In March the Committee for Jewish Laws and Standards (CJLS) of the Conservative Movement postponed their decision on the allowance of Homosexuality in the movement to December. I posted a few times previously regarding my feelings on the issue (here, here, and here).
In deference to a few former roommates and friends that currently attend JTS (one of whom is a very outspoken supporter of the proposal) I try to be as civil as I can. In short I think the issue is very clear: accepting Gays and Lesbians into Rabbinic positions is tantamount to rewriting the Torah.
I re-stumbled across KeshetJTS's website (the Pro-Gay group at JTS) and noticed this article entitled: Does the Old Testament Really Condemn Homosexuality? by Rabbi Michele Brand Medwin of Binghamton, NY.
Quoting the obvious psukim (Vayikra 18:22 etc.) she looks at how the word Toeva (abhorrence) is used in other contexts. They all seem to deal with Avoda Zara. Since, she concludes, "Homosexuality was used as a pagan ritual. God was not condemning the act of homosexuality itself. God was condemning the pagan ritual act of homosexuality and all that is associated with it." But the homosexual act is actually allowed according to Brand.
"In today’s world this prohibition now has no meaning. We are no longer threatened by Canaanite pagan religion and homosexuality today is not a pagan ritual. Homosexuality in Biblical terms is no longer an issue for us today."
I'm sure it's clear that I think she's completely off base here, but this has always been the problem of finding Ta'amei HaMitzvot (reasons for the commandments) - once you "find" the reason, if it no longer applies then what good is it? As was pointed out to me once (maybe in the name of Rav Hirsch) that Ta'amei Hamitzvot really should be translated as flavors of the Commandments. Instead of trying to figure out what God was commanding this for, we've come to understand what the mitzvah means to us. A subtle but importance difference.
Rabbi Brand believes she's figured it all out, and in only four pages too, something that no other Torah scholar in the previous three thousand plus years has been able to do either. Sorry for the sarcasm, but I don't know how else to react.