The Executive Council of Australian Jewry responds to misleading claims involving the Vishnitz Jewish Girls School and marriage equality.
In the continuing debate concerning the legal recognition of same sex marriages, verbal abuse should be condemned and factual inaccuracies corrected.
One claim relating to the Jewish community is that the ultra-Orthodox Vishnitz Girls School in north London in the UK lost its accreditation as a school because it would not cease teaching its version of sexuality and marriage after same-sex marriages became legal in March 2014.
In point of fact the school found itself in difficulties with Ofsted (the UK school regulatory authority) well before March 2014 because it was said to have failed various other legal standards arising under earlier legislation. For example, the school was found to have failed to have policies in place that would require it to report incidents of abuse and neglect.
Provisions of the UK Equality Act 2010, under which sexual orientation became a protected characteristic, and which predates the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, explicitly provide that the school has the right to teach its own beliefs about sexuality and marriage in a way that does not disrespect LGBTQI people.
Aleph Melbourne has detailed this situation in our post Lyle Shelton exposed for falsely blaming marriage equality for the failings of a London Jewish school.