Candidate statement: Simon Gnieslaw – Independent for Bentleigh

The following political statement has been supplied by Simon Gnieslaw who is running as a candidate for Bentleigh 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.



Candidate statement: Steve Stefanopoulos OAM – Independent for Malvern

The following political statement has been supplied by Steve Stefanopoulos who is running as a candidate for Malvern 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.

Dear Michael

I was Australia’s first same sex married Mayor at the City of Stonnington from 2017-2020. I am the Chair of The Pride Fund and heavily involved with the Victorian Pride Centre. I hope this clearly outlines my support for the LGBTIQ+ community.

Kind regards

Steve Stefanopoulos OAM

Candidate statement: Melissa Lowe – Independent for Hawthorn

The following political statement has been supplied by Melissa Lowe who is running as a candidate for Hawthorn 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.

As the former Manager of Student Equity at Swinburne University, I’ve seen firsthand the economic, social and health consequences of discrimination.

Discrimination damages mental health and denies people the economic and social opportunities to fulfill their full potential. It forces good people to live in hiding – simply due to who they are, or who they love.

I am aghast at the proposal by the Liberal Party to amend the Equal Opportunity Act to re-legalise discrimination against people on grounds of gender or sexuality. It’s time that we see the end of division and discrimination as an election strategy.

Candidate statement: Sally Gibson – Independent for Brighton

The following political statement has been supplied by Sally Gibson who is running as a candidate for Brighton 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.

Hi Michael.

I am supporting Equality Australia’s 10-point plan for LGBTIQ+ equality

I unconditionally support LGBTIQ+ Visibility, inclusion and acceptance.

Candidate statement: Felicity Frederico – Independent for Brighton

The following political statement has been supplied by Felicity Frederico who is running as a candidate for Brighton 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.


Equality is one of the cornerstone issues of my campaign as the Community Independent Candidate for Brighton.

I stand in solidarity with the LGBTIQA+ and allied communities in my electorate and in Victoria. 

I pledge to work constructively with these communities should I be elected the MP for Brighton, and will consult with LGBTIQA+ organisations on every question coming before the Victorian Parliament impacting upon their lives. This consultation will include Aleph Melbourne and the Victorian Pride Lobby amongst others.

In particular, I support the Victorian Pride Lobby “Vision For Victoria” statement very strongly, and will do everything in my role as MP for Brighton to help make this a reality. Their vision statement can be found on my campaign Facebook Page:

The State Opposition has announced that it intends to wind back hard won protections for LGBTIQA+ people and single parents in employment in faith based institutions and schools.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has stated that it is satisfied with the provisions of the Equal Opportunity Act (EOA) that prohibit discrimination in the hiring and firing practices of schools. I support the JCCV position absolutely.

The Australian Jewish News has reported that JCCV president Daniel Aghion stated, “The JCCV is comfortable with the present legislative settings. In particular, we understand that the larger Victorian Jewish day schools have not expressed a desire to exercise this power or a need for it.”

The AJN also reported that Bialik College principal Jeremy Stowe-Lindner reiterated his firm opposition to any form of discrimination in schools, which he had stated in his submission to the 2018 Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiry into legislative exemptions for faith-based schools. I fully support his 2018 Senate Submission and his stance against discrimination.

As the Independent MP for Brighton, I will strenuously oppose Liberal & National Party moves to wind back current protections in the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act, and will stand up for equality in employment of all Victorians, free from discrimination. I will also strenuously oppose any moves to repeal or water down so called “Conversion Therapy” legislation in Victoria. These practices are currently unlawful in our State, and I intend to keep it that way, given the profound damage they do, and the expert medical advice we have.

There are many other important issues facing the Victorian and Brighton LGBTIQA+ communities in this election campaign. I want to assure you, that having read, studied and understood the Victorian Pride Lobby State Election Platform, I am in fullest agreement with all of their specific initiatives, and will work towards making these a reality in Victoria. I attach a copy of the VPL Election Platform below.

