MR: Aleph Melbourne commends the Andrews government for strengthening anti-hate protections

MEDIA RELEASE
September 2 2021

Aleph Melbourne commends the Victorian Government, under the leadership of Premier Daniel Andrews, for its ongoing commitment to protecting all Victorians from hate, and for standing steadfastly strong with Jewish and LGBTIQ+ Victorians.

Along with making the public display of Nazi symbols illegal, we welcome the government’s commitment to extending anti-vilification protections to cover sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and HIV/AIDS status.

All too often homophobia is juxtaposed with antisemitism in wanton acts of hate, as evidenced by the attack on Cranbourne Golf Club last year[1] and the attack on the Gardiner’s Creek Trail in July this year[2].

It was with sadness that Aleph Melbourne’s submission to the Inquiry into Anti-Vilification Protections highlighted a litany of anti-LGBTIQ+ vilification emanating from within the Jewish community. We hope that these reforms will see the end of such intolerance, and allow those in our community who have been forced to live in the shadows to feel sufficiently empowered to come forward and live a more authentic life.

We are also grateful to David Southwick MP for inviting Aleph Melbourne to lodge a submission to the Inquiry, which the committee found most compelling.[3]

Michael Barnett
Co-convenor
Aleph Melbourne

CONTACT
michael@aleph.org.au
0417-595-541

RELATED MEDIA

  1. MR: Aleph Melbourne condemns Nazi defacement of resurfaced Gardiners Creek Trail (July 17 2021)
    https://aleph.org.au/2021/07/17/mr-aleph-melbourne-condemns-nazi-defacement-of-resurfaced-gardiners-creek-trail
  2. Response to attack on Cranbourne Golf Club (May 21 2020)
    https://aleph.org.au/2020/05/21/response-to-attack-on-cranbourne-golf-club
  3. Letters: Tackling vilification | AJN (Mar 20 2021)
    https://aleph.org.au/2021/03/20/letters-tackling-vilification-ajn

ENDS

MR: Aleph Melbourne condemns Nazi defacement of resurfaced Gardiners Creek Trail

MEDIA RELEASE
July 17 2021


Aleph Melbourne condemns the senseless defacement and vandalisation of the freshly resurfaced Gardiners Creek Trail in Ashwood.

The presence of the Nazi swastika along with the accompanying words “KILL GAYS” is a chilling attack on not only Jews and gay people but on all minority groups.

It is unfortunate that a small number of people feel so insecure with themselves that they are drawn to destroy public property and peddle fear.

Sadly further public money will be required to erase this vandalism, which could have been put to better use.

Michael Barnett
Co-convenor
Aleph Melbourne

CONTACT
michael@aleph.org.au
0417-595-541

MEDIA
Original and enhanced images of the vandalism are available at this gallery:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Rdndh5Rco2dKoovG8

ENDS

UPDATE – July 17, 6pm
City of Monash CEO Dr Andi Diamond advised Aleph Melbourne earlier this afternoon that a team was being dispatched to erase the vandalism

UPDATE – July 18, 11am
City of Monash attended the site of the vandalism yesterday as advised. They have covered up the swastikas with large yellow plates. The defacement is still in place, with the “KILL GAYS” wording still visible: https://photos.app.goo.gl/BmLkRNA7q1BiMPhG8

UPDATE – July 20, 7:30pm
The defacement has since been scrubbed from the concrete:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/6Fxeqb5xdGcJxFdRA


MEDIA COVERAGE
Star Observer
J-Wire
OUT in Perth

MR: Walt Secord shames gay men in speech about racism and antisemitism

Media Release
July 11 2021

Aleph Melbourne notes that on June 8 in a speech calling out racism and antisemitism, whilst invoking survivors of the Holocaust, NSW MP Walt Secord used a derogatory term used to shame effeminate and gay men.

Calling a response “limp-wristed and totally inadequate” only serves to further shame men for their mannerisms. This is an example of toxic masculinity at its worst, and contributes to the negative mental health outcomes many same-sex attracted men experience.

Perhaps Mr Secord is unaware that gay men, some Jewish, also survived the Holocaust. Being effeminate may have been a reason they came to the attention of the Nazi regime.

Mr Secord has form in relation to making homophobic comments. In 2017 he was reported to have made a similarly unacceptable remark in Parliament.

People who stand up for human dignity must not pick and choose who they stand up for. Standing up for Jews must not come at the expense of gay and bisexual men.

Aleph Melbourne calls on Mr Secord to reflect on his behaviour and issue an apology for his unsatisfactory choice of words.

