Jewish community submissions to the Religious Freedom Bills

Jewish community submissions to the first and second exposure drafts of the Religious Freedom Bill

Religious Freedom Bills – First Exposure Drafts – Submissions


Religious Freedom Bills – Second Exposure Drafts – Submissions


Please contact us if you become aware of any other relevant submissions for this page.

Aleph Melbourne launches 2019 Federal Election Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality

Aleph Melbourne launches its 2019 Federal Election Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality

MEDIA RELEASE
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.

ENDS

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Michael Barnett
0417-595-541
contact@aleph.org.au

Macnamara Candidates Forum – Question on Discrimination in Religious Schools – April 7 2019

Macnamara Candidates Forum – 2019 Federal Election – Question on discrimination in religious schools

Great Debate Macnamara 2019 banner

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:


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

Standing in solidarity with the Muslim community in Christchurch

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 anti-Semitism.

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.

Aleph Melbourne launches 2018 Victorian State Election Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality

Aleph Melbourne launches its 2018 Victorian State Election Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality

MEDIA RELEASE
18 NOVEMBER 2018

ALEPH MELBOURNE LAUNCHES 2018 VICTORIAN STATE ELECTION VOTERS GUIDE FOR LGBTIQ EQUALITY

Aleph Melbourne is proud to announce its 2018 Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality.  The Voters Guide is designed to assist voters living in Victorian voting districts with high Jewish populations best select candidates who have comprehensively demonstrated or pledged support for LGBTIQ equality.

The Voters Guide is online here: https://aleph.org.au/vic2018

Based on the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Lobby’s Rainbow Votes Survey and Report Card, we categorise the issues as Advancing equality, Discrimination, Safety and security, Family violence, housing and homelessness, Relationships, families and children, Education, Health and wellbeing, Bisexual Victorians, Trans and gender diverse Victorians, and Intersex Victorians.

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 2018 Voters Guide is our first for a state election and follows on from our 2013 Voters Guide and 2016 Voters Guides for the respective Federal Elections.

ENDS

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Michael Barnett
0417-595-541
contact@aleph.org.au

 

Put David Southwick LAST in Caulfield

Put David Southwick and the Liberal Party last in Caulfield in the 2018 Victorian State Education

Liberal Party candidate and Caulfield incumbent David Southwick declared at the Caulfield Candidates Forum that he will scrap Safe Schools, a program that specifically supports LGBTIQ youth.

Disappointingly he has fallen for the perfidy of ultra-conservative forces both within and beyond the Liberal Party.

David Southwick could have informed himself of the facts around the Safe Schools program, he could have spoken to young people who have benefitted from Safe Schools, and he could have spoken to Jewish Care and the JCCV about Safe Schools, but he didn’t.

David Southwick, Matthew Guy and the Liberal Party are not friends of LGBTIQ people because their policies will harm LGBTIQ people.

Put David Southwick Last

In the 2018 Victorian State Election Aleph Melbourne recommends voters in the district of Caulfield put David Southwick LAST on the Legislative Assembly ballot paper and favour a progressive party that prioritises LGBTIQ issues on the Legislative Council ballot paper.


Authorised by M Barnett 2/24 Winbirra Parade Ashwood VIC 3147

Caulfield Candidates Forum: What is the Liberal Party doing to strengthen support for LGBTIQ people?

At the Caulfield Candidates Forum David Southwick responds to a question about what the Liberal Party are doing to strengthen support for LGBTIQ people. Sorina Grasso and Dinesh Mathew follow up.

Caulfield Candidate Forum candidates

At the Caulfield Candidates Debate David Southwick responds to a question from Michael Barnett about what the Liberal Party are doing to strengthen support for LGBTIQ people. Listen here.  Sorina Grasso and Dinesh Mathew follow-up.  Listen to the question and answers here.

QUESTION FOR DAVID SOUTHWICK
CAULFIELD CANDIDATES FORUM
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 14 2018

David, last Wednesday Jewish Care Victoria and the Jewish Community Council of Victoria issued a combined statement1 entitled “STANDING AGAINST CONVERSION THERAPY”. This relates to the discredited and unscientific practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation.

The Liberal party has made an election promise to dismantle Safe Schools, an evidence-based program that reduces discrimination and stigma against LGBTIQ people.

