Is Marriage Alliance’s CEO Damian Wyld being deceptive?

April 14, 2017

In an open letter published on March 31 2017, Marriage Alliance’s CEO Damian Wyld claims, in the absence of any evidence:

We are alarmed by the news that Mark Allaby has been pressured to stand down from the board of another faith-based institution because of the perception that such board positions are not compatible with employment with companies which have publicly expressed support for changing the definition of marriage.

Contrary to what is expressed by some activists, we do not consider that your company’s expressed commitment to diversity is undermined by allowing all employees, including senior executives, the ability to hold, express and act on their beliefs in relation to marriage.

Two weeks earlier I posted this tweet:

In this tweet (and others) I raised concern about Mark Allaby working for IBM, a pro-LGBTIQ Pride in Diversity member organisation, whilst being a Director on the board of a charity holding a strong anti-LGBTIQ stance.

It’s unclear on what sound basis Damian Wyld brought the issue of marriage into this conversation.  My tweets simply do not mention or allude to marriage.

What my tweets do is raise questions around how a senior employee of a leading pro-LGBTIQ corporation can, with any level of personal integrity, support their employer’s pro-LGBTIQ Diversity Statement, whilst also being on the board of a charitable organisation whose framework is based on a version of Christianity that is fundamentally opposed to LGBTIQ inclusion and equality.

If there is any doubt of the latter, the Lachlan Macquarie Institute is run by the Australian Christian Lobby, an organisation that comprehensively dedicates significant resources to denying dignity and full societal inclusion to same-sex attracted, intersex, and gender diverse Australians.

On the issue of marriage, to date IBM have never issued a public statement declaring support for marriage equality.  IBM’s logo did appear on the Australian Marriage Equality list of declared corporate supporters sometime between February 19 and March 20 this year.  However AME have told me that on the grounds of privacy they will not provide evidence of any correspondence authorising their use of IBM’s logo.  In the absence of any public statement from IBM or AME, it can only be concluded that IBM have privately declared support for marriage equality.

I can confidently state that during my employment at IBM, from October 2005 to February 2015, IBM had explicitly and variously declined to go as far as declaring support for marriage equality.  This was despite IBM being a solid supporter of LGBTIQ visibility and inclusion in the workplace, and being a founding member of Pride in Diversity.  Since February 2015 IBM has not issued a public statement in support of marriage equality.

On March 16 The Daily Telegraph’s Miranda Devine reported IBM’s Managing Director Kerry Purcell co-signed a letter, in his personal capacity, declaring support for marriage equality.  However it’s quite a leap to claim that IBM’s corporate entity declared support for marriage equality simply because their Managing Director declared personal support for it.

So where is Damian Wyld’s evidence to substantiate his claim that IBM “have publicly expressed support for changing the definition of marriage”?

And where is Damian Wyld’s evidence to substantiate his claim that “Mark Allaby has been pressured to stand down from the board of another faith-based institution”.

Further, where is Damian Wyld’s evidence of who pressured Mark Allaby to stand down from the board of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute?

I have certainly never contacted Mark Allaby, and IBM has refused to comment on the topic.

In conclusion, Damian Wyld has distorted my tweets, falsely claimed IBM have made a public statement of support for marriage equality, and claimed, without evidence, that pressure was put on Mark Allaby to stand down from the board of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, without stating by whom.

It seems that Marriage Alliance CEO Damien Wyld is being deceitful in his open letter.  He has provided no evidence of his claims and it would appear he has distorted and fabricated the truth.

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Clarifying the authority of the ECAJ

January 11, 2013

Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia
legcon.sen@aph.gov.au

January 11 2013

Dear Committee Secretary,

I wish to clarify some potentially misleading information presented in submission #242 by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) on the Exposure Draft of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012.

The ECAJ describes itself as “the officially elected representative organisation of the Australian Jewish Community and speaks on its behalf.”

If you review the ECAJ web-site (www.ecaj.org.au) you will see on the front page it lists its constituents and affiliates.  These are the organisations and communities it represents.  To help you understand this better, let me give you an example.

One of the constituents of the ECAJ is the Jewish Community Council of Victoria.  The JCCV represents approximately 60 member organisations in the Victorian Jewish community.  There are many organisations it does not represent, including a number of schools, synagogues and other organisations.  The JCCV claims to be the voice of the Victorian Jewish community, yet it has no authority to be the speak on behalf of the organisations it does not actually represent.  Similarly, the ECAJ has no authority to claim to represent those organisations, communities or citizens who are not affiliated with its constituents.

