The Council for the Order of Australia should hang its collective head in shame for honouring Margaret Court, a purveyor of bigotry.
JANUARY 26 2021
ALEPH MELBOURNE DISGUSTED BY
AUSTRALIA DAY HONOUR AWARDED TO MARGARET COURT
The Australia Day 2021 Honour bestowed to Margaret Court “for eminent service to tennis as an internationally acclaimed player and record-holding grand slam champion, and as a mentor of young sportspersons” flies in the face of good taste and decency.
As an organisation representing Jewish LGBTIQ+ people we have been doubly impacted by Margaret Court’s incessant demonisation, with her comparison of the work done to protect LGBTIQ+ children to what Adolf Hitler did, and her rabid transphobia and homophobia.
Margaret Court may be capable when it comes to mentoring in tennis, but as a community leader she is a danger to impressionable young people by telling those who are LGBTIQ+ that they are the work of the devil and making them feel bad about themselves.
The Council for the Order of Australia should hang its collective head in shame for honouring a purveyor of bigotry.
Michael Barnett – Co-convenor
On July 3 2020 the Australian Jewish News published an opinion piece by Michael Barnett from Aleph Melbourne addressing in part some concerns from a May 15 AJN opinion piece criticising the Zionist Federation of Australia for participating in Pride March.JNMEL_A_03072020_015
David South, self-confessed champion of equality, claims his support for the LGBTIQ community is strong, but he his actions suggest otherwise.
|BIRTHS, DEATHS AND MARRIAGES REGISTRATION AMENDMENT BILL 2019||Page 63|
|15 August 2019||ASSEMBLY||Second reading||David Southwick|
Mr SOUTHWICK (Caulfield) (12:18:48): I rise to make some comments on the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Amendment Bill 2019 and note from the outset that there are many sensitivities, debate and some wideranging views in this legislation that is before the house. I also want to say that as somebody that has been a very proud supporter of the LGBTIQ community, when it comes to equality—whether it be of sex, race or religion—I have always sought to champion these causes. There have certainly been some very strong contributions made today, and very much the member for Oakleigh talked about ideally not being having labels and treating everybody as individuals, as one and all the same. I would certainly hope we get to a day when we can do that and we do not have to pass laws because of inequalities of action. But there are aspects of this bill that certainly the opposition has issues with, and there have already been contributions from some of my colleagues that have raised some of these issues. Firstly, can I say the issue of gender identification and the support for the rights of individuals to live their lives the way they wish to live according to their gender identity is certainly something that I support, but this is more than just gender identification; it does go to the crux of some of the laws that exist. As many have stated, there is a clear difference between how people identify their gender and how legal records are kept in the case of birth certificates. Birth certificates exist to record a person’s record of birth, and birth certificates are intended to record biological sex rather than gender identity. They are used for a whole range of record keeping through a number of different government agencies for a whole range of planning and so on in terms of the historical record of somebody’s sex at birth. The actual legislation is to amend the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996 to remove the requirements for somebody that has undergone sex affirmation surgery while allowing for applications to alter birth certificates also on behalf of children. Basically what this does is allow for self-identification of gender. Essentially we debated this bill back in 2016, and there has also been some commonwealth equality legislation that has been added to since then. Clause 8 looks at a person changing their sex without having to undergo affirmation surgery and how this works, with an application done in good faith. Also the bill permits application for a child’s record of sex to be altered in their birth registration. As with adults, children are not required to undergo treatment as part of this process. Also, where there is a dispute the court will be satisfied that the change is in the child’s best interests. As part of the briefing I understand the department advised that the test used to change the sex descriptor closely follows the process used for changing your name for administrative convenience, notwithstanding the fact that changing your name or your sex are two very different propositions, particularly when you are changing legal documents. Clause 13—and this is where I want to spend a bit of time in terms of my contribution—deals with changes when it comes to both adults and juveniles in detention and under supervision, such as prisoners and parolees who make an application to alter their recorded sex. As the Shadow Minister for Police, Shadow Minister for Community Safety and Shadow Minister for Corrections, this is something that I think is very important for us to spend some time with. The only additional condition is the prior approval of the supervising authority—for example, the Adult Parole Board of Victoria—who