Allen Bennett was the first openly gay rabbi in the United States. He came out in 1978 in California as one of many LGBTQ voices opposing the Briggs Initiative (which I might discuss in a future history lesson). In 1979, he was elected rabbi of Congregation Sha’ar Zahav in San Francisco. Early in his tenure, he officiated Harvey Milk’s funeral.
Reform Judaism — which I am a part of — is a vocal, energetic, and spirited supporter of LGBTQ equality. The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) first announced its support for gays and lesbian participation in Jewish life in 1987, and since then it has been at the forefront of pushing for marriage equality and trans rights.
(Photo credit: SFGate.com.)