Aleph Melbourne Media Release
Response to Orthodox Rabbis opposition to same-sex marriage
October 30 2013
Today the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, the Rabbinical Council of NSW and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria issued a joint statement reiterating their previous opposition to same-sex marriage. This was done in response to legislation passed in the Australian Capital Territory last week allowing same-sex marriage to be performed in the territory.
Aleph Melbourne expresses strong opposition to religious leaders interfering in matters of civil law. Further we request Orthodox Jewish Rabbis stop hindering the efforts to break down legal discrimination faced by couples excluded from marriage on the grounds of gender.
Co-convenor Michael Barnett said: “Whilst Orthodox Rabbis have responsibility to uphold their religious laws, they should be reminded that these responsibilities do not extend into civil law”.
Barnett added “Australia is a secular country that grants its citizens the right to both freedom of religion and freedom from religion. There is no room in our society for Orthodox Jewish rabbis to impose their uncompromising values on the rest of Australian society. If they don’t want a same-sex marriage, then they don’t have to have one, as rewarding as they can be”.
Religious leaders can rest assured that there is no legislation in force that will require them to solemnise any marriage against their will, including same-sex marriages, and there is no intention for such legislation to be passed.
Michael Barnett / 0417-595-541