The following political statement has been supplied by Rachel Iampolski who is running as a candidate for Caulfield District in the 2022 Victorian State Government election.
Aleph Melbourne will endorse all political candidates who unconditionally support equal rights for LGBTIQ+ Jews and whose values align with ours.
Greens Candidate for Caulfield
Dear Michael and the Aleph Melbourne community,
I want to begin by thanking you, and the team at Aleph, for your ongoing and tireless efforts in fighting for the rights of the Jewish LGBTIQ+ community, and for taking the time to speak with me. As a progressive, queer, Jewish candidate running in the seat of Caulfield, I recognise that I am standing on the shoulders of giants in doing so, and I take this opportunity very seriously.
Throughout our conversation, I was really struck by how you described the advocacy work that you have been involved with as ‘taking 20 years to make something look like it happened overnight’. If this doesn’t highlight the hard work and love that is required to gain traction on these issues, I don’t know what does. I find this sentiment strongly resonates, both as a Greens candidate, and a person involved in progressive politics, as so much of the change we have been fighting for is being gradually adopted now, and while this is extremely heartening to see, it is on the back of so much hard work and a long running grassroots movement of action.
It is also a stern reminder that any attacks against this progress – such as the recent push from the coalition to amend the Equal Opportunity Act is not actually undoing a night’s worth of work, but decades, and as such we need to remain vigilant to any attempts to chip away at the hard-fought for change that we have won.
This is why the Greens have developed, and continue to develop, a robust Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex policy. We will always be vocal in Parliament and in the public arena against political attacks on LGBTIQ+ safety and freedom. The Greens, more than any other political party, will always advocate for the rights of LGBTIQ+ people of Caulfield and beyond, championing diversity and calling out discrimination, bias, and bigotry. As the first party to support and actively campaign to remove discrimination in marriage, we are so proud of what a strong and united community campaign can do to make positive change. Our elected members of parliament and councils, party members, and candidates such as myself, are committed to stand at the forefront of efforts for equal rights, social acceptance, and human dignity for all. The Greens Party is proud of our strong and active LGBTIQ+ membership who have led the way in developing the detailed statement of policies outlined here: https://greens.org.au/vic/policies/sexual-orientation-gender-identity-and-intersex-policy
Yet we have more work to do. With more Greens in parliament, we will push for:
The introduction of comprehensive legislation, including an ‘Equality Bill’ for Victoria with a focus on:
- Strengthening the Equal Opportunity Act to prevent all faith-based schools and organisations from discriminating against LGBTIQA+ students, staff and services users.
- Giving the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission stronger powers, including stronger investigatory powers and enforceable determinations
- Expanding anti-vilification laws to protect LGBTIQA+ people and support victims of hate crimes, including by making vilification and public harassment a crime and legislating to make violence motivated by hate a specific criminal offence
- Banning deferrable medical interventions on children with intersex characteristics and restrict all sex characteristic altering medical treatment on intersex people without personal consent or oversite from an independent expert panel
- Protecting the important work of the LGBTIQ+ Communities Commissioner and the LGBTIQ+ Taskforce by enshrining them in legislation
We are also pledging $200 Million for a ‘Rainbow State Fund’ for LGBTIQA+ community-led organisations, to further fund and support initiatives such as:
- Community controlled LGBTIQA+ services in key areas of need such as mental health, youth services, homelessness and sexual health
- Establishing an accommodation facility, with associated support and health services, for trans, gender diverse and non-binary people
- Establishing an LGBTIQA+ Community Hub with family services, youth facilities, events, and co-located health services
- Investing in additional clinical services for trans, gender diverse and non-binary Victorians
- Ongoing funding for pride events and festivals around the state
- Social, psychological and peer support for intersex people and their families
- Support services for survivors of conversion practices
We are committed to continuing to work closely with the LGBTIQ+ community to ensure that our policies and advocacy work continues to stay relevant and best serve the community.
We hope that part of that ongoing engagement work can be with Aleph Melbourne, and I in particular, if elected, look forward to the opportunity to work more closely with the local queer community and the broader Jewish queer community.
We applaud the work of Aleph Melbourne, who has for more than 20 years been advocating for and protecting the human rights of Jewish LGBTQI+. I look forward to walking with the Jewish Pride Group at Midsumma.
GREENS CANDIDATE FOR CAULFIELD