Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

More Than an ‘Urge’

Avi Shafran’s opinion piece, “Orthodoxy and Homosexuality” (February 24), obscures the relevant facts. He sets up a straw man by disingenuously asserting that we who disagree with him believe “that any human urge is inherently legitimate.” Nonsense. We abhor murder and non-consensual sex, for example. Further, his argument that “there is no incontrovertible evidence of a ‘gay gene’” blinds Shafran to the massive evidence that genes and intrauterine development play critical roles in the sexual responses of adolescent and adult men and women.

Homosexual love is thus a gift from God that, like heterosexuality, draws people into loving relationships. It is much more than “an urge,” and Shafran’s belittling of those of us who recognize this facet of human existence trivializes an important issue.

George B. Driesen
Bethesda, Md.
The writer is a Reconstructionist rabbi and president of The Institute for Science and Judaism.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.