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Israeli Rabbi Matchmaker Pairs Gays To Lesbians

An Israeli rabbi offers a matchmaking service that specializes in setting up Orthodox Jewish gay men with Orthodox lesbians for marriage.

The Associated Press has the story:

Rabbi Arele Harel offers an unconventional solution for Orthodox Jewish gay men who want to raise a conventional family: He fixes them up with Orthodox lesbians.

His matchmaking service, which has just gone online, has met criticism on opposing fronts. Orthodox Jewish rabbis say Harel should be doing more to encourage gays and lesbians to try to change their sexual orientation. Liberal religious gay groups see Harel’s approach as a ploy to suppress homosexuality.

The matchmaking presents an array of challenges. The relationship may be loveless. The partners may be tempted to seek sexual satisfaction outside the marriage. And the couple may need assistance to get pregnant. But Harel insists he just wants to help people have children, an important commandment of Jewish law.

“The main aspiration here is parenthood,” said Harel, 36, from his home in the Jewish West Bank settlement of Shilo. “It allows them to become parents in a way that is permitted by religious Jewish law and prevents a conflict between their religious world and their sexual world.”

Most rabbis encourage gays to suppress their attractions, abstain from gay sex or undergo therapy to try to go straight. Harel believes some gays can alter their sexual orientation through therapy, and insists many do. The American Psychological Association has declared no solid evidence exists that such change is likely.

Read the full article via THE ASSOCIATED PRESS