Aleph Melbourne launches 2022 Victorian State Election Voters Guide for LGBTIQ+ Equality

MEDIA RELEASE
13 NOVEMBER 2022

ALEPH MELBOURNE LAUNCHES 2022 VICTORIAN STATE ELECTION VOTERS GUIDE FOR LGBTIQ+ EQUALITY

Aleph Melbourne is proud to announce its 2022 Victorian State Election Voters Guide for LGBTIQ+ Equality. 

The Voters Guide is designed to inform voters who want to select candidates who have comprehensively demonstrated or pledged support for LGBTIQA+ equality and inclusion.

This election the guide covers Victorian electoral districts (as per 2022 electoral boundaries) with 700 or more people with Jewish religious affiliation as at the 2021 census. The selected districts are Albert Park, Bentleigh, Brighton, Caulfield, Clarinda, Hawthorn, Malvern, Oakleigh and Prahran.

LINKS

KEY FEATURES

  • Individual candidate statements indicating commitment to LGBTIQ+ issues
  • Indicators advising whether a candidate is LGBTIQ+, an ally, or opposed to LGBTIQ+ equality
  • Indicators advising whether a candidate is Jewish, or is perceived to hold antisemitic views
  • Links to candidate/party platform/policies on LGBTIQ+ issues
  • Links to How To Vote cards (available from November 18)

We encourage voters to locate their voting district, review their candidates’ levels of support for LGBTIQ+ issues and vote in a manner that prioritises LGBTIQ+ equality.

HISTORY

This guide is the seventh in our series of election guides since 2013:

MEDIA CONTACT
Michael Barnett | 0417-595-541 | contact@aleph.org.au

ENDS

Mount Scopus Memorial College Child Wise Report 2022: The LGBTQIA+ Recommendations

Mount Scopus Memorial College

Recommendations from Child Wise Report 2022

17. Cultural and language diversity, gender, LGBTQIA+, disability, accessibility and inclusion of students is acknowledged within policies and procedures and training across Mount Scopus and includes references on how to make reasonable adjustments to improve the safety and wellbeing of students.

18. MSMC staff, leaders and Board members should receive diversity training (to include culturally and linguistically diversity, LGBTQIA+, disability and additional educational needs).

[Letter to Old Collegians] / [Recommendations]

MSMC-Child-Wise-Review-findings-and-recommendations

MSMC-Recommendations-from-ChildWise-Report

Rabbi Mike Moskowitz – powerful LGBTIQ+ ally

AJN What's On column: Rabbi Mike Moskowitz
AJN What’s On: Conversation with Rabbi Mike Moskowitz
L-R: Alexander Teh (AGMC), Susie & Dudi Danziger, Michael Barnett (Aleph Melbourne), Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, Colin Krycer (Aleph Melbourne)
L-R: Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, Michael Barnett (Aleph Melbourne)

Aleph Melbourne launches 2022 Federal Election Voters Guide

Aleph Melbourne launches its 2022 Federal Election Voters Guide

MEDIA RELEASE
16 MAY 2022

ALEPH MELBOURNE LAUNCHES 2022 FEDERAL ELECTION VOTERS GUIDE

Aleph Melbourne is proud to announce its 2022 Federal Election Voters Guide.  The Voters Guide is designed to inform voters living in voting divisions with high Jewish populations how to best identify candidates for the 2022 Federal Election who have comprehensively demonstrated or pledged support for LGBTIQA+ equality.

Links to the Aleph Melbourne 2022 Federal Election Voters Guide:

The Voters Guide is based on our three question survey asking:

  1. Do you support preventing all discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people (including school settings, sports settings and religious settings)?
  2. Do support preventing coercive surgeries and other non-consensual medical interventions for children born with variations in sex characteristics?
  3. Do you support ensuring access to gender affirmation treatment for trans and gender diverse people through Medicare?

