Macnamara Candidates Forum – Question on Discrimination in Religious Schools – April 7 2019

Macnamara Candidates Forum – 2019 Federal Election – Question on discrimination in religious schools

Great Debate Macnamara 2019 banner

The Great Debate: Macnamara (at Glen Eira Town Hall)

AUJS and the AZYC, in partnership with the Australian Jewish News, are proud to present The Great Debate for the federal seat of Macnamara.
In the lead up to the federal election, it is vitally important for our community to ask questions and receive answers about the most pressing issues concerning us. This year, we’re giving YOU the power to ask those most burning questions on your mind. We’re opening up submissions now, so click here to submit your questions.
Venue will be announced closer to the date.
Confirmed to attend are:
Josh Burns (Labor)
Kate Ashmor (Liberal)
Steph Hodgins May (Greens)
This event is open to members of our community of all ages. We’re looking forward to stimulating debate and thoughtful dialogue!

Question by Michael Barnett:

“What is your party doing to ensure that all students, and also all teachers and other staff members, at religious schools are fully protected from both direct and indirect discrimination on the basis of their gender identity, sexual orientation, or intersex status?”

Listen to the question followed by responses from Steph Hodgins-May (Greens) @ 1:10, Josh Burns (ALP) @ 2:19, and Kate Ashmor (Liberal) @ 3:47:


Live-blogging via Galus Australis Community:

Al M Fein Michael Barnett asking a question about religious discrimination against LGBTQI people.

Hannah Aroni Next qu: what is your party doing to ensure all students and teachers at religious schools are protected from direct and indirect discrimination re their gender, sexuality or intersex status

Al M Fein People in the audience are talking and giggling. How gross. But good applause.

Hannah Aroni Clarifying this is about uniforms, bathrooms, discrimination re parents, hiding relationships or identity, being forced to attend religious ceremonies w hurtful statements

Al M Fein Steph Hodgins May talking about support for Safe School and oppose religious based discrimination.

Al M Fein Talking more about funding mental health.

Al M Fein Huge applause.

Hannah Aroni Steph noting Greens are long time advocates of safe schools and oppose teacher exemptions from protection against discrimination. Also coming back to mental health funding and hoping to continue working w schools and community to keep kids safe. Big youth applause on that!

Al M Fein Josh Burns talking about most of the Jewish schools making statements condemning homophobia.

Hannah Aroni Josh referencing statements from many specific Jewish schools re not wanting the power to discriminate, saying he’s happy about that, saying we shouldn’t be able to discriminate against students or staff.

Al M Fein Josh sinking the boot into Scomo for bringing religious based discrimination back – funding a Pride Centre in St Kilda

Al M Fein Kate Ashmor talking about being in the Midsumma Pride rally.

Hannah Aroni Josh saying last year the PM sent kids home after reversing onthis issue. Says people should imagine kids going home for summer thinking about that. Noting in this electorate 82% voted for marriage equality, noted Labor commitment to building Pride Centre in St K

Al M Fein And Kate says she voted ‘yes’ in the marriage equality debate BUT she’s saying that she will ensure freedom of religion – and institutionalised homophobia.

Al M Fein Talking about funding in the budget for mental health – to applause.

Hannah Aroni Kate saying she voted yes bc as a Lib she supports freedom and human rights. But saying freedom of religion is a cornerstone of the comm and that parents should be able to choose the values taught in schools and saying she will be a strong voice for that. Saying she was happy w the 720 mil funding and 30 new headspace centres, 4 new ED clinics

Hannah Aroni Being pulled back on this to topic by the moderator. Moderator correcting Kate – Kate tried to claim changes to law didn’t pass parliament bc labor refused, Mod says no, this was bc Libs refused to pas Lab changes

Hannah Aroni Kate saying she supports law to protect students, but stands w the PM re teachers and is … wow how do I do justice to this

Al M Fein More men yelling over women.

Hannah Aroni She’s going on about not being a typical pollie and the crowd thinks she’s full of shit, and Josh has pushed back to say this shows where she stands on the issue

Al M Fein Josh just put Kate back in her box after she claimed that she was talking shit because she is not a ‘staffer’

Hannah Aroni Next qu is about pill testing and harm reduction re drug users

Put David Southwick LAST in Caulfield

Put David Southwick and the Liberal Party last in Caulfield in the 2018 Victorian State Education

Liberal Party candidate and Caulfield incumbent David Southwick declared at the Caulfield Candidates Forum that he will scrap Safe Schools, a program that specifically supports LGBTIQ youth.

Disappointingly he has fallen for the perfidy of ultra-conservative forces both within and beyond the Liberal Party.

David Southwick could have informed himself of the facts around the Safe Schools program, he could have spoken to young people who have benefitted from Safe Schools, and he could have spoken to Jewish Care and the JCCV about Safe Schools, but he didn’t.

David Southwick, Matthew Guy and the Liberal Party are not friends of LGBTIQ people because their policies will harm LGBTIQ people.

Put David Southwick Last

In the 2018 Victorian State Election Aleph Melbourne recommends voters in the district of Caulfield put David Southwick LAST on the Legislative Assembly ballot paper and favour a progressive party that prioritises LGBTIQ issues on the Legislative Council ballot paper.


Authorised by M Barnett 2/24 Winbirra Parade Ashwood VIC 3147

AME Media Release: Labor MP accused of “Taking orders from Abbott” over Marriage Equality – Michael Danby “Not representing his electorate”

Michael Danby letter on Marriage Equality - April 11 2013


Labor MP accused of “Taking orders from Abbott” over Marriage Equality – Michael Danby “Not representing his electorate”

Australian Marriage Equality
Media Release
Tuesday April 16th 2013

Marriage equality advocates are furious that Melbourne Ports MP, Michael Danby, has again refused to declare unconditional support for the issue.

In a letter to constituents Mr Danby – a Labor MP who has a conscience vote on the issue – has said he will not vote for same-sex marriage until the Coalition allows a conscience vote.

Spokesperson for Melbourne Ports for Marriage Equality, Tony Pitman, said Mr Danby’s position is absurd.

“Michael Danby’s decision not to vote for marriage equality until Coalition members are given a free vote means he’s effectively taking orders from Tony Abbott.”

“Melbourne Ports voters should be very angry that their local MP is showing no leadership on this issue and is again side-stepping it.”

“Quite simply, he’s not representing the views of the vast majority of his electorate.”

Mr Danby was absent from the parliamentary vote on marriage equality in August last year, something which it has taken him almost nine months to explain despite repeated requests to do so from constituents.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said Mr Danby is playing politics with an issue that is about people’s lives.

“Mr Danby should not be playing political games with an issue that directly affects many families in Melbourne Ports.”

“Making his vote conditional on something another party does shows a deep deficit of moral courage and leadership.”

“Either he is prepared to vote for marriage equality when it is next proposed or he is not.”

Mr Danby’s Liberal challenger in Melbourne Ports is Kevin Eckendahl who is a supporter of both marriage equality and a Liberal conscience vote on the issue.

In his letter to constituents Mr Danby wrote,

“I abstained from the vote on that bill (in August last year) because I did not think it fair that half the Parliament – the Labor Party – had a a free vote, while the other half – the Coalition parties – were ordered by the Leader Mr Abbott to vote against the bill. My position is that when the Parliament has a genuine free vote on a marriage equality bill…I will support such a bill.”

For more information contact Tony Pitman on 0431 150 788 or Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.