There have always been goyim who were attracted to aspects of Judaism but could not bring themselves to actually convert. The ger toshav has a high degree of participation in Jewish life, and is accorded respect -- but he's NOT a Jew. Only when he/she undergoes halachic conversion [ger tzedek] does he/she become one of us. Giving equal rights to a real Jew and a "resident alien" just isn't right.
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from the article: Reform rabbi: Israel's pluralism threatened by new conversion law