Where a candidate did not respond to our survey we attempted to infer responses from their campaign or party policies.

Our guide contains the names of all candidates in the Federal divisions of Goldstein, Higgins, Hotham, Kooyong, Macnamara and Menzies.

We encourage voters to locate their voting division, review their candidates’ levels of support for LGBTIQ+ issues and vote in a manner that prioritises LGBTIQ+ equality.

We also encourage voters to contact candidates directly if they require additional information not included in the Voters Guide.

The Aleph Melbourne 2022 Federal Election Voters Guide is the sixth in our series of election guides since 2013. Our previous guides:

ENDS

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Michael Barnett
0417-595-541
contact@aleph.org.au

Reaction to Religious Discrimination Bill | AJN

‘NO BALANCE WILL PROVIDE PERFECT JUSTICE FOR EVERYBODY’

Reaction to Religious Discrimination Bill

By GARETH NARUNSKY
December 2, 2021, 11:01 am  

AS the latest draft of the federal government’s Religious Discrimination Bill is discussed in parliament and the media, Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Peter Wertheim said “it is appropriate that we are having this debate during Chanukah”.

“As much as the Jewish people admired many aspects of Hellenistic learning and civilisation, we totally rejected any attempt to forcibly assimilate our people into the then prevailing culture, and give up our beliefs and our identity,” he said.

“No faith community should be pressured into assimilating into today’s prevailing secular culture.

“It is particularly important for the religious organisations of minority faith communities to continue to be free to look after the religious and cultural needs of those communities.”

Commenting more specifically on the bill, Wertheim noted some of the “more contentious” aspects of the previous drafts have been removed, notably protections allowing employers to restrict religious speech outside the workplace – commonly referred to as “the Folau clause” – and the conscience protection for healthcare professionals.

“What is left is a conscientious attempt to balance prohibitions against religious discrimination with the freedom of religious organisations to operate according to their ethos,” he said. “No such balance will provide perfect justice for everybody. This bill tries to minimise the scope for injustice.”

Contrary to misconception, the bill does not speak to whether religious schools can exclude LGBTQI+ students – the Sex Discrimination Act already technically permits this – but under the legislation religious institutions would be allowed to have faith-influenced hiring policies, although these policies would need to be made public.

But Jewish organisations The AJN spoke to indicated they would not use the provision.

Moriah College principal Rabbi Yehoshua Smukler said the school seeks to employ high-calibre staff and “gender, identity, race and religion make no difference”.

“We aim to integrate Modern Orthodox Zionist Jewish values into our modern world and society, and we view the diversity of our educators and workforce as a huge benefit in achieving this goal,” he said.

“Diversity enriches the educational experience for our children.”

Emanuel School principal Andrew Watt said the school aspires to be “welcoming and inclusive … known for its genuine acceptance and understanding of diversity”.

“Emanuel School employs both Jewish and non-Jewish staff. We welcome staff and students into our school community, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Our enrolment and recruitment practices will remain unchanged,” he said.

Montefiore CEO Robert Orie said, “With more than 1000 employees, Montefiore is proud to employ a diverse workforce that spans many cultures, traditions and LGBTQI+ groups and our residents support and celebrate the diversity of our staff.”

Meanwhile, the state government said it is still committed to making amendments to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, but will wait to do so once the federal legislation is passed.

“This will allow the government to closely consider the Commonwealth legislation to ensure that its interaction with NSW legislation can be fully understood and that constitutional inconsistency is avoided,” said Attorney-General Mark Speakman.

But NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Darren Bark urged the government to act without further delay.

“The Parliamentary Joint Select Committee heard wide-ranging submissions from the community and produced a comprehensive and well-considered report,” he said.

“The Attorney-General has announced that religious discrimination will be outlawed in NSW, which is one of only two states in Australia that doesn’t have laws against religious discrimination.

“The NSW government has an opportunity to act now. We look forward to seeing these laws progressing through Parliament.”

