It’s really good to see David Southwick, Liberal MP for the Victorian seat of Caulfield, promoting Pride March and in particular the Jews of Pride contingent. Thank you David.
Tag: David Southwick
Caulfield Candidates Forum: Changing the Equal Opportunity Act
At the November 9 2022 Caulfield Candidates’ Forum and Q&A, candidates David Southwick MP (Liberal) and Lior Harel (ALP) discuss a Liberal Party proposal to amend the Equal Opportunity Act. Question asked by Caulfield resident David Zyngier on behalf of Aleph Melbourne.
QUESTION FOR DAVID SOUTHWICK BY CAULFIELD RESIDENT DAVID ZYNGIER ON BEHALF OF ALEPH MELBOURNE
“David Southwick has given an iron-clad guarantee that under a Liberal Government any amendment to the Equal Opportunity Act will protect the LGBTIQA+ community from discrimination.*
Hypothetical scenarios aside, can he state what genuine existing problem necessitates an amendment to the Equal Opportunity Act?”
* Candidate statement: David Southwick – Liberal for Caulfield
SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION FOR DAVID SOUTHWICK BY LIOR HAREL
“If the roof body for the Jewish community says the law doesn’t need to be changed, and the major Jewish schools say the law doesn’t need to be changed, who are you changing the law for?”
Caulfield Great Debate: Religious Discrimination
Audio extract from the November 3 2022 Caulfield Great Debate candidates forum, where the candidates discuss the proposed Liberal Party legislation to water down anti-discrimination legislation and how this may adversely impact LGBTIQ+ people.
Speakers: David Southwick MP (Liberal), Lior Harel (ALP), Nomi Kaltmann (independent), Rachel Iampolski (Greens), Julie Szego (moderator)
Victorian Liberal MP Gives Personal ‘Iron-Clad’ Guarantee To Protect LGBT Community From Discrimination | Star Observer
Candidate statement: David Southwick – Liberal for Caulfield
The following political statement has been supplied by David Southwick 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.
2 November 2022
Mr. Michael Barnett
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leading into the state election this November, I wanted to reach out to you and affirm my support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Over the years, I’ve been pleased to join you and members of Aleph at Midsumma and show allyship with a community that gives so much to our state. Our diversity – whether it be diversity of sexuality, religion, race, ethnicity, or gender identity – is our strength. Supporting all people, no matter where on the spectrums of sexuality and gender identity they may sit, is a fundamental part of what I believe in.
Recently, the Victorian Liberals supported the Andrews Government in passing laws to outlaw Gay Conversion Therapy. There is no place in Victoria for such barbaric practices and changing these laws ensured that.
The Liberals will protect religious freedoms to allow Jewish schools to employ people who are aligned with their values. These laws will not grant schools any power to terminate staff based on values and no existing staff would be impacted by the changes. Just as importantly, an individual’s sexuality, gender identity and ethnicity would also be equally protected from discrimination and unfair dismissal under these laws. Any proposed changes would only occur after extensive community consultation (including with Aleph) and would need to protect every single Victorian from discrimination.
I want to give you my iron-clad guarantee that any amendment to the Equal Opportunity Act will protect our LGBTQIA+ community from discrimination. As Liberals, our belief in equality is non-negotiable.
In 1981, it was a Hamer Liberal Government that decriminalised homosexual activity. In 2014, I was proud to be part of a Government that took the historic step to expunge these archaic convictions from the record. In 2017, as the Turnbull Government delivered gay marriage, I watched with pride as my former colleague Tim Wilson proposed to his now-husband Ryan on the floor of Parliament. A year later, a Federal Liberal Government put PrEP on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for the very first time.
A future Victorian Liberal Government will deliver a dedicated professional legal support service for the LGBTQIA+ community, which will be based at the Pride Centre. We will also invest $1 million over 4 years into Joy 94.9, so they can continue to bring the community together.