Michael Barnett
Co-convenor
Aleph Melbourne

CONTACT
contact@aleph.org.au
0417-595-541

Sources

[1] https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Hansard/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-1820781676-85824/link/94

[2] https://www.starobserver.com.au/news/national-news/new-south-wales-news/labor-accused-homophobic-slur/155816


RACISM

The Hon. WALT SECORD (17:03): As the acting chair of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel and the patron of the New South Wales Labor Israel Action Committee, I comment on the inadequate answer given by the education Minister in relation to a shameful anti-Semitic incident involving an employee of the education department. The Minister’s answer was woefully inadequate and did not respond appropriately to the seriousness of the matter. The Minister said that she and her department reject all forms of racism, but she refused to say whether that person is still employed in her department. I am referring to an article entitled “NSW government staffer behind Hitler slur”, which was published in the 4 June edition ofThe Australian Jewish News and was penned by senior journalist Gareth Narunsky.

The incident relates to an employee of the education department posting on Facebook a photograph of Adolf Hitler with the words “It’s such a shame he didn’t finish his job.” Such a posting is reprehensible for anyone, let alone an employee of the education department. To give an illustration of the community concern about this, as at 4.00 p.m. it was the fourth most-viewed news item onThe Australian Jewish News‘ The Times of Israel website. The incident is deeply offensive to the Jewish community, especially survivors of the Shoah, those who fought Nazism and fascism and any sensible member of the community.

I also concur with the Australasian Union Of Jewish Students activist Gabrielle Stricker-Phelps, who called on the education department to take action. Sadly, the response from the education department has been limp‑wristed and totally inadequate. The education department would only say, “Our code of conduct outlines the expected behaviour of staff,” and “We cannot comment on the particulars of any case.” You have got to be kidding. The education department and the Minister should have condemned outright the actions of the departmental employee in unequivocal terms. I have witnessed and seen this Minister for several years and I am absolutely surprised that she would let this go through to the keeper. I thought that she would have taken action on this and condemned it in unequivocal terms. I am deeply disappointed.

To assist honourable members, I seek leave to table a print out of the offensive social media post, which I referred to in my question and supplementary question for written answer.

Leave granted.

Document tabled.

PRESS RELEASE: Jewish Care Victoria Welcomes Legislative Ban on Harmful LGBTI+ Conversion Practices

2021-MEDIA-RELEASE-Jewish-Care-Victoria-Welcomes-Legislative-Ban-on-Harmful-LGBIT-Conversion-Practices-FINAL

[PDF]

Media Release: Aleph Melbourne welcomes Victorian Government protections against conversion practices

MEDIA RELEASE
FEBRUARY 7 2021
ALEPH MELBOURNE WELCOMES VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT
PROTECTIONS AGAINST CONVERSION PRACTICES

Aleph Melbourne welcomes the passage of the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020 and congratulates the Victorian Government for their unflinching support in this journey.

Many same-sex attracted and gender diverse Jews have been victims of disreputable people and organisations within and beyond the Jewish community who have performed destructive conversion practices, often with long-lasting negative or even fatal consequences.

This legislation sends a clear message that no longer is it acceptable or legal to tell someone they are broken because of their gender identity or sexual orientation and then attempt to make the person conform to an unnatural identity.

Knowing our state government, under the capable leadership of Premier Daniel Andrews, has taken this issue seriously proves it cares about the well-being of people with diverse sexual and gender identities.

Victoria has set a high bar on this important issue, and we hope that other states around Australia are motivated to tighten their laws similarly.

We acknowledge the tireless dedication of the Brave Network, SOGICE Survivors, Jewish Care, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Just Equal and Equality Australia, together with the many individuals and networks who have helped in bringing about this visionary change.

END

CONTACT
Michael Barnett – Co-convenor
0417-595-541
michael@aleph.org.au


Aleph Melbourne disgusted by Australia Day 2021 honour awarded to Margaret Court

The Council for the Order of Australia should hang its collective head in shame for honouring Margaret Court, a purveyor of bigotry.

MEDIA RELEASE
JANUARY 26 2021
ALEPH MELBOURNE DISGUSTED BY

AUSTRALIA DAY HONOUR AWARDED TO MARGARET COURT

The Australia Day 2021 Honour bestowed to Margaret Court “for eminent service to tennis as an internationally acclaimed player and record-holding grand slam champion, and as a mentor of young sportspersons” flies in the face of good taste and decency.

As an organisation representing Jewish LGBTIQ+ people we have been doubly impacted by Margaret Court’s incessant demonisation, with her comparison of the work done to protect LGBTIQ+ children to what Adolf Hitler did, and her rabid transphobia and homophobia.

Margaret Court may be capable when it comes to mentoring in tennis, but as a community leader she is a danger to impressionable young people by telling those who are LGBTIQ+ that they are the work of the devil and making them feel bad about themselves.

