July 11 2021
Aleph Melbourne notes that on June 8 in a speech calling out racism and antisemitism, whilst invoking survivors of the Holocaust, NSW MP Walt Secord used a derogatory term used to shame effeminate and gay men.
Calling a response “limp-wristed and totally inadequate” only serves to further shame men for their mannerisms. This is an example of toxic masculinity at its worst, and contributes to the negative mental health outcomes many same-sex attracted men experience.
Perhaps Mr Secord is unaware that gay men, some Jewish, also survived the Holocaust. Being effeminate may have been a reason they came to the attention of the Nazi regime.
Mr Secord has form in relation to making homophobic comments. In 2017 he was reported to have made a similarly unacceptable remark in Parliament.
People who stand up for human dignity must not pick and choose who they stand up for. Standing up for Jews must not come at the expense of gay and bisexual men.
Aleph Melbourne calls on Mr Secord to reflect on his behaviour and issue an apology for his unsatisfactory choice of words.
The Hon. WALT SECORD (17:03): As the acting chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel and the patron of the New South Wales Labor Israel Action Committee, I comment on the inadequate answer given by the education Minister in relation to a shameful anti-Semitic incident involving an employee of the education department. The Minister’s answer was woefully inadequate and did not respond appropriately to the seriousness of the matter. The Minister said that she and her department reject all forms of racism, but she refused to say whether that person is still employed in her department. I am referring to an article entitled “NSW government staffer behind Hitler slur”, which was published in the 4 June edition ofThe Australian Jewish News and was penned by senior journalist Gareth Narunsky.
The incident relates to an employee of the education department posting on Facebook a photograph of Adolf Hitler with the words “It’s such a shame he didn’t finish his job.” Such a posting is reprehensible for anyone, let alone an employee of the education department. To give an illustration of the community concern about this, as at 4.00 p.m. it was the fourth most-viewed news item onThe Australian Jewish News‘ The Times of Israel website. The incident is deeply offensive to the Jewish community, especially survivors of the Shoah, those who fought Nazism and fascism and any sensible member of the community.
I also concur with the Australasian Union Of Jewish Students activist Gabrielle Stricker-Phelps, who called on the education department to take action. Sadly, the response from the education department has been limp‑wristed and totally inadequate. The education department would only say, “Our code of conduct outlines the expected behaviour of staff,” and “We cannot comment on the particulars of any case.” You have got to be kidding. The education department and the Minister should have condemned outright the actions of the departmental employee in unequivocal terms. I have witnessed and seen this Minister for several years and I am absolutely surprised that she would let this go through to the keeper. I thought that she would have taken action on this and condemned it in unequivocal terms. I am deeply disappointed.
To assist honourable members, I seek leave to table a print out of the offensive social media post, which I referred to in my question and supplementary question for written answer.
Aleph Melbourne launches its 2020 Local Council Elections Voters Guide
5 OCTOBER 2020
ALEPH MELBOURNE LAUNCHES 2020 LOCAL COUNCIL ELECTION VOTERS GUIDE
Aleph Melbourne is proud to announce its 2020 Local Council Elections Voters Guide. The Voters Guide is designed to inform voters living in councils with high Jewish populations how to best identify candidates for the 2020 Local Council Elections who have pledged to support and promote the efforts of local governments to foster a culture that is inclusive, responsive and accessible to LGBTIQA+ Victorians.
Links to the Aleph Melbourne 2020 Local Council Elections Voters Guide:
- Rainbow Tick accreditation for council-run services.
- the establishment or continuation of an LGBTIQA+ advisory committee to council.
- the development and implementation of a LGBTIQA+ action plan for council.
- flying the rainbow flag from council buildings on LGBTIQA+ awareness days.
- marching in Pride March or participating in Midsumma or local pride events.
Our guide contains the names of those candidates who have responded to the Rainbow Votes pledge in full, in part, or as a refusal. The guide will be reviewed and updated periodically.
We encourage voters to locate their voting ward, review their candidates’ levels of support for LGBTIQ issues and vote in a manner that prioritises LGBTIQ equality.
We also encourage voters to contact candidates directly if they require additional information not included in the Voters Guide.
