Originally published January 19th, 2014 –
This past week an editorial appeared on the website of the Five Towns Jewish Times urging the religious Jewish community to fight a bill that this author felt infringed upon the religious freedoms and rights of therapists to deal with and make recommendation to clients struggling with issues of sexual identity in a halachically appropriate way.
In writing the editorial, this author incorporated a fifth group of people in an acronym that is used to refer to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people. The fifth group that was appended to the acronym was Pedophiles.
This author deeply regrets the use of this acronym. The author well understands that it is highly offensive to lump any group of people together with pedophiles, those who prey upon the young and innocent.
While this author firmly believes that it is wrong to inappropriately sexualize any relationship or friendship, there is a very clear difference between those who do so with children and one who does so with a consenting adult above the age of minority. All people are created in the image of G-d and must be treated with kindness and respect, especially those among us who feel verbal and other forms of abuse the most. I regret any pain I may have caused those who identify themselves in this category, as well as their family members.
The author still believes that the bill represents unwarranted government intrusion into the medical decisions of therapists, personal mental and health care choices of parents and their children, and is based on ideology.