If Aleph Melbourne have specific initiatives you wish to see implemented in Victoria and the Brighton electorate, i invite your feedback, and i will do everything possible to make these a reality too.

With my warm wishes and best regards,

Felicity Frederico
Community Independent Candidate for Brighton.
Brighton Deserves Better!



Candidate statement: Nomi Kaltmann  – Independent for Caulfield

The following political statement has been supplied by Nomi Kaltmann 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.

Hi Michael,

Thank you for your email asking for a candidate statement on LGBQTI+ inclusion.

All persons should be free to live free from persecution and vilification, irrespective of their sexuality, cultural background or religion. 

In general, I believe that there are certain principles that should be adhered to when considering legislation, so that it takes into account the needs of LGBQTI+ persons:

  • People in the LGBTIQA+ community come from all backgrounds and walks of life, so policy should be diverse in reflecting that
  • Allies of the LGBQTI+ community should ask for direct input from members of the LGBQTI+ community when considering legislative changes and policies 
  • Every person in Victoria and in wider Australia deserves to live without fear of discrimination, and should be able to live without fear relating to their gender or sexual identity
  • Specific protections should be considered in a legislative framework that  provide a strengthened response to higher rates of discrimination that members of the LGBQTI+ community face

I wish you continued success with your important work at Aleph. 

Kind regards

Nomi Kaltmann

Statement: Dr Monique Ryan – Independent for Kooyong

Statement from Independent for Kooyong Dr Monique Ryan for Aleph Melbourne in support of the LGBTIQ+ community.

Protecting the rights of vulnerable minorities, including the LGBTIQ+ community

Policy Priorities

The protection of the rights of vulnerable people, including those in the LGBTIQ+ community, is a major priority for Monique. She abhors the way the Religious Discrimination Bill has been weaponised – causing harm and distress to LGBTIQ+ people and other minorities including people with disability – and she would oppose any attempts to compromise the protections that are currently afforded by the Sex Discrimination Act and by state Anti-Discrimination Acts. 

Monique condemns the way that trans people have been exposed to ongoing harmful and cruel political posturing throughout this election campaign, and she is aware of the devastation that this hostility inflicts on individuals and communities. She opposes the Save Women’s Sports Bill – and supports the continuation of s42 of the Sex Discrimination Act – as both currently stand. She is concerned that this Bill would further marginalise a vulnerable group of people – especially trans and gender diverse children – who already experience a high degree of social exclusion and isolation. Trans people must be at the centre of discussions involving any legislation that directly impacts them. 

If Monique is elected she will work with LGBTIQ+ communities to move equality forward. That means removing anti-LGBTIQ+ exemptions from discrimination law, supporting better mental health services and school inclusion programs, ensuring equity in Medicare for trans and gender diverse people, and putting an end to conversion practices and unnecessary, non-consenting medical interventions on children with variations of sex characteristics.

Monique stands for a community that is inclusive, generous and welcoming.

Further information on Dr Monique Ryan’s policies is available here.

Dr Monique Ryan – Independent for Kooyong – a proud LGBTIQ+ ally

Lyle Shelton exposed for falsely blaming marriage equality for the failings of a London Jewish school

Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton is using a story about a Jewish private school in London to exemplify a so-called “consequence” of allowing same-sex couples the right to get married.

On Sky News[1] (Sep 3 2017; 8:27) Lyle Shelton said:

The school in London, the Jewish school which doesn’t want to teach their children these radical concepts, lost those rights. They failed three Ofsted tests. That’s the authority that regulates schools there.

On ABC Radio National Drive[2] (Sep 7 2017; 2:09) Lyle Shelton said:

In the UK the Jewish school was fine to teach their children what they believe the Jewish religion teaches about marriage. After same-sex marriage change, that school has failed 3 Ofsted tests – this is the government regulating authority – because it won’t teach this sort of material.

