On July 27, 2011 I asked the president of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Jewish Community, Manny Waks, if his organisation could adopt a motion supporting respect for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people in his local community. Within a few hours the response was that he would indeed pursue this initiative.
Just a few hours ago I received the following message from Manny Waks:
I’m pleased to advise you that the GLBT Motion was passed at last night’s ACT Jewish Community’s Board meeting.
This is excellent news. The Canberra Jewish Community now joins the NSW and Victorian Jewish communities in their attempts to promote a more respectful and accepting environment for GLBT people. See above for the policy wording.
I truly hope that these words can be turned into positive actions over the coming months and years. Whilst there are significant hurdles to be overcome before homosexuality and bisexuality are considered remotely acceptable by Orthodox Judaism, it’s policies like these that will send the message that it’s unacceptable to treat people disrespectfully or in a discriminatory manner because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.