Matthew Guy declared at the Australian Christian Lobby conference that a government he leads will abolish safe schools.2

Earlier in the year Graham Watt, Liberal MP for Burwood was at an Anti-Safe Schools Rally convened by far-right religious groups and declared that the Liberal Party would abandon Safe Schools. At this rally others spoke of transgender and gay people and our families as if we were evil and out to destroy society.

Bialik College, Sholem Aleichem and King David College have embraced the principles of the Safe Schools program because they know the program helps build a stronger and more inclusive Jewish community.

What are you and the Liberal Party doing to align with the values of the Jewish community’s leading organisations in terms of strengthening support for LGBTIQ people, not weakening it?

[1] https://www.facebook.com/jewishcarevictoria/photos/a.419042488166622/2329167573820761/?type=3
[2] https://twitter.com/MartynLloydIles/status/1055980527709089792

 

Aleph Melbourne signs “Joint Statement on the Religious Freedom Review recommendations from LGBTI organisations, leaders and allies”

Joint Statement on the Religious Freedom Review recommendations from LGBTI organisations and leaders – 23 October 2018

Joint-Statement-on-the-Religious-Freedom-Review-recommendations-from-LGBTI-organisations-and-leaders-23-October-2018

‘Independent, Jewish, gay’ – ABC Insiders

‘Independent, Jewish, gay.’ @frankelly08’s final observations after the #Wentworth by election.

Wentworth 2018: Candidate responses to ECAJ “Religious Freedom” question

2018 Wentworth by-election candidate responses to ECAJ “religious freedom” question.

[ The information below is drawn from the four linked J-Wire pages.  We have ordered the candidates alphabetically by surname. ]

In the interests of ensuring that our community is properly informed and engaged in the political process The Executive Council of Australian Jewry asked the four candidates currently polling at over 10% of the primary vote (as per the Reachtel poll published on 17 September), to state their positions on matters of special concern to Jewish Australians.

Religious Freedom

The same-sex marriage survey last year has led to claims that religious freedom is not adequately protected in Australia, and that religious institutions and organisations should have enhanced rights to discriminate in favour of members of their own faith, or to promote their own beliefs.

  1. Do you agree?

Licia Heath (Independent) [web site]

The same-sex marriage debate was about removing the state-supported discrimination that was enshrined in law (within the marriage act).  This had no impact on the rights of religious institutions to continue their faith-based practices in the existing manner including practice or promotion of their beliefs.

The Australian community, including the Wentworth community, strongly voiced its support of removing discrimination in Australian law and in civil practice.

To legislate in a manner that establishes, in law, a right to discriminate against a segment of the Australian community is against the majority of strongly held community sentiment and should not be supported.

Allowing a religious, or religiously-affiliated institution to discriminate against one minority group would open the door to other forms of discrimination that are against community values – such as religious discrimination.

If religious schools or institutions practice discrimination outside of the law, and outside of community standards, then they forfeit the right

Tim Murray (Australian Labor Party) [web site]

I am comfortable with the marriage equality legislation passed last year and the protections it provides.

Dr Kerryn Phelps (Independent) [web site]

I believe that all Australians should be free to practice their religion, provided that does not impinge on the rights or freedoms of others.

More than any other group, the Jewish community understands the consequences of discrimination on the basis of religion.

I do not believe in any form of discrimination.

At a time when their only worry should be whether they get their homework done in time, some children have to worry that they may be expelled from school because they are gay or transgender.
We know the consequences of marginalisation and rejection are serious and potentially fatal, with high rates of suicide and attempted suicide in children and young people who are rejected or lack social support if they think they are gay or transgender.

Schools should provide supportive environments for these children and young people.

I believe that religion and faith communities should provide comfort and protection for vulnerable young people, not be the source of distress and despair.

As a doctor I am deeply concerned that after the bruising marriage equality campaign, yet another debate about the personal lives of LGBTQI people will open those wounds again.

Dave Sharma (Liberal Party of Australia) [web site]

Wentworth is quite a progressive community. 80% voted for same-sex marriage, as I did.

I would be opposed to any new measures that impose forms of discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, or anything else.

It is important to many, right across Australia, that people be free to choose their religion and express and practice their beliefs, without intimidation – so long as they practice their beliefs within the framework of the law.

The Government is considering the report of the expert panel chaired by Philip Ruddock, which received 15,000 submissions on this issue. I’m confident the Government will get the balance right.