This story was reported on June 26 2017 by the Independent[3]:

A private faith school in London has failed its third Ofsted inspection for refusing to teach its pupils about homosexuality.

Inspectors visiting Vishnitz Girls School in north London last month said the Orthodox school does not give pupils “a full understanding of fundamental British values”, The Telegraph reported.

Pupils were not taught about LGBT issues such as “sexual orientation”, which are in breach of equality laws.

The story continued:

Ofsted makes clear that schools are not expected to “promote” ideas about sexual orientation or gender reassignment, but they are expected to “encourage pupils’ respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the 2010 Equalities Act”.

Shelton incorrectly asserts that the school was not able to teach their version of sexuality and marriage after same-sex marriages became legal in March 2014.[4]  Provisions in the Equality Act 2010[5], under which sexual orientation became a protected characteristic, and which predates the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, in fact explicitly states that the school has this right.

The school can’t get away with ignoring the law of the land, as if it doesn’t exist.  They failed to meet the standards because they refused to teach about sexuality.  A review of the audit reports, available on the Ofsted website[6], shows that the issue of teaching sexuality is only one of numerous standards that the school failed to meet.

In fact, the school had also failed to put in place the correct procedures for the safety of children.  That is, there was no system in place for reporting neglect or abuse of the students.  This is something that should be of great concern to all, and certainly an urgent need to be addressed as religious schools struggle with child sexual abuse.  Shelton makes no mention of these failures, nor does he mention any of the other many failures of the report.

With this in mind it is difficult to understand how the circumstances of this Jewish school in London are a direct or indirect consequence of changes to marriage laws.

These reports highlight the issues that the school was facing.  More important than the fact that they aren’t covering their responsibilities regarding equality and gender education is that the school has failed to meet the criteria for providing a safe environment for the children.  They fail to have policies in place that require the school to report incidents of abuse and neglect.

The safety of the children we would hope is paramount in any school, for it to fail in the basic understanding that they need protection should surely be the rally call, not whether or not they’re taught about sexuality.

The Equality Act was put into place in 2010 and schools in the UK received advice regarding the implications of the Act in the document called “Equality Act 2010: advice for schools”.[7]  That advice was published in 2013, and more importantly the advice notes:

As far as schools are concerned, for the most part, the effect of the current law is the same as it has been in the past – meaning that schools cannot unlawfully discriminate against pupils because of their sex, race, disability, religion or belief or sexual orientation.

This is important. It is clear that the laws already made it illegal for schools to discriminate on the basis of sexuality.  To connect the Equality Act of 2010 with Marriage Equality coming about in 2014 is mischievous at best and disingenuous to say the least.

The advice goes on to make this very generous concession to religious schools in regard to their view on human sexuality:

Schools with a religious character, like all schools, have a responsibility for the welfare of the children in their care and to adhere to curriculum guidance.  It is not the intention of the Equality Act to undermine their position as long as they continue to uphold their responsibilities in these areas.  If their beliefs are explained in an appropriate way in an educational context that takes into account existing guidance on the delivery of Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) and Religious Education (RE), then schools should not be acting unlawfully.

It goes on to state:

However, if a school conveyed its belief in a way that involved haranguing, harassing or berating a particular pupil or group of pupils then this would be unacceptable in any circumstances and is likely to constitute unlawful discrimination.

In other words, the school is required to teach the full range of human sexuality, but on top of this it can also teach what its beliefs are regarding the moral position of its faith.

In summary, Lyle Shelton has deliberately twisted and distorted the facts in an attempt to mislead people to believe this Jewish school failed its three Ofsted tests as a direct consequence of allowing same-sex marriage.  His tactic of misusing news stories to substantiate his own homophobic agenda demonstrates the lengths the Australian Christian Lobby will go to to make the grotesque claim that allowing same-sex couples to get married will lead to the destruction of society.