America. Contrary to what its name may appear to suggest, Conservative Judaism sits in the middle of the spectrum between the progressive Reform and Reconstructionist branches — both of which already embrace same-sex relationships and solemnize same-sex marriages — and the much stricter Orthodox Jewish branch, which does not.
In 2006, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards lifted Conservative Judaism’s ban on the ordination of gays and lesbians to the rabbinate.