is to consider the application’s reasonableness, including the security, safety and wellbeing of applicants and others. This is a very sensitive area. I will also say at the outset that the trans community is one of the most vulnerable when it comes to community safety, both in the community and corrections facilities. We have seen a number of incidents in corrections facilities where a trans member has been attacked. Certainly there are a number of concerns for authorities when it comes to this. Also, in terms of the changes, concerns around looking at tracking sex offenders, prisoners and those on parole have been raised. On the provisions for serious sex offenders, prisoners and parolees, the information has been vague and lacks a lot of detail when it comes to this bill. There have certainly been a number of cases that have been raised. I know the Canadian case of trans woman Jessica Yaniv, who took 16 beauticians to the Human Rights Tribunal for refusing to wax her scrotum in a Brazilian wax. I know that has been raised. But there have been some even more specific issues in terms of within the prisons themselves. I note that prisons must balance the welfare of transgender offenders with offenders, particularly women, whose safety could be threatened by prisoners who were born male. An example that I want to cite is Karen White in the UK. Karen White was a convicted paedophile who now identifies as a woman. She assaulted two prisoners while in a women’s jail in 2017. This is absolutely a case where the safety of those in the prison was certainly not dealt with well. As Richard Garside from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies says, ‘We have a clash of rights’, and it is balancing those rights which is really, really important. But community safety should always be paramount in terms of whatever we look at. The member for Ripon raised a number of issues around women’s groups and women’s rights. I also note the comments I have received from the Victorian Women’s Guild, particularly around equal opportunity and protecting single-sex spaces—very, very important issues. Also, as the member for Ripon said, there are not many jurisdictions that have gone down this path, and it is great to be a leader in some respects in terms of what you do, but when you are changing such important legislation as this, it is important to have very broad consultation. I note that a number of those women’s groups were not properly consulted on this. We just need to make sure we get things right. We talk a lot about equal opportunity in this place and we talk a lot about trying to balance things when it comes women, and I think it is important that we have that proper consultation. Back to justice, interestingly enough what the UK prison system has done since the Karen White issue is set up a transgender wing, looking to resolve the clash of women’s rights. The prison service reckons there are about 139 transgender inmates in England, and they must balance the welfare of transgender offenders with those other prisoners, particularly women, whose safety could be threatened by prisoners who were born male. It cited the Karen White incident and has gone as far as to actually look at a prison system that protects both the transgender community and the broader community as well. These are really important issues that I raise, because in the justice system we do quite often see people that are very, very vulnerable. We do need to make sure that all of those processes are properly considered to ensure that people’s safety is absolutely paramount. These are some of the things we should be exploring. We need to understand in this Parliament when we change laws what the consequences are, and ensure that those consequences are always protected in terms of community safety. There is no doubt we need to do more. We need to do more in terms of equality, we absolutely need to do more in terms of the LGBTIQ community and we need to do more in terms of discrimination in a broader sense. But the issues in terms of this bill are certainly some that need further exploring to ensure that there are those safeguards and to ensure that we have got things right, because at the end of the day, when it comes to these sorts of situations, we do not get a second chance.
July 28, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
The Jewish LGBTIQ+ community in Australia has responded with “shock and revulsion” to news of a brutal attack against a 16-year-old youth at a LGBTIQ+ youth hostel in Tel Aviv on Friday.
According to reports, a teenager was seriously wounded just outside the hostel when he was stabbed in the chest and leg, apparently for religious reasons, by his own brother.
The incident comes within days of the 10th anniversary of the murder of a 26-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl and the injuring of at least fifteen others, most of them minors, at the “Bar-Noar” LGBTIQ+ youth centre in Tel Aviv on 1 August 2009. It is also five years since 16-year-old Shira Banki was stabbed to death at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade.
Commenting on the latest incident, Aleph Melbourne co-convenor Michael Barnett said, “The attack on a resident at an LGBTIQ+ youth emergency centre is a chilling reminder of how much harder we need to work to break down the intolerance and ignorance that exists in many communities”.
