Media Release: Not all Australians share the same opportunities as Michael Danby

ALEPH MELBOURNE MEDIA RELEASE:
NOT ALL AUSTRALIANS SHARE THE SAME OPPORTUNITIES AS MICHAEL DANBY
27 MARCH 2013

Aleph Melbourne, a support organisation that advocates for the welfare of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people of Jewish background, welcomes local MP Michael Danby’s elevation to the position of Parliamentary Secretary to the Arts.

Danby’s electorate of Melbourne Ports covers an area with significant Jewish and gay populations.  Many Aleph Melbourne members are constituents in his electorate.

On J-Wire [1] Danby asserts that in Australia people from all backgrounds are able to have so much opportunity and demonstrates this by relating how in just one generation, as a child of refugees, he became a member of the Federal Executive.

In the same paragraph Danby then quotes the late Jewish Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Schneerson about the necessity for obligation and gratitude.

Aleph Melbourne co-convenor Michael Barnett said in response, “It’s rewarding that someone like Michael Danby can attain an elevated status in society coming from such humble beginnings, but the reality is that not all Australians share the same opportunities as him.”

“Danby casually throws around platitudes and quotes, but he needs to distance himself from extreme views held by the likes of Schneerson, a person who believed homosexuality was destructive and abnormal.” [2]

“Danby plays well to his Jewish constituency but recklessly ignores his large gay constituency.  Just last year he abstained from the Parliamentary vote on marriage equality, a vote that would have seen him practicing what he preaches, giving his gay and lesbian constituents the opportunity to marry, an opportunity he is privileged to have.”

“He may well consider his gratitude an obligation, but he shows no gratitude to those gay voters who may identify as Jewish and who continue to support him.”

Barnett called on Danby to distance himself from the homophobic and intolerant teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and to support marriage equality so that all Australians can have equal opportunity, regardless of their backgrounds.

“It’s time Danby came out and wholeheartedly supported marriage equality.  He has the right to get married.  We all should.  He’s no better than the rest of us.  We’ve had enough of him just simply keeping quiet or delivering half-baked answers.  He needs to stand up and be counted.” Barnett said.

ENDS.

Contact: Michael Barnett (0417-595-541).

[1] http://www.jwire.com.au/news/danby-becomes-parliamentary-secretary/33503 (Mar 25, 2013)
[2] http://borngay.procon.org/view.source.php?sourceID=003891

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