Friends and family—200 of them—gathered for the wedding of Yoni Bock and Ron Kaplan at a synagogue in Washington, D.C., in November. It was the first same-sex commitment ceremony performed by an ordained Orthodox Jewish rabbi, but the resulting headlines were nothing new for Rabbi Steven Greenberg, who performed the ceremony. He’s been sparking dialogue since he came out 13 years ago, making him the first openly gay Orthodox rabbi.
Greenberg brings personal warmth and serious scholarship to his advocacy for the acceptance of gays and lesbians in Orthodox Judaism. “Civil marriage is not Catholic or Jewish or Mormon. It is much broader than any one tradition,” he wrote in an open letter last year. “It is how we learn to care for each other, and the most reliable frame, despite the modern challenges, of lifelong commitment between one-time strangers.”
Heather Purser set out to win gay marriage rights within the Suquamish Tribe and found herself on a personal journey toward self-acceptance.
The birth of a new rite for gay and lesbian couples.
Video: The 19-year-old son of two women testifies eloquently against Iowa's effort to ban same-sex marriage.