“The 2009 attack in Tel Aviv was the catalyst for a remarkable transformation in the Jewish community in Australia, and as a result our community has come to value the importance of including and embracing its LGBTIQ+ people” Barnett said. “We are a better, stronger and more cohesive community as a result, although we also know there is much more work to do. Beliefs and attitudes that incite hate and violence are never acceptable, and we must call them out in all their forms. Our thoughts are with the injured boy and wish him a full and speedy recovery.”
Co-CEO of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Peter Wertheim, described Friday’s stabbing as “extremely disturbing”.
“Israel has made great strides in recent years in encouraging respect for and acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people, and it is light years ahead of neighbouring countries”’ Wertheim said. “But there is still a long way to go. In Israel, as elsewhere, LGBTIQ+ people still face all too frequent acts of violence motivated by hatred in a social climate that is inflamed by bigoted statements from people in positions of authority. We hope the young man who was attacked makes a full and speedy recovery and that his ordeal serves to spur political and religious leaders to greater efforts to stamp out anti-LGBTIQ+ violence, and the hatred that gives rise to it.”
I’m about to post something that is probably more controversial than anything I usually post (and thats saying a lot), and it may get some people to defriend me, it may get some people to think less of me… and I’ll admit, part of me was planning on just not saying anything at all.
But I feel I must. But just know that because of the controversy, I do plan on not responding to the comments section here, because I have no interest in arguing with you. I’m just sharing my thoughts.
I am going to the gay pride parade in Jerusalem in a few hours.
With my kids.
Yes. That’s right. I identify as a chareidi woman and I am still going. And I feel its important to bring my kids too.
Before you get all in shock, let me say that I used to be “one of you”. I used to be opposed to the parade. I used to say “Fine, be gay, but why do you need to be proud of it? And show off about your aveiros in the holy city of Jerusalem.”
But I’ve changed.
You want to know why I’m going?
I’m going to show that you can be religious and not be a bigot. That you can be chareidi and not be a bigot.
The thing that changed my mind, the thing that made me decide that this year is the year I’m going to go, is finding out that some of my good friends are gay. And they feel that that means that God hates them. That their life isn’t worth living. That they’re an abomination.
The reason I’m going to pride is to say I care about you. I love you. I think you’re an awesome person. And the fact that you’re gay doesn’t mean you’re any less valuable as a person, any less worthwhile as a jew, any less loved by God.
I’ve heard some people say that gay people have a choice, they choose to be gay. From my experience with my close friends who are gay, I know its the exact opposite. Because of the religious community, because of wanting to fit in and be normal, they want more than anything to not be gay. To just be able to live a traditional family life, without all this pain. People don’t choose to be gay. That is how they are. Period. Yes, for some people there’s a spectrum and they can be happy with either a man or a woman, and honestly, in that case, I do think its preferable halachically for them to have a traditional marriage. But for those who can’t or don’t want to be with someone of the opposite sex for whatever reason, I don’t judge them.
To be honest, I used to think the answer to the “gay and religious” issue was to do like Josh Weed and marry the opposite sex to your best friend… until I learned that even he was divorcing, that no matter how much he tried to make his marriage work to a woman, it wasn’t fair to either of them.
Yes, the torah says that male to male anal sex is an abomination. That is a fact. That is a sin.
But you know what it doesn’t say?
It doesn’t say that being gay is a sin. That being gay is an abomination.
I’m going to pride to stand up against so called religious people who mock, bully, bellittle, and castigate others simply for “being gay”. I heard a story of a yeshiva bochur who didn’t even really know what gay was, let alone that he was gay, until after he was already bullied for being gay in yeshiva.
I’m going to pride to say that all human beings are worthy of love and respect.
And yes, the fact that some people that are gay do acts that are assur by the torah is true. But that is something private, and that isn’t anyone’s business but theirs and god. You’re supposed to be dan people lekach zechus, judge people favorably. There’s may ways for gay couples to be intimate without breaking an issur dioraysa (a biblican law).
The fact that someone is gay doesn’t mean they are doing anything that is a sin. There is not a single sin in the world that encompasses or involved “being gay”.