The Aleph Melbourne 2020 Local Council Elections Voters Guide follows on from our 2013 Voters Guide to Marriage Equality in Jewish Melbourne, 2016 Voters Guide to Marriage Equality in Jewish Melbourne, 2018 Victorian State Election Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality and 2019 Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
[ Jump to the Voters Guide ]
The Aleph Melbourne 2020 Voters Guide for Local Council Elections is designed to assist voters living in councils with high Jewish populations how to best identify candidates for the 2020 Local Council Elections who have pledged to support and promote the efforts of local governments to foster a culture that is inclusive, responsive and accessible to LGBTIQA+ Victorians.
We have selected councils with a Jewish population of at least 1000 based on data in the 2016 ABS Census. The six councils included in this guide in decreasing order of population are Glen Eira, Stonnington, Port Phillip, Bayside, Kinsgston and Boroondara.
|✅ Rainbow Tick accreditation for council-run services.|
|✅ the establishment or continuation of an LGBTIQA+ advisory committee to council.|
|✅ the development and implementation of a LGBTIQA+ action plan for council.|
|✅ flying the rainbow flag from council buildings on LGBTIQA+ awareness days.|
|✅ marching in Pride March or participating in Midsumma or local pride events.|
Our guide contains the names of those candidates who have responded to the Rainbow Votes pledge in full, in part, or as a refusal. Candidates who have not responded are omitted from the guide. Listed party affiliation is drawn from the candidate’s registration, party membership, or social media sources.
Updates to the guide will be made as candidates provide their responses to the Rainbow Votes page. We encourage to you contact individual candidates directly if their name is not listed in our guide.
Ballot packs will be mailed to registered voters from 6 to 8 October. Completed ballot packs must be returned before 6 pm on Friday 23 October.
The Victorian Electoral Map will help you determine which council and ward you are voting in.
Feedback, corrections and updates are invited via our contact page. Information is provided here in good faith and on the understanding that it is correct.
The guide is currently best viewed on a desktop browser.
* Victorian Pride Lobby have clarified their expectation of “campaigning”:
“By campaigning, we are simply asking for candidates to push for these LGBTIQA+ priorities if they are elected, for example, by moving a motion.
We will provide support to any Councillors who take the pledge on how best to push these priorities in their council. We do not expect that a candidate can achieve this on their own if you are elected, but we stand ready to work with them and any other supporters elected to Council to implement the priorities of LGBTIQA+ people.”Victorian Pride Lobby
Aleph Melbourne will endorse all political candidates who unconditionally support equal rights for LGBTIQ+ Jews and whose values align with ours.
David Zyngier, Greens candidate for Camden Ward, Glen Eira Council: Supporting our LGBTIQ+ Community.
I am running for elections for Camden Ward in the forthcoming Glen Eira Council elections and will be an advocate for the LGBTIQ+ community in Glen Eira. I am requesting the support of Aleph and its members.
Beginning with my university days at Monash in the 1970s, I have been an advocate for the equal rights of LGBTIQ+ people and for members of the Jewish LGBTIQ+ community in particular.
As far back as 1999, I wrote a letter of support for Aleph Melbourne which was published in the Australian Jewish News (and featured on Aleph website). I condemned the Jewish Community Council of Victoria’s bigoted behaviour in rejecting the membership of Aleph Melbourne. I wrote at that time:
“In a momentous and shameful vote of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, on Monday 10 May, the Jewish gay support group, Aleph was refused membership of the JCCV. It has been only a generation since Jews and homosexuals were forced to wear badges of coloured cloth – how quickly we seem to forget that we are inseparably linked by a very common but tragic history. … I can only say how ashamed I feel to be part of such a community that has turned its back on our fellow Jews.”
Twenty years later, in 2019, I was contacted by Aleph Melbourne to support their efforts to right this wrong. I worked together with Aleph Melbourne to write and facilitate a formal public apology from the JCCV. This was a bittersweet victory – yes, an apology had been received, but only after two decades of struggle by the LGBTQI+ community and its allies.
