Candidate statement: Steve Dimopoulos – Labor for Oakleigh

The following political statement has been supplied by Steve Dimopoulos who is running as a candidate for Oakleigh District in the 2022 Victorian State Government election.

Aleph Melbourne will endorse all political candidates who unconditionally support equal rights for LGBTIQ+ Jews and whose values align with ours.


Dear Michael,

Thank you for the opportunity.

I have a belief that everyone should be able to live their life unencumbered by bigotry and prejudice.

I am very proud of the track record that the Andrews Labor Government has in supporting the LGBTQI+ community including the introduction of the Safe Schools program to create a safe environment for children, the banning of gay conversion therapy, the building and opening of the Gay Pride Centre in St Kilda and sponsoring the first Pride match at AAMI park. Premier Dan Andrews has marched in Pride March since the first year he became Premier and continues to do so. There is a lot more I can say about, the support of the Government that I am a member of, for the LGBTQI+ community including mental health and festival funding but I want to leave you with the following – a big part of the reason I can be out as a Minister and an MP in the Government is because of the culture of our Government.

I will continue to support and advocate for the LGBTIQ+ community.

Steve Dimopoulos

Candidate statement: David Southwick  – Liberal for Caulfield

The following political statement has been supplied by David Southwick who is running as a candidate for Caulfield District in the 2022 Victorian State Government election.

Aleph Melbourne will endorse all political candidates who unconditionally support equal rights for LGBTIQ+ Jews and whose values align with ours.


2 November 2022
Mr. Michael Barnett 
Co-Convenor 
Aleph Melbourne
Via email: michael@aleph.org.au

Dear Michael,

Leading into the state election this November, I wanted to reach out to you and affirm my support for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Over the years, I’ve been pleased to join you and members of Aleph at Midsumma and show allyship with a community that gives so much to our state. Our diversity – whether it be diversity of sexuality, religion, race, ethnicity, or gender identity – is our strength. Supporting all people, no matter where on the spectrums of sexuality and gender identity they may sit, is a fundamental part of what I believe in.

Recently, the Victorian Liberals supported the Andrews Government in passing laws to outlaw Gay Conversion Therapy. There is no place in Victoria for such barbaric practices and changing these laws ensured that.

The Liberals will protect religious freedoms to allow Jewish schools to employ people who are aligned with their values. These laws will not grant schools any power to terminate staff based on values and no existing staff would be impacted by the changes. Just as importantly, an individual’s sexuality, gender identity and ethnicity would also be equally protected from discrimination and unfair dismissal under these laws. Any proposed changes would only occur after extensive community consultation (including with Aleph) and would need to protect every single Victorian from discrimination.

I want to give you my iron-clad guarantee that any amendment to the Equal Opportunity Act will protect our LGBTQIA+ community from discrimination. As Liberals, our belief in equality is non-negotiable.

In 1981, it was a Hamer Liberal Government that decriminalised homosexual activity. In 2014, I was proud to be part of a Government that took the historic step to expunge these archaic convictions from the record. In 2017, as the Turnbull Government delivered gay marriage, I watched with pride as my former colleague Tim Wilson proposed to his now-husband Ryan on the floor of Parliament. A year later, a Federal Liberal Government put PrEP on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for the very first time.

A future Victorian Liberal Government will deliver a dedicated professional legal support service for the LGBTQIA+ community, which will be based at the Pride Centre. We will also invest $1 million over 4 years into Joy 94.9, so they can continue to bring the community together.

I look forward to continuing working with Aleph to determine where funding, support and advocacy can be most impactful.

After the 26th of November, I hope to stand with you as part of a Victorian Liberal Government that supports, respects and protects every community and every Victorian. We will always defend equality.

Yours sincerely,

David Southwick 
Member for Caulfield
Deputy Victorian Liberal Leader


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Candidate statement: Lior Harel – Labor for Caulfield

The following political statement has been supplied by Lior Harel who is running as a candidate for Caulfield District in the 2022 Victorian State Government election.

Aleph Melbourne will endorse all political candidates who unconditionally support equal rights for LGBTIQ+ Jews and whose values align with ours.


26 October 2022

Michael Barnett
Co-Convenor
Aleph Melbourne

Dear Michael,

It was a pleasure catching up with you some weeks ago to better understand the work of Aleph Melbourne as a social, support and advocacy group for LGBTIQ+ persons who identify as Jewish or who have a Jewish heritage.

As we discussed, I remember first meeting you when you came to speak to a group of the Australasian Union of Jewish Students at a Winter Conference in 1999. Your longstanding advocacy for the LGBTQI+ community is to be commended.

I am extremely proud that the current Andrews Government was the first government in the world to formally apologise to people convicted under historical laws against homosexual sex. Since its election in 2014, this Government has introduced a raft of reforms to better the lives of the LGBTIQ+ community. Some of these reforms have included:

  • Expunging old criminal convictions for homosexual activity
  • Establishing a Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ communities
  • Allowing couples to adopt regardless of their sex or gender identity
  • Banning practices that seek to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity

I am especially proud of the release, earlier this year, of a landmark 10-year plan to drive inclusion for LGBTIQ+ communities, which was coupled with a $6.5m investment to make organisations safer and more inclusive for LGBTIQ+ Victorians, support the health and wellbeing of people with an intersex variation and continue peer support for trans and gender diverse Victorians. It is important that LGBTIQ+ Victorians have access to specialist and mainstream services that meets their needs, including healthcare services and mental health services.

The Victorian Pride Centre, opened in July last year, is exemplary of the current Andrews Government’s commitment to celebrate and honour all parts of the diverse Victorian community.

Whilst I do not wish to comment in any detail on the position of our political opponents on these matters, I note for the record my great disappointment at the Victorian Opposition’s recent policy pledge to wind back protections from discrimination in religious schools. I see this as an alarming step backwards for all Victorians.

As we discussed, I would be interested in hearing more about where the LGBTIQ+ community believes further funding and advocacy is needed, particularly in the healthcare space. It is my hope that if elected I can be part of an Andrews Government that leads the way in LGBTIQ+ equality, and the celebration of LGBTIQ+ culture and community.

I look forward to catching up again soon!

Kind Regards,

Lior Harel
ALP Candidate for Caulfield


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Video: A conversation with Rabbi Mike Moskowitz

Aleph Melbourne and the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council hosted a conversation with Rabbi Mike Moskowitz at the Victorian Pride Centre on Sunday August 14, 2022.

AJN What’s On column August 12 2022

Rabbi Mike Moskowitz is the Scholar-in-Residence for Trans and Queer Jewish Studies at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the world’s largest LGBT synagogue. He is a deeply traditional and radically progressive advocate for trans rights and a vocal ally for LGBTQ inclusivity. Rabbi Moskowitz received three Ultra-Orthodox ordinations while learning in the Mir in Jerusalem and in Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ.

www.rabbimikemoskowitz.com

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)