600 rabbis back LGBT rights, in response to 200 rabbis who condemned gay ‘perverts’

600 rabbis have signed a letter in solidarity with the LGBT community, after 200 rabbis signed a letter calling gay people “perverts.”

Ahead of this month’s Jerusalem Pride celebrations, more than 200 religious clerics signed an open letter calling Pride marchers “perverts”.

The group of ultra-Orthadox rabbis claimed that LGBT rights activists are leading an “aggressive terror [campaign] accompanied by non-stop media brainwashing, as if there is some sort of ‘family’ here, destroy the notion of a family and turn the perverts into heroes.”

Participants attend the annual Jerusalem Gay Pride parade on August 2, 2018. (GALI TIBBON / AFP/Getty)

The letter led to an angry response from LGBT Jewish people, who hit out at the rabbis behind it.

This week a response was published also in the form of an open letter, signed by 600 rabbis.

The response, published by US-based Jewish group A Wider Bridge, states: “We join together to decry the rise of intolerance, discrimination and Sinat Chinam, baseless hatred, against the LGBTQ community in Israel.

“In light of a recent letter, signed by 200 prominent Israeli rabbis, labeling LGBTQ people with hateful and demeaning insults, as well as condemning their children to a ‘wretched existence, we lift our own voices not in hatred, but out of the deepest love and concern for all the people of Israel.”

It adds: “This week marks the 2018 Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance, a time to recognize the LGBTQ community of Jerusalem and the freedom of all communities to live proudly and freely, side by side all other citizens, in the democratic state of Israel.

“Israel has been, and continues to be, an Ohr LaGoyim, a Light to the Nations, through its embrace of democratic and pluralist values, where all Jewish peoples, together with other peoples, can find safety, refuge and a decent life.

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