Matchmaking Rabbi Pairs Gay Men With Lesbians

... so they can become parents
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2011 8:44 AM CDT
Rabbi Arele Harel in his home in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Shiloh, near Nablus.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
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(Newser) – It might well be the most unusual matchmaking service in the world: An Israeli rabbi specializes in setting up Orthodox Jewish gay men with Orthodox lesbians for marriage, reports the AP. The idea is that they can raise a family together while still adhering to religious laws. The spouses could "date" members of the same sex during the marriage, which doesn't qualify as adultery because it's out in the open, argues rabbi Arele Harel.

"The main aspiration here is parenthood," he says. "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." Arele has wed 12 couples so far, and inquiries are coming in quickly now that he has partnered with a religious gay group called Kamoha that publicized the venture on its website. "It is a risky experiment but there is no other choice," says one man using the service. (Read more rabbi stories.)

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