Aleph Melbourne – Media Release
October 21 2013
Response to Statement by Abrahamic Faith Leaders of Canberra
Aleph Melbourne expresses extreme disappointment with those religious leaders in the Jewish community who continue to object to proposed changes to instruments of civil law that do not impact their ability to observe their religion or undertake their religious beliefs and obligations.
Aleph Melbourne co-convenor Michael Barnett called on clerics who wish to restrict the civil liberties of wider society to reflect on their own civil liberties and their ability to observe their faith without interference from government. Barnett said: “These meddlesome rabbis sing a very different tune when the focus turns to matters of ritual circumcision or kosher slaughtering of animals and do not tolerate any government interference. Yet they wish to interfere in matters of civil marriage, an area that does not impact them, and demand respect in doing so.”
Barnett added: “Similarly, these particular rabbis should respect the freedoms of other members of society to live their lives as they wish and recognise their personal relationships under civil law. No rabbi will ever be forced to perform a marriage they object to and accordingly, they have no rational or valid grounds for concern or precedent to call on.”
Aleph Melbourne calls on Rabbi Shmuel Feldman to distance himself from this and any other campaign that aims to impinge on the civil liberties of all citizens who wish to avail themselves of a marriage license under the proposed ACT legislation.
Co-convenor, Aleph Melbourne.
The following statement was published through the Australian Christian Lobby on October 21, 2013.
Below is a copy of a statement of faith by Seven faith leaders here in Canberra that was released today ahead of the ACT Marriage Equality Bill that is expected to be debated tomorrow.
Statement by Abrahamic Faith Leaders of Canberra
21 October 2013
Seventy percent of Australians identify with an Abrahamic religion – Christianity, Islam and Judaism. As leaders of several of these faith traditions, we have gathered to share our concerns about the ACT Government’s proposed same sex marriage legislation. We are concerned for the long-term risks of such a Bill for our society.
While affirming the inherent dignity of all human beings, our faith traditions also affirm the traditional concept of marriage between a man and a woman as being for the good of the individual, the family and society.
We invite the wider community to join with us in calling for the Bill to be subject to community consultation through the normal Legislative Assembly Committee process.
Imam Adama Konda, Canberra Islamic Centre
Arnold Cummins, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Pastor Sean Stanton, Australian Christian Churches, Canberra
Bishop Trevor Edwards, Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn
Pastor BJ Hayes, Canberra National Adventist Church
Monsignor John Woods, Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn
Rabbi Shmuel Feldman, Rabbi for Canberra and Region.