Lesbian Rabbi Resigns in Protest

Rabbi Stacy Offner of Mt. Zion Temple, a Reform congregation in St. Paul, Minnesota, recently resigned her position under pressure.

“Leaving the temple has ultimately to do with my sexual orientation,” said Offner, who is open and outspoken about her lesbianism.

A spokesman for the congregation, commenting on the resignation of Offner, said she and male Rabbi Leigh Lerner were having “employment difficulties that had nothing to do with Offner’s sexuality.”

Offner became assistant rabbi at the synagogue in 1984 and was promoted this year. She recently told the local American Jewish World that “… people everywhere need to explore their fears and prejudices about gay people.”

The Jewish World reported that some members of Mt. Zion have said they might leave the congregation in protest over the way Rabbi Offner was treated. It is believed that her lifestyle became an issue when she moved in with her lover.