While there is room for debate within the parameters of Jewish law (cf. Rabbi Michael Broyde, “The Establishment of Paternity and Maternity in Jewish Law and American Law,” www. jlaw.com) as to whether a man who underwent gender reassignment surgery is considered female (the position of Rabbi Eliezer Waldenberg in Responsa Tzitz Eliezer, Vol. 10, 25:26,6) or still considered male (the position of Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra on Leviticus 18:22), the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has ruled on April 11, 2012 that genital surgery is no longer a pre-requisite for a legal sex-change. This means that a man with his penis intact can officially and legally change his birth registration to female. In the interest of fairness, the same leeway is given to females who wish to re-register as males sans corrective surgery. While the National Post (April 19, 2012) announced the revision with the subtitle “You can take it with you,” the consequences are more puzzling than humorous. Will rabbis who oppose gay weddings – assuming they have the facts – officiate at weddings of those Jewish men registered as “females” to other men? Will Jewish men registered as “females” still be counted in the minyan in non-egalitarian synagogues?
Rabbi Wayne Allen
After being graduated from New York University with a B.A. in philosophy and Phi Beta Kappa, Rabbi Allen attended the Jewish Theological Seminary of America where he earned a Masters degree in Rabbinics and went on to receive rabbinic ordination. He has served as a congregational rabbi for almost 34 years, taking on postings in New York City, Los Angeles, and Toronto.