The Council for the Order of Australia should hang its collective head in shame for honouring a purveyor of bigotry.

END.

Contact
Michael Barnett – Co-convenor
contact@aleph.org.au
0417-595-541

Multicultural voices in support of the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020

Multicultural voices in support of the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Download the letter

Various multi-faith, multicultural LGBTQ+ and allied voices have written an open letter in support of the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Bill 2020 currently before the Victorian Parliament.

The letter is signed by:

  • Ghassan Kassisieh, Legal Director, Equality Australia and author of the ‘We’re Family Too’ report
  • Dr Judy Tang, Victorian Multicultural Commissioner and ex-President of Australian LGBTIQ+ Multicultural Council
  • Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, Research lead and founding member of Australian LGBTIQ+ Multicultural Council (AGMC); Gender & Sexuality Studies, Deakin University
  • Cedric Yin-Cheng, Chief Executive Officer, Australia & New Zealand Tongzhi Rainbow Alliance Inc (ANTRA)
  • Abanob Saad, Conversion Practice Survivor and Founder, Queer Middle-Eastern and African Christians in Australia (QMEACA)
  • Benjamin Oh and Molina Asthana, Co-Convenors, Asian Australian Alliance (AAA)
  • Budi Sudarto, Director, Ananda Training & Consultancy and Member of Queer Muslims in Australia
  • Ken Dumandan, President, Acceptance Melbourne LGBTIQ+ Catholics
  • Dr Reem Sweid, Founder and former President of Muslim Collective; Faculty Member, Alfred Deakin Research Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University
  • Nathan Despott, Brave Network
  • Michael Barnett, Co-convenor, Aleph Melbourne
  • Bhante Akāliko Bhikkhu, Rainbodhi LGBTQIA+ Buddhist Community


Media contact
Paige Burton
Equality Australia
paige.burton@equalityaustralia.org.au
0418 432 030

20201207-Letter-to-Victorian-MPs-re-Multicultural-Multifaith-People-in-Support-of-Conversion-Bill

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

MR: Aleph Melbourne commends Caulfield Hebrew Congregation on significant LGBTIQ+ diversity reform

MEDIA RELEASE
Aleph Melbourne commends Caulfield Hebrew Congregation on significant LGBTIQ+ diversity reform
July 12 2020

Aleph Melbourne commends the board of Caulfield Hebrew Congregation (CHC) for taking an unequivocal stance against all intolerance of LGBTIQ+ people, and accepts a sincere apology from the board for recent comments made on social media by a CHC Vice President.*

By committing to undertake diversity training, and by accepting that intolerance and vilification directed at LGBTIQ+ people is unacceptable, the CHC board sends a strong message to trans and gender diverse, same-sex attracted, and intersex people in the Jewish community that they are valued, important and worthy.

We acknowledge CHC Rabbi Ralph Genende for his decade-plus leadership in being a proponent for the acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people.

Now with Caulfield Hebrew Congregation sending a clear message that Orthodox Judaism can embrace LGBTIQ+ diversity, Aleph Melbourne calls on all Orthodox synagogues in Melbourne and across Australia to stand in solidarity on this important stance.

* https://aleph.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/20200712-Caulfield-Hebrew-Congregation-Apology-from-President-David-Mond.pdf

MEDIA CONTACT
Michael Barnett (pronouns: he/him/his)
contact@aleph.org.au
0417-595-541

ENDS

20200712-Caulfield-Hebrew-Congregation-Apology-from-President-David-Mond

Response to attack on Cranbourne Golf Club

MEDIA RELEASE
May 21 2020

Response to attack on Cranbourne Golf Club

Aleph Melbourne is disturbed by the news of a pointless and senseless act of cowardly vandalism at Melbourne’s Cranbourne Golf Club.

The antisemitic and homophobic graffiti demonstrates profound immaturity and insensitivity by the perperator/s.

As a support group for LGBTIQ+ Jews we feel the pain doubly. We are targeted for being Jewish. We are targeted for our sexual orientation.

What makes this type of vandalism especially pernicious is that it was laced with hate. It wasn’t an ordinary case of self-expression on a fence or wall, but rather, a calculated and targeted act of intolerance designed to hurt people.

We hope that the perpetrator/s are brought to justice. More than that, we hope that they come to understand the nature of their crime and make amends for their actions.

END


MEDIA CONTACT
Michael Barnett (pronouns: he/him/his)
Co-convenor – Aleph Melbourne
0417-595-541
contact@aleph.org.au

SOURCE
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/golf-club-vandals-spray-swastikas-on-fourth-green-in-chilling-attack-20200521-p54v5t.html