I was reading the Australian Jewish News, and I noted a letter from my cousin, Rabbi Yaron Gottlieb. In that letter, Yaron argued that whilst the Torah explicitly forbade homosexual acts, it said nothing about marriage.
I’m not too sure what to make of his statement. Yaron isn’t a Karaite, who only follows Torah SheBichsav, sans the Mesora of Torah Shebaal Peh. Accordingly, I must assume that he either heard this opinion from his Rabbis/Poskim or that he was Moreh HoRaah himself on this issue. The final possibility is that he isn’t saying anything at all regarding his opinion on that matter, rather, he was simply point scoring on a technicality.
If it is the latter, there is no more to say. I find such a response hollow and unenlightening as far as practice is concerned.
The other possibility is that he has a Psak which he relies on, as above, which concludes that there is no issue of marital union alone sans the homosexual act. If this is the case, I call upon Yaron to name the Posek. If it Yaron himself, then a learned Tshuva written by him, should be constructed and sent to the Poskim in Gush, or perhaps R’ Yehuda Herzl Henkin, men with a Bar Samcha for Psak on such important issues.
From my non-Rabbinic point of view, the Jew who finds themselves attracted to the same gender, is forbidden to be alone (Hilchos Yichud) with a person of the same gender. This is a clear Torah She Baal Peh in the Shulchan Aruch. That being the case, the formality of a union ceremony can only logically be seen as a contributor to such events as opposed to a fence which might help someone with such desires from acting on those desires. It is Lifnei Iver, or perhaps M’Sayeah LiDvar Averya? I think the former. It’s not as if there are oodles of Orthodox Rabonim who would perform a “marriage union” of this variety.
I think it’s time for Yaron to come clean. Tell us exactly what you believe is permitted and not permitted according to Orthodoxy, in this domain, and name your sources. Please ensure your Psak has been agreed to by a recognised experienced Posek. This means someone who has also done Shimush, and Yodin Yodin.
If, on the other hand, Yaron is referring to non-Jewish unions, then I’d suggest that perhaps we could go back to Sodom or Charan, and find out if they needed to formalise such unions before engaging in the forbidden act, or whether there was no such formalisation.
Yes, marriage is not Kiddushin. However, the legitimacy ascribed to such, cannot be something which will aid the couple to avoid sin, surely!