I look forward to continuing working with Aleph to determine where funding, support and advocacy can be most impactful.
After the 26th of November, I hope to stand with you as part of a Victorian Liberal Government that supports, respects and protects every community and every Victorian. We will always defend equality.
Member for Caulfield
Deputy Victorian Liberal Leader
MR: Aleph Melbourne commends the Andrews government for strengthening anti-hate protections
September 2 2021
Aleph Melbourne commends the Victorian Government, under the leadership of Premier Daniel Andrews, for its ongoing commitment to protecting all Victorians from hate, and for standing steadfastly strong with Jewish and LGBTIQ+ Victorians.
Along with making the public display of Nazi symbols illegal, we welcome the government’s commitment to extending anti-vilification protections to cover sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and HIV/AIDS status.
All too often homophobia is juxtaposed with antisemitism in wanton acts of hate, as evidenced by the attack on Cranbourne Golf Club last year and the attack on the Gardiner’s Creek Trail in July this year.
It was with sadness that Aleph Melbourne’s submission to the Inquiry into Anti-Vilification Protections highlighted a litany of anti-LGBTIQ+ vilification emanating from within the Jewish community. We hope that these reforms will see the end of such intolerance, and allow those in our community who have been forced to live in the shadows to feel sufficiently empowered to come forward and live a more authentic life.
We are also grateful to David Southwick MP for inviting Aleph Melbourne to lodge a submission to the Inquiry, which the committee found most compelling.
- MR: Aleph Melbourne condemns Nazi defacement of resurfaced Gardiners Creek Trail (July 17 2021)
- Response to attack on Cranbourne Golf Club (May 21 2020)
- Letters: Tackling vilification | AJN (Mar 20 2021)
Letters: Tackling vilification | AJN
I am deeply grateful to David Southwick MP for personally extending an invitation to Aleph Melbourne to provide a submission to the Inquiry into Anti-Vilification Protections. I am also grateful to the committee of the inquiry for accepting our submission.
For many years I have witnessed vilifying comments originating within the Jewish community, directed at Jewish LGBTIQ+ people. These hateful comments, which appeared in Jewish print, broadcast, online and social media outlets, formed the basis of Aleph Melbourne’s submission to the inquiry.
The committee found our submission sufficiently compelling that they quoted from it in their report.
The Jewish community does not tolerate an iota of hate directed at it, and it should not tolerate an iota of hate emanating from it.
The committee recommended strengthening anti-vilification laws, including adding protections for LGBTIQ+ people and those with HIV/AIDS. Doing so will make Victoria a safer place for all people, whether they are Jewish, LGBTIQ+, or any other category.
Michael BarnettAustralian Jewish News, March 19, 2021, page 19
Co-convenor, Aleph Melbourne
David Southwick mistakenly admits he is a champion of LGBTIQ equality
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.
Protesting David Southwick’s opposition to “Safe Schools” at Pride March 2019
A peaceful protest at Pride March 2019 holding David Southwick to account!
David Southwick must stop abusing the LGBTIQ community
David Southwick must stop abusing the LGBTIQ community.
On January 28 2018 David Southwick had his photo taken with Jewish LGBTIQ groups at Pride March.
Aleph Melbourne noted:
Hi @SouthwickMP, when you stood with us today and had your photo proudly taken holding our "LGBTIQ Pride in the Jewish Community" placard, was that with preserving Safe Schools in mind, or do you support your party’s stance to scrap this critical programme?
— Aleph Melbourne (@alephmelbourne) January 28, 2018
During the 2018 Victorian State Election David Southwick claimed of the Safe Schools program:
“really young children [are] being exposed to sexual education”
We have demonstrated his claim is lacking in factual accuracy and have invited him to apologise for his error.
At Pride March 2019 Aleph Melbourne will remind the community of David Southwick’s damaging and misleading claims if a sufficient apology is not forthcoming.
We would however prefer that David Southwick’s presence at Pride March 2019 was uncontroversial.