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Temple Isaiah Opposes Boy Scouts' Gay Policy

Lafayette synagogue calls for letter-writing campaign by members to create awareness of the damage from discriminatory policies.

Temple Isaiah of Lafayette has taken a stand.

The temple's Board of Directors voted unanimously Tuesday night to express its opposition to the Boy Scouts of America's decision to disqualify participants because of sexual orientation. The board called for a letter-writing campaign by temple members.

A Temple Isaiah press release cited rejection of "a superb candidate for Eagle Scout in our neighborhood" (Ryan Andresen of Moraga).

"Though we cannot change the Scouts’ national policy, we can work hard within and outside Temple Isaiah’s walls to create an awareness of the damaging consequences of such policies on all our youth and on our communities,” said Rabbi Roberto Graetz of Temple Isaiah. “Ten years ago, the Reform [Jewish] movement, through its governing bodies and constituencies, issued a strong recommendation favoring full inclusion of gay Scouts and troop leaders, in contradiction of the BSA policy forbidding their participation."

karen January 20, 2013 at 05:11 PM
Thank you Rabbi Graetz for showing so much compassion to my son, and others. We always taught Ryan to be honest, and it took a lot of courage for hin to be true to himself. Many people do not understand the pain and suffering that these teens experience. The self harm, shame, and suicide(#1 cause of death in this population). If they can't be honest about who they are, feelings of shame take over. I want to send the message that there is nothing wrong with you and everyone of us is a gift from God. Discrimination is never OK and I thank you Rabbi from the bottom of my heart, for making a difference in the lives of so many. Karen Andresen
Evan B January 22, 2013 at 05:40 AM
It's rather ironic that a board of Directors for a synagogue (in Lafayette of all places) supports Ryan; considering both Talmudic teaching, as well as the Torah both explicitly outline homosexual behavior as deviant and destructive to the community. Rabbi Shmuel Boteach and Rabbi Menachem Schneerson both agree. Sounds to me like this synagogue just wanted a bit of airtime by jumping on the hot button du jour. Good job.
Jose January 22, 2013 at 07:29 AM
I, too, am a parent, and I feel your pain. I, too, am the parent of a child who is "different", who is a minority, who is gay, and I feel your pain. When is it time to stop trying to be accepted by a homophobic, mainstream organization which has credentials, and when is it time to cast it aside for what it is...a reprehensible ideology! They have rejected Ryan, your fine son, again and again, based upon their "principles". It is time to cast THEM aside and expose THEM for what they are. The Hitler Youth were taught camping and survival skills and SERVICE, but to what end? If the ideology is bankrupt, cast it aside, and start over. These organizations teach conformity as much as anything. They don't allow free thinking. Allegiance to God!? Whose god? It is a narrow-minded, bigoted organization from the start. Yes, it does good, and yes it does harm. And, Woe unto you who do not recognize that when they speak of sinners, they speak of you who are "not of us". That is my advice as a parent, but I understand the difficulty of parenting (I am crappy at it), so I support whatever you do for your son!
Penelope January 22, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Totally agree with all of those that have said way too much time has been devoted to this story line.
Ann W. January 28, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Well Penelope if you think too much time is spent on it then stop reading it and posting a comment. Our family has been involved in scouting for many years. There is much good about it but our family like MANY in scouting do not believe in discrimination. Thankfully we can only hope the good fight has been fought with the recent news that BSA is likely to lift the ban! So Penelope if there is something...anything you believed in that was ever wrong in life I hope for you to have the courage to fight for what's right and in this case it is equality for all in an organization for kids for goshsakes.

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