Letters: Tackling vilification | AJN

Tackling vilification

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 Barnett
Co-convenor, Aleph Melbourne

Australian Jewish News, March 19, 2021, page 19

Aleph Melbourne launches 2020 Local Council Election Voters Guide

Aleph Melbourne launches its 2020 Local Council Elections Voters Guide

MEDIA RELEASE
5 OCTOBER 2020

ALEPH MELBOURNE LAUNCHES 2020 LOCAL COUNCIL ELECTION VOTERS GUIDE

Aleph Melbourne is proud to announce its 2020 Local Council Elections Voters Guide.  The Voters Guide is designed to inform voters living in councils with high Jewish populations how to best identify candidates for the 2020 Local Council Elections who have pledged to support and promote the efforts of local governments to foster a culture that is inclusive, responsive and accessible to LGBTIQA+ Victorians.

Links to the Aleph Melbourne 2020 Local Council Elections Voters Guide:

The Voters Guide is primarily based on the Victorian Pride Lobby‘s Rainbow Votes site which calls on candidates to campaign for and support:

  • Rainbow Tick accreditation for council-run services.
  • the establishment or continuation of an LGBTIQA+ advisory committee to council.
  • the development and implementation of a LGBTIQA+ action plan for council.
  • flying the rainbow flag from council buildings on LGBTIQA+ awareness days.
  • marching in Pride March or participating in Midsumma or local pride events.

Our guide contains the names of those candidates who have responded to the Rainbow Votes pledge in full, in part, or as a refusal. The guide will be reviewed and updated periodically.

We encourage voters to locate their voting ward, review their candidates’ levels of support for LGBTIQ issues and vote in a manner that prioritises LGBTIQ equality.

We also encourage voters to contact candidates directly if they require additional information not included in the Voters Guide.

The Aleph Melbourne 2020 Local Council Elections Voters Guide follows on from our 2013 Voters Guide to Marriage Equality in Jewish Melbourne, 2016 Voters Guide to Marriage Equality in Jewish Melbourne, 2018 Victorian State Election Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality and 2019 Voters Guide for LGBTIQ Equality.

ENDS

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Michael Barnett
0417-595-541
contact@aleph.org.au

Pathways Melbourne starts group for LGBTIQ+ people with life experience with Orthodox Judaism

Pathways Melbourne is setting up a confidential group for people with life experience as an Orthodox Jew who want to talk about their sexuality, gender etc in a safe space.

Contact Leah Boulton (leah@pathwaysmelbourne.org) for more information.

JCCV policy changes strengthen support for LGBTIQ+ people and people living with HIV

JCCV

At their 2019 Annual General Meeting the Jewish Community Council of Victoria passed an amendment to their Policy Platform, in response to feedback from Aleph Melbourne and others, strengthening support for a range of groups including LGBTIQ+ people and people living with HIV.

The relevant changes, as detailed in the Agenda of the AGM, are outlined here:

14. Amendment to the JCCV Policy Platform 

Proposed Resolution: 
That Paragraph 3.7.4 of the JCCV Policy Platform be amended as shown in mark up: 

Respect
3.7.4 
CALLS FOR abstention from any public or private conduct that incites hatred against, serious contempt for, revulsion, vilification or severe ridicule of, another person or group on the ground of their identity (including race, religion, colour, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, sex characteristics, HIV/AIDS status, descent or and national, ethnic or ethno-religious origin) or the lawfully held views or personal medical decisions of that other person or group. 

Note: the marked-up changes appear to have inadvertently removed the characteristic “gender”. Aleph Melbourne has raised this concern to the attention of the JCCV.

This amendment significantly builds on the ground-breaking 2010 reform where the JCCV added “sexual orientation” to their Policy Platform, and follows on from the (previously passed) changes the Executive Council of Australian Jewry made to their Policy Platform.


20191118-JCCV-AGM-Agenda