Is it with extreme disappointment and dismay that a representative of an Australian religious organisation has invoked the name of one of the most feared people of the Holocaust, in comparison with a minority group who are campaigning for equal rights under Australian law.
Tens of thousands of homosexual men were murdered under the hand of Joseph Goebbels, alongside many millions of Jews and people from a variety of national identities and religious beliefs. To be compared to this person, in the pursuit of equality and human rights is unconscionable. It beggars belief that an individual with a respected career in the Australian Defence Force is incapable of comprehending the gravity and insensitivity of the words he uttered on national television.
As a support group representing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from a Jewish background, the words of Jim Wallace and the Australian Christian Lobby hit our members and those in the community who share a similar identity with a double punch, and they continue to reverberate through the families and friends of these people and the communities they belong to.
There is no excuse for hate and intolerance of people on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. Equal rights in marriage will only benefit the wider community and help show the commitment and love people in all relationships, irrespective of gender, express for each other. All Australians will benefit from equal marriage rights.
It is time for the Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, and the leader of the opposition, Tony Abbott, to stop listening to those who peddle hatred and intolerance, and start listening to those people who want equality and love. It is only then that Australia will become a much better country and the political leaders can know that they have made a worthwhile contribution to the welfare of all Australians, now and into the future.
Convenor, Aleph Melbourne.
June 7 2012.
[ Source material ]
22 Jul 2011
The Australian Jewish News Melbourne edition
Kevin Rudd’s sister slammed over slur
JEWISH leaders have criticised Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd’s sister for comparing the gay-marriage lobby to Nazi mass murderers.
In comments made to The Australian last week, Loree Rudd threatened to quit the Australian Labor Party if it backs gay marriage at its national conference in December. The devout Christian also accused some of the party’s members of being brainwashed by a “global gay Gestapo”.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has repeatedly expressed her opposition to same-sex marriage and has indicated her Government will make no changes to the Marriage Act. Nonetheless, many ALP members and supporters are urging her to reconsider her position.
While not weighing into the political debate, the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC), Australia’s peak Jewish human rights body, called for Loree Rudd to apologise for the comparison between policy advocates and Nazis.
“It is completely unacceptable for anyone to co-opt and trivialise the name of one of the most active and feared arms of the Nazi machinery for their own political purposes,” ADC president Anton Block told the media.
“The Gestapo was directly responsible for the murders of Jewish, Romani, homosexual and disabled people. To use its name in this context shows a level of ignorance and insensitivity that has no place in contemporary political discourse.”
Roy Freeman, founder of J4ME, a Jewish group advocating for same-sex marriage, called Rudd’s comments “offensive and obviously untrue”.
“This kind of language is unacceptable in 21st-century Australia,” he told The AJN. “Those who glibly throw around such comparisons diminish the crimes committed by the Nazis and attempt to demonise the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community.”
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff told media, “Drawing a comparison between advocates of gay marriage and the Gestapo is insensitive and counterproductive.”
16th July 2011
KEVIN Rudd’s sister has refused to apologise for describing a movement promoting same-sex marriage as a “global gay Gestapo”.
Loree Rudd, a divorced 60-year-old nurse who lives at Nambour, said she expected people would be offended by her opposition to gay marriage.
Homosexual lobby groups and the Anti-Defamation Commission have called for the Foreign Minister’s sister to apologise for her “anti-gay remark”.
“Some of the vitriol that was aimed at my comments was exactly what I was talking about,” Ms Rudd said.
“A lot of people, in fact thousands of people, who live very quietly are probably happy to have a discussion about issues like this (gay marriage).
“But why would they, because they get shot down in flames and called all kinds of dreadful names because they gave their opinion.
“That has been the trend … people back down and say not only that they retract their words but that they actually endorse the movement.
“That was the force of the intimidation I saw.
“That’s why I use the word Gestapo … (to describe) a force that intimidates and that people are afraid to stand up against.”
Ms Rudd spoke publicly this week against gay marriage and said she would quit Labor if it backed reform to marriage laws at the party’s national conference later this year.
She said her views were “very much based on a biblical tradition and a respect for the values and the institution that has served us well for so many years”.
Ms Rudd said her opinions had not been endorsed or opposed by her brother.
Four state ALP conferences have endorsed changes to legalise same-sex marriage.
NSW Labor last week refused to back the proposal and referred the issue to the national conference.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Ms Rudd’s brother have both said they did not support plans to change the marriage act.
July 15, 2011 – 7:04PM
The Anti Defamation Commission has joined calls for former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s sister to apologise over an anti-gay marriage remark.
Loree Rudd is lobbying federal MPs and threatening to quit Labor if the party backs gay marriage at its national conference in December.
She accused some Labor members of being brainwashed by a “global gay Gestapo” this week.
The ADC, Australia’s peak Jewish human rights body, said she should apologise.
“It is completely unacceptable for anyone to co-opt and trivialise the name of one of the most active and feared arms of the Nazi machinery for their own political purposes,” ADC chairman Anton Block said in a statement on Friday.
“The Gestapo was directly responsible for the murders of Jewish, Romani, homosexual and disabled people.
“To use its name in this context shows a level of ignorance and insensitivity that has no place in contemporary political discourse.
“It is highly offensive, and we call upon Ms Rudd to apologise immediately and unreservedly.”
Four state ALP conferences have endorsed changes to legalise same-sex marriage under federal law. NSW Labor last week refused to back the proposal and referred the issue to the national conference.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she does not have any plans to change the marriage act.
The coalition also opposes legislating for same-sex marriage but the Greens support it.