Macca and Dave are joined live in the studio by Michael Barnett, co-convenor of the Victoria-based LGBTIQ+ Jewish advocacy group Aleph Melbourne, as they discuss his recent Order of Australia Medal.
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: email@example.com
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
On September 17 2020 (5:43pm) Leah Boulton, founder of Pathways Melbourne, spoke on JOY 94.9‘s Drive program about a new confidential meet-up group for LGBTQIA+ people with life experience in Orthodox Judaism who want to talk about their sexuality, gender etc in a safe space.
Macca and Tass interview Michael Barnett from Aleph Melbourne regarding the May 2019 apology from the Jewish Community Council of Victoria
Presented by David ‘Macca’ McCarthy & Tass Mousaferiadis
Michael Barnett is the co-convener of Aleph @AlephMelbourne. They recently received an official apology from the Jewish Community Council Victoria for exclusion over 20 years ago. This is an historic occasion, because this is the first time a Jewish organisation has apologised, worldwide, for such things. 20 years of this hurt has been wiped away by this apology. JCCV have agreed that it was not just harmful but hateful.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 8:26 — 5.8MB)
Queer TV Melbourne coverage
Coverage of the April 2019 JCCV apology to Aleph Meebourne
This list of articles will be updated as new coverage is identified.
Michael Barnett from Aleph Melbourne
JOY 94.9 Saturday Magazine / April 14 2019
JCCV’s ‘sorry’ to Aleph 20 years on
Australian Jewish News / April 5, 2019
[Note, there are a couple of mistakes in the second last paragraph of this story. Aleph is not currently a member of the JCCV LGBTIQ Reference Group, although there are ongoing discussions about this. Also, back in 1999 Aleph did not lose members after the failed vote. The group went into hiatus and when it reformed it didn’t reinstate dues, which means there are no financial members, a prerequisite of becoming a JCCV affiliate.]
MEDIA RELEASE: Aleph Melbourne receives historic 20 year apology from Jewish Community Council of Victoria
Aleph Melbourne / April 2, 2019
JEWISH LGBTI GROUP ALEPH MELBOURNE RECEIVES ‘HISTORIC’ APOLOGY FROM JEWISH COUNCIL
Star Observer / April 2, 2019
JCCV makes historic apology to Aleph Melbourne
J-Wire / April 2, 2019
Sorry seems to be the hardest word
Australian Jewish News / March 7, 2019
The Saturday Magazine program on JOY 94.9 invited Aleph Melbourne convenor Michael Barnett to talk about work of the organisation and LGBTIQ issues in Melbourne’s Jewish community.
This interview was broadcast live to air from the JOY studios on April 4 2015 at 10:45am. Program host was David ‘Macca’ McCarthy with guest host Wil Anderson.
Federal Labor MP for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby has justified his decision to abstain from last September’s marriage equality vote and subsequent refusal for more than six months to reiterate his support for the issue as “political gravitas or timing”.
Danby did not vote at all when Labor’s marriage equality bill was put to the House of Representatives last year despite indicating his support for equality before the 2010 election, angering many in the LGBTI community. Following the vote he was silent about his reasons until later this year, ignoring numerous requests for comment by the Star Observer.
Danby broke his silence and clarified the issue publicly in an interview on LGBTI radio station JOY 94.9 on May 25. He stated he would support any future marriage equality bills and justified his abstention under the conscience vote granted Labor members, saying that “my assessment was it wasn’t going to get through”.
The MP has now gone into detail with the Star Observer about his refusal to comment on the abstention for the first time, justifying his actions in terms of the current political climate.
“It’s the worst political crisis and ugliest Parliament I’ve ever been in, and there are lots of issues that people are involved in…the leadership in particular, and they took priority over some other issues. I can’t apologise for it because that’s just what happened,” Danby said, explaining Labor’s internal leadership struggles prevented him from engaging with the LGBTI community.
“It’s not that I didn’t have time, I prioritised what I thought was important. Survival of the government was — it was obvious at any minute that we could go under, and I was concentrating on stability inside the government and on other issues, which didn’t give this the priority that people in the LGBTI community wanted.”
A month prior to his interview on JOY 94.9 Danby sent a letter to a constituent named Tony Pitman explaining he abstained on the basis of “fairness,” not political manoeuvring.
In the letter dated April 11 he wrote that “I abstained from the vote on that bill because I did not think it fair that half the Parliament — the Labor Party — had a free vote, while the other half — the Coalition parties — were ordered by their Leader Mr Abbott to vote against the bill”.
Danby told the Star Observer his decision was primarily about politics.
“You can call it political expediency, I call it political gravitas or timing. You can have people who make their views — it just has to be done now or whatever — as clear as they like…it’s the MPs who understand how Parliament works who are the best judge of that,” Danby said.
“And I’m not saying we’re any superior breed but you have to make a judgement in our own circumstances and in this parliament, with Tony Abbot breathing down our necks and leadership challenges, I made the judgement that this was not going through.”
When the Star Observer asked what prompted his eventual decision to comment on the radio, Danby offered the following:
“When it became clear to me that people in the community were agitated about this…I thought, let’s strike while the iron’s hot. The issue was quiet, over, and it was time to make clear to people where I stood.”
Marriage equality groups and the Star Observer have lobbied Danby since the vote to comment on his decision. Although the statement on JOY 94.9 came just days after then-backbencher Kevin Rudd announced his support for marriage equality, Danby said his actions were “in spite of” Rudd, not because of him.
Danby said most of the lobbying on marriage equality in his electorate was in support, but said he was also being lobbied to oppose it by some religious groups, notably the Greek Orthodox community. However, Danby reiterated his support for marriage equality going into this year’s federal election, promising again to vote for future bills. He said he believes Labor would be able to pass marriage equality in the next government if elected.
“Now the opportunity is for Labor being elected and holding people like me to our pledges, and it’ll happen,” he said.
Danby is facing openly gay Liberal Party candidate and marriage equality supporter Kevin Ekendahl in the election, who he defeated in 2010 with an increased majority.
The interview with Nina Bassat runs from 3:45 to 12:41 in the following podcast.
|Title:||The Rainbow Report-May Day 2012|
|Summary:||With Nina Bassat, JCCV President on progress in the Jewish community since the LGBTI report, Catherine Gardiner-Gaskin on how Scouts Australia is inclusive, Keith Paulusse on how the Seventh Day Adventist Church shut down his language school, and Brent Allan on the latest NAPWA HIV/AIDS campaign.|
|Published:||Wed, 2 May 2012 10:01 AM|
|Download:||01052012 Rainbow Report PODCAST.mp3|