In my role as an advocate for public education, I led a campaign together with Fairness in Religious Education (FIRIS) to remove the bigoted and homophobic Special Religious Education program from our public primary schools. I have been a strong and loud public advocate of the Safe School Program. I have joined the call for the scrapping of the federally funded School Chaplains Program. Along with other activists, I have called for those funds to be invested in secular, unbiased and inclusive support for students through counsellors and through antibullying initiatives such as the Safe Schools Program.
The Greens, more than any other political party, will always advocate for the rights of LGBTIQ+ residents in Glen Eira 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.
Yet, we recognise that there is so much more to be done. Our MPs, councillors, and members 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
Authorised by M. Shields 1/45 William St. Melbourne Vic 3000
Jewish community submissions to the first and second exposure drafts of the Religious Freedom Bill
- Australia Israel and Jewish Affairs Council
- Australian Jewish Association
- Executive Council of Australian Jewry
- Institute for Judaism and Civilization
- Leading Age Services Australia (representing Jewish Care Victoria)
- Australian Israel and Jewish Affairs Council
- Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship of Australia-CMDFA and Institute for Judaism and Civilisation
- Executive Council of Australian Jewry
- Progressive Judaism Victoria
Please contact us if you become aware of any other relevant submissions for this page.
Aleph Melbourne launches its 2019 Federal Election Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality
14 MAY 2019
ALEPH MELBOURNE LAUNCHES 2019 FEDERAL ELECTION VOTERS GUIDE FOR LGBTIQ EQUALITY
Aleph Melbourne is proud to announce its 2019 Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality. The Voters Guide is designed to assist voters living in Victorian voting divisions with high Jewish populations best select candidates who have comprehensively demonstrated or pledged support for LGBTIQ equality.
The 2019 Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality is online at https://aleph.org.au/2019votersguide
Based on the Equality Australia’s Rainbow Votes 2019 – Party Surveys, we categorise the issues as Voice in Government Policy Making, Social inclusion, Protection at work, Religious exemptions, Conversion Therapy, Reformation of sports exemptions, Access to Medicare for gender affirmation treatment, Refugees, Government funded services, Protection for rainbow families, and Support in schools.
We encourage voters to locate their voting district, review their candidates’ levels of support for LGBTIQ issues and vote in a manner that prioritises LGBTIQ equality.
We also encourage voters to contact candidates directly if they require additional information not included in the Voters Guide.
The 2019 Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality follows on from our 2013 Voters Guide to Marriage Equality in Jewish Melbourne, 2016 Voters Guide to Marriage Equality in Jewish Melbourne and 2018 Victorian State Election Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Macnamara Candidates Forum – 2019 Federal Election – Question on discrimination in religious schools
The Great Debate: Macnamara (at Glen Eira Town Hall)
AUJS and the AZYC, in partnership with the Australian Jewish News, are proud to present The Great Debate for the federal seat of Macnamara.
In the lead up to the federal election, it is vitally important for our community to ask questions and receive answers about the most pressing issues concerning us. This year, we’re giving YOU the power to ask those most burning questions on your mind. We’re opening up submissions now, so click here to submit your questions.
Venue will be announced closer to the date.
Confirmed to attend are:
Josh Burns (Labor)
Kate Ashmor (Liberal)
Steph Hodgins May (Greens)
This event is open to members of our community of all ages. We’re looking forward to stimulating debate and thoughtful dialogue!
Question by Michael Barnett:
“What is your party doing to ensure that all students, and also all teachers and other staff members, at religious schools are fully protected from both direct and indirect discrimination on the basis of their gender identity, sexual orientation, or intersex status?”
Listen to the question followed by responses from Steph Hodgins-May (Greens) @ 1:10, Josh Burns (ALP) @ 2:19, and Kate Ashmor (Liberal) @ 3:47:
.@vote1steph: "The @Greens have always supported the LGBT community and @DanielAndrewsMP Safe Schools policy. We will continue to work with the community to keep these young kids safe. " #auspol #greatdebatemacnamara— Adam Samuel 🧼 (@theadamsamuel) April 7, 2019
.@josh4macnamara: "It is my belief and the belief of the @AustralianLabor that no one should be discriminated based on religion, gender or sexuality. Labor will help build the Pride Centre in St Kilda." #auspol #greatdebatemacnamara— Adam Samuel 🧼 (@theadamsamuel) April 7, 2019
Live-blogging via Galus Australis Community:
Al M Fein Michael Barnett asking a question about religious discrimination against LGBTQI people.