I’ve heard people oppose the gay pride parade because they don’t believe its appropriate to have a parade about peoples sex life. I’m sorry, but peoples sex life is not on parade in the Jerusalem pride parade. Being gay is not about who you have sex with. You can be a celibate gay person. You can be a gay person who only has hetero sex. Being gay is about an identity that you are, not what you do. (Yes, I have heard that gay pride parades in other cities are sexually explicit, and thats why I would never go to a gay pride parade in any other city. The jerusalem one is family friendly, g rated.)
I want to add also that pride is not just about gay people. It also involves asexual and demisexual people who are shamed and told they arent normal human beings because of their lack of interest in sex. I support asexuals. That’s how god made them.
Pride is also about trans people, who I support, because I know what it’s like to be uncomfortable in your own skin, to feel like there is this existential thing wrong with you, until you figure out your identity and live as you identify inside. (For me, by the way, that happened when I attempted to live as a dati leumi person, when my inside was saying thats wrong, I identify as chareidi.)
Pride is also about intersex, and if there’s ever an argument that “this is simply how god made me” with absolutely no outside influence, this is it. God made people intersex, and they also are worthy of love and respect. (And for the record, the torah has lots of talks about intersex people, its not even remotely controversial.)
An argument I’ve heard is “fine, be LGBTQIA, if thats how you are, but why do you need to be proud of it? Why have a parade about it?” and “What about hetero pride?”
When the world at large tells you you aren’t worthwhile, when it tells you that your existence is an abomination, when people put up signs around the city calling you abnormal, being proud of yourself is an act of defiance. A healthy act of defiance. Being proud to be LGBTQIA is saying i’m a worthy human being, not in spite of the hate I get or because of the hate I get, but simply I just am. Its not saying being LGBTQIA is better than people who are cis het, it is just saying “I am a valuable individual and when you say i’m not I will proudly stand up and say I am worthy”.
And as for “Why in jerusalem, and why specifically in a way and place that is inflammatory and offensive”, I say that Jerusalem has many LGBTQIA people just like any other cities. And if there were this parade going through chareidi areas, I’d be strongly opposed. But it isnt. And if people don’t like it, they can ignore it.
If you oppose the pride parade but support the israel day parade in america, youre a hypocrite. Both are types of people that the world at large says arent worthwhile/valuable, both bring out protesters, and both are saying “I will not let the hate around me bring me down. I am proud of who I am because I am a child of God/a human being.”
Lastly, I am going to the pride parade because the main tennet of the torah is “Viahavta lireacha kamocha”, treat your neighbor like yourself, treat other people the way you want to be treated. And what better way than you march at pride with everyone else, announce myself as an ally, and say “I don’t support hate and bigotry, because that’s not what my torah says.” And that’s what I’m teaching my kids by bringing them.
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
Together with KeshetUK, the Chief Rabbi has been working to produce this unique and essential guide for Orthodox Jewish schools on the welfare of LGBT+ pupils.
Guide for Orthodox Jewish schools on the welfare of LGBT+ pupils.
For many months, together with KeshetUK, the Chief Rabbi has been working to produce this unique and essential guide.
Entitled “The Wellbeing of LGBT+ Pupils: A Guide for Orthodox Jewish Schools”, it is aimed at school leaders, and sets out how they should provide for the welfare of LGBT+ students.
Following the release of the document, the Chief Rabbi said, “This is a document which I believe is an extremely significant milestone and will have a real and lasting impact on reducing harm to LGBT+ Jews across the Orthodox Jewish community. Our children need to know that at school, at home and in the community, they will be loved and protected regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.”
Dalia Fleming, Executive Director of KeshetUK said, “KeshetUK is proud to have worked closely with Chief Rabbi Mirvis and Jewish LGBT+ people to create “The Wellbeing of LGBT+ Pupils: A Guide for Orthodox Jewish Schools”. KeshetUK now looks forward to working with with schools, Rabbis and educators across Jewish communities, supporting them to implement this guide so they can ensure their LGBT+ students reach their potential, free from homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, discrimination and fear.”
In order to view the full document click here.