rabbi disick 1 Since 1965, when the Women of Reform Judaism called for the decriminalization of homosexuality, the institutions and synagogues of Reform Judaism have been our nation’s Jewish voice of gay rights conscience.  The path for our movement has been anything but easy for the women and men who spoke truth to power.  But the men entrusted and empowered to lead our movement (and at the time they were exclusively men) did their jobs well.  They listened…I mean that they truly and intensely listened.  And then, they changed their minds; their very way of thinking about rainbow issues transformed from rejection to acceptance.  As a direct result, today’s Reform Judaism is a safe and supportive place for those in the rainbow community.  No one can question that Reform Judaism led the way and broke ground for other religious denominations to do the same.   Reform synagogues can and should fly the rainbow flag with bona fide street cred.  As one who ministered to AIDS patients early in the crisis and as a rabbi who has officiated at lots of sacred union then civil union ceremonies and now weddings, I have come to appreciate how critical it is for our largely straight suburban congregations to do everything possible to open our doors as widely as we can to those in the rainbow community, over and over and over.  It’s good for everybody for dozens of reasons.   The forces of the tragedies around us can leave us feeling helpless.  Of course we will read the names of those murdered in Orlando at Kaddish, of course we will work for common sense gun legislation, of course we will work for expanded mental health services and benefits, of course we will remind congress that ours is a nation of immigrants…of course, of course, of course.  But let’s also say of course when it comes to welcoming those who live out their sexuality and gender preferences in ways the straight world may not completely understand.  Let’s respect each life journey and welcome GLBTQIA* friends and their families into our synagogues with love whenever and as often as possible.   We know the journey of the stranger and those in the nation’s rainbow community must never feel like strangers in our temples or in a country founded by good people who learned how to respect and ultimately cherish their differences.   Open for me the gates of righteousness, I will enter and thank God.  rabbi disick orlando Psalm 118   *Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersexed, Allied or Asexual Gay_flag_svg