ECAJ policy changes strengthen support for LGBTIQ+ people and people living with HIV

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In December 2019 the Executive Council of Australian Jewry effected a range of changes to their Policies, in response to feedback from Aleph Melbourne, strengthening support for LGBTIQ+ people and people living with HIV.

The relevant changes are outlined here.

1. Social Inclusion

BEFORE

1.5 ACKNOWLEDGES that in the Jewish community, social exclusion may result from a number of factors including: lack of educational or vocational opportunities; low levels of income; mental or physical illness or disability; or immigration without social support, and that such exclusion most often results in individuals being prevented through no fault of their own, from building a better future for themselves and their families;

1.6 NOTES that poverty amongst Australian Jews is no less prevalent than in other sectors of the Australian community and that aspects of inequality from which poverty stems and which require further investigation and support are:
Work opportunities particularly in the case of immigrants, families with young children, large families and religiously observant families and older people and people with a disability;
Access and Equity in the utilization of services – where members of the community do not have access to contacts, groups and opportunities which empower them to access the mainstream Jewish community and the wider society. This can arise from the inability to speak English, or lack of education and information, or lack of sufficient income to participate;
Social stigmas where individuals experience social exclusion from the community as a result of mental illness, disability, or choice of lifestyle;

AFTER

1.5 ACKNOWLEDGES that in the Jewish community, social exclusion may result from a number of factors including: lack of educational or vocational opportunities; low levels of income; mental or physical illness or disability; immigration without social support; or sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or sex characteristics, and that such exclusion most often results in individuals being prevented through no fault of their own, from building a better future for themselves and their families;

1.6 NOTES that poverty amongst Australian Jews is no less prevalent than in other sectors of the Australian community and that aspects of inequality from which poverty stems and which require further investigation and support are:
Work opportunities particularly in the case of immigrants, families with young children, large families and religiously observant families and older people and people with a disability;
Access and Equity in the utilization of services – where members of the community do not have access to contacts, groups and opportunities which empower them to access the mainstream Jewish community and the wider society. This can arise from the inability to speak English, or lack of education and information, or lack of sufficient income to participate;
Social stigmas where individuals experience social exclusion from the community as a result of mental illness, disability, or sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or sex characteristics;

3. Anti-Racism Legislation

BEFORE

3.11 CALLS ON the Federal Government to pass legislation to create an indictable offence based on the following model:
§*** (1) A person who, otherwise than in private, intentionally or recklessly promotes or advocates the use or threatened use of violence against, or who harasses or intimidates (although no actually bodily harm is occasioned), another person or group of people because of, or by reference to, the actual or presumed:
(i) race, colour, descent or national, ethnic or ethno-religious origin; or
(ii) religious belief or affiliation; or
(iii) homosexuality; or
(iv) HIV/AIDS infection; or
(v) transgender identity,
of the other person or of some or all of the members of the group, commits an indictable offence.

AFTER

3.11 CALLS ON the Federal Government to pass legislation to create an indictable offence based on the following model:
§*** (1) A person who, otherwise than in private, intentionally or recklessly promotes or advocates the use or threatened use of violence against, or who harasses or intimidates (although no actually bodily harm is occasioned), another person or group of people because of, or by reference to, the actual or presumed:
(i) race, colour, descent or national, ethnic or ethno-religious origin; or
(ii) religious belief or affiliation; or
(iii) sexual orientation; or
(iv) HIV/AIDS status; or
(v) gender identity/expression; or
(vi) sex characteristics,

of the other person or of some or all of the members of the group, commits an indictable offence.

54. Counteracting Hatred and Discrimination Against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Persons

BEFORE

54.2 CALLS FOR mutual respect for the human dignity of all members of the community, despite any strongly held differences; recognition that disagreement is possible in ways that do not vilify other persons or their views; and avoidance of any public or private conduct that incites hatred, ridicule or contempt of another person or class of persons on the ground of their sexual orientation or gender identity; and, in accordance with the foregoing principles;

54.3 OPPOSES any form of hatred of any person on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity;

54.4 ACKNOWLEDGES that there is still much work to be done to remove intolerance of and unlawful discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons in the Jewish community and the wider Australian community, and to provide adequate services and support for them and their families; and

AFTER

54.2 CALLS FOR mutual respect for the human dignity of all members of the community, despite any strongly held differences; recognition that disagreement is possible in ways that do not vilify other persons or their views; and avoidance of any public or private conduct that incites hatred, ridicule or contempt of another person or class of persons on the ground of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, or sex characteristics; and, in accordance with the foregoing principles;

54.3 OPPOSES any form of hatred of any person on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, or sex characteristics;

54.4 ACKNOWLEDGES that there is still much work to be done to remove intolerance of and unlawful discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in the Jewish community and the wider Australian community, and to provide adequate services and support for them and their families; and

55. Same Sex Civil marriage

BEFORE

55.7 AFFIRMS that in matters of ordinary trade and commerce, as distinct from matters of religious practice and belief, all people are entitled to be protected from adverse discriminatory treatment on the basis of their race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.

AFTER

55.7 AFFIRMS that in matters of ordinary trade and commerce, as distinct from matters of religious practice and belief, all people are entitled to be protected from adverse discriminatory treatment on the basis of their race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, sex characteristics, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.

55.8 That the ECAJ encourages each of its constituent organisations to align the formulation of its policies concerning the foregoing matters with those of the ECAJ, and that affiliate organisations which have adopted policies concerning such matters be encouraged to do likewise.

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