Hannah Aroni Next qu: what is your party doing to ensure all students and teachers at religious schools are protected from direct and indirect discrimination re their gender, sexuality or intersex status
Al M Fein People in the audience are talking and giggling. How gross. But good applause.
Hannah Aroni Clarifying this is about uniforms, bathrooms, discrimination re parents, hiding relationships or identity, being forced to attend religious ceremonies w hurtful statements
Al M Fein Steph Hodgins May talking about support for Safe School and oppose religious based discrimination.
Al M Fein Talking more about funding mental health.
Al M Fein Huge applause.
Hannah Aroni Steph noting Greens are long time advocates of safe schools and oppose teacher exemptions from protection against discrimination. Also coming back to mental health funding and hoping to continue working w schools and community to keep kids safe. Big youth applause on that!
Al M Fein Josh Burns talking about most of the Jewish schools making statements condemning homophobia.
Hannah Aroni Josh referencing statements from many specific Jewish schools re not wanting the power to discriminate, saying he’s happy about that, saying we shouldn’t be able to discriminate against students or staff.
Al M Fein Josh sinking the boot into Scomo for bringing religious based discrimination back – funding a Pride Centre in St Kilda
Al M Fein Kate Ashmor talking about being in the Midsumma Pride rally.
Hannah Aroni Josh saying last year the PM sent kids home after reversing onthis issue. Says people should imagine kids going home for summer thinking about that. Noting in this electorate 82% voted for marriage equality, noted Labor commitment to building Pride Centre in St K
Al M Fein And Kate says she voted ‘yes’ in the marriage equality debate BUT she’s saying that she will ensure freedom of religion – and institutionalised homophobia.
Al M Fein Talking about funding in the budget for mental health – to applause.
Hannah Aroni Kate saying she voted yes bc as a Lib she supports freedom and human rights. But saying freedom of religion is a cornerstone of the comm and that parents should be able to choose the values taught in schools and saying she will be a strong voice for that. Saying she was happy w the 720 mil funding and 30 new headspace centres, 4 new ED clinics
Hannah Aroni Being pulled back on this to topic by the moderator. Moderator correcting Kate – Kate tried to claim changes to law didn’t pass parliament bc labor refused, Mod says no, this was bc Libs refused to pas Lab changes
Hannah Aroni Kate saying she supports law to protect students, but stands w the PM re teachers and is … wow how do I do justice to this
Al M Fein More men yelling over women.
Hannah Aroni She’s going on about not being a typical pollie and the crowd thinks she’s full of shit, and Josh has pushed back to say this shows where she stands on the issue
Al M Fein Josh just put Kate back in her box after she claimed that she was talking shit because she is not a ‘staffer’
Hannah Aroni Next qu is about pill testing and harm reduction re drug users
Aleph Melbourne stands in solidarity with the Muslim community after the Christchurch shooting.
Aleph Melbourne acknowledges the unthinkable act of hate perpetrated against the Muslim community in Christchurch, New Zealand. We offer our unconditional love and sympathy to the friends and families of those who lost their lives, and our deepest concerns and well-wishes to those injured.
Our communities have been inextricably united by crimes against our humanity, whether due to the religion we practice, our sexuality, our gender or gender identity, the colour of our skin, the language we speak, our country of birth, or the clothes we wear.
Orlando was an act of homophobia
Pittsburgh was an act of antisemitism.
Christchurch was an act of Islamophobia.
None of these make sense.
We must hold our governments to account. They have used us as a political wedge to further their own agenda, creating division and fear in the broader community.
We must ensure that they collectively stand up and decry those who promote bigotry and intolerance, starting from within their own ranks. They must also not abuse us by gaining political advantage from our pain and suffering.
Gun laws must be tightened everywhere. Racism must be condemned. Bigotry must be called out.
Our hearts have been broken.
Our humanity has been shattered.
Our communities have been fractured.
Please accept our hand of friendship and our love during this painful time and forever.