Take action with JCJ
Guarantee equal justice under the law for all Americans
Join us as we mobilize Jewish communities and pro-democracy people of faith in support of LGBTQ+ rights and protections.
What’s the injustice?
LGBTQ+ Americans are forced to contend with systemic discrimination.
Despite meaningful progress made for LGBTQ+ rights, acceptance, and understanding in the last quarter century, America’s laws and institutions have not caught up with public sentiment. In 31 states, transgender people still do not have explicit employment protections. In many places, businesses can still deny service to LGBTQ+ Americans on the grounds of “ religious freedom. And over 9 in 10 LGBTQ+ youth report hearing negative messages about their identity.
This expansive architecture of inequality includes discrimination across housing, employment, healthcare, and the justice system. The impact is vast and unrelenting. As the Center for American Progress reports, “LGBT people make subtle but profound changes to their everyday lives to minimize the risk of experiencing discrimination, often hiding their authentic selves.” Sweeping non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ Americans are long overdue to ensure that no American suffers or is set back because of who they love, how they identify, or who they are.
What we believe
All human beings are created equal — and the law must reflect that.
Judaism — like many other faith traditions — teaches that all human beings are created in the image of God; we therefore emphatically reject attempts by those who invoke religion as a shield for discrimination. We support efforts at every level of government to root out discrimination against LGBTQ+ Americans, including fighting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and updating the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
At the federal level, we are engaged with our coalition partners in the fight to pass transformative legislation:
- The Equality Act — which has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and requires passage in the U.S. Senate — updates the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; expand non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans; and also close key gaps in civil rights law for cisgender women, religious groups, and immigrants.
- California AB 746 — a state bill — would ensure that in stepparent adoptions, parties do not have to be married or in a domestic partnership for a minimum period of time.
- California AB 1084 — a state bill — would require any retail department store with 500 or more employees, and that sells child care items or toys, to maintain a gender neutral section.
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Connections: Jewish Sources
At a time when the community is suffering, no one should say, “I will go home, eat, drink, and be at peace with myself.” — Talmud Bavli Ta’aint 11A
And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. — Leviticus 26:6
An Androginus (a hermaphrodite, who has both male and female reproductive organs) is similar to men in some, and to women in other ways, in some ways to both, and in some ways to neither. Rabbi Meir says: Androginus is a (gender) category of its own, (because) the rabbis could not decipher whatever s/he is a man or a women. However a Tumtum is not so, as at times s/he is fully male, and at times s/he is fully female (but we can’t tell which). — Mishnah Bikkurim 4:1-5
Our Sages 2000 years ago in the Talmud, recognize additional gender categories of androgynous and tumtum, indicating the legitimacy and need to advocate for the rights of individuals of all gender identities.