Can a Gay Ketubah be Orthodox?

by Jordan
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Sometimes, couples ask us: can a Gay ketubah be Orthodox?

The answer is… it depends.

The traditional Ketubah has many legalistic provisions detailing the rights and obligations in both parties in the Ketubah.

One example is the role of the zuzim — the ancient Jewish currency in which the transactions of the Ketubah are mandated. There are various situations under which, effectively, a dowry needs to be paid. Does your Ketubah text mandate all these details?

More broadly: the traditional Ketubah is not a general feel-good document in which both parties declare their love for each other. Rather, it is a legal contract in which they bind themselves to each other, and mandate what each must and must not do to the other and for the other.

The closer the Ketubah text comes to maintaining these original provisions, the more “kosher” it will be for a Gay Ketubah.

Of course, this overlooks the minor detail that the language of the original Ketubah states “bride” and “groom” — not “bride and bride” nor “groom and groom.” To us, it is very clear that the definition of “bride” and “groom” is flexible, and always has been, since the time of antiquity.

There are, however, certain rabbis who do insist on the more commonly accepted definition of each word.

So what matters most, above all, is choosing the right rabbi for you two!

In other words: ask your Rabbi! Your rabbi needs to approve the Ketubah text regardless!

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