It is also important to understand that the ECAJ does not represent in any way the best interests of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the Jewish community.  The ECAJ, and its constituents have no formal GLBTI representation, and have never engaged in any formal consultation with the GLBTI community to understand and cater for the specific needs of this highly disadvantaged, marginalised and victimised minority section of its community.

In fact it is clear from the ECAJ submission to your committee that they believe GLBTI people should not have any protection under anti-discrimination legislation.  The ECAJ also give tacit approval that same-sex couples should be denied the right to equality under the Marriage Act, which is further evidence that the ECAJ do not represent the interests of GLBTI people.

To this end you will have a better understanding that not only do the ECAJ not represent the entire Australian Jewish community, but they do not and cannot speak on its behalf.  Further, I can state with absolute authority that the ECAJ do not speak on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the Jewish community.

Finally, I would like to make it clear that it is imperative that anti-discrimination legislation afford full protection to people on the grounds of gender identity, gender expression, biological sex characteristics and sexual orientation.

I will be glad to assist in clarifying any of this information.

Sincerely,

Michael Barnett
Convenor
Aleph Melbourne
www.aleph.org.au
0417-595-541


Michael Danby MP silently shows support for Marriage Equality

January 18, 2012

Australian Marriage Equality have today issued a revised list of Australian politicians who are publicly supporting the call for Marriage Equality.  Of particular interest (and pleasure) to me is the presence of the name of the ALP’s Federal member for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby.

Michael Danby MP - Melbourne Ports - supporting Marriage Equality

Michael Danby MP - Melbourne Ports - supporting Marriage Equality

Prior to the 2010 Federal Election Michael Danby refused to speak specifically in favour of Marriage Equality.  However he did allude to increased support for Marriage Equality from his party should it be successful in winning the election, as outlined in this media release from the then Secular Party candidate for Melbourne Ports Gregory Storer.

The next step Michael Danby needs to take is to make a public statement of his support for Marriage Equality, something that is noticeably missing from his web site.


AME gets all tweety about my equal love letter to Kelly O’Dwyer MP

December 17, 2011

 


Fascist Dictator Julia Gillard stops gay Aussies marrying in New York

July 9, 2011

From: Alex Greenwich (AME)
Date: 8 July 2011 12:45
Subject: MEDIA RELEASE: GILLARD STOPS GAY AUSSIES MARRYING IN NEW YORK
To: Michael Barnett

AUSTRALIAN MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Media Release
Friday July 8th 2011

GILLARD STOPS GAY AUSSIES FROM MARRYING IN NEW YORK

The Gillard Government is blocking the marriages of gay Australians in New York.

When New York state’s new equal marriage law takes effect on July 27th same-sex couples from other countries will be able to marry there if they provide a Certificate of Non-Impediment to Marriage (CNI) to show they are not already married in their home country.

But the Australian Government refuses to give such certificates to same-sex couples intending to marry overseas, a policy defended by Julia Gillard as recently as the 14th of June, 2011.

Australian Marriage Equality National Convener, Alex Greenwich, called the policy petty and mean-spirited.

“The Gillard Government’s policy of not allowing same-sex marriages in Australia forces same-sex couples to go overseas if they want to marry, but when they apply to marry in another country Julia Gillard is there saying “no” as well”, Mr Greenwich said.

“This means some couples miss out on entitlements and protections they can only receive overseas if they are married in a country that would otherwise recognise their committment, and it causes endless hassles for couples who have planned their wedding only to find it can’t go ahead.”

In response to a question from Independent MP, Andrew Wilkie on June 14th Julia Gillard incorrectly stated that CNIs are issued to show if a marriage is recognised in Australia (details here), but the New York Marriage Registry clearly defines a CNI in the following way:

“A Certificate of Non-Impediment is an official Certification that the City Clerk’s Office has no information that would be an “impediment” to your getting a Marriage License in the City of New York.”

In 2009, a tri-partisan Senate inquiry condemned the policy of not issuing CNIs to same-sex couples and called for it be scrapped on the following basis:

“A decision by a sovereign nation to allow marriage between a couple of the same sex should be a matter for that nation, and not a matter against which Australia should throw up bureaucratic barriers.”

On Wednesday, openly-gay South Australian Labor State Upper House member, Ian Hunter, condemned the Gillard Government’s refusal to issue CNIs and revealed he and his partner have officially applied for a CNI to marry overseas. (Details here).

Yesterday in an interview with Sky News, Julia Gillard said she may not respect a motion at December’s National Labor Conference in favour of allowing same-sex marriages. (Details here)

For more information contact Alex Greenwich on 0421 316 335.


Australian rabbis endorse marriage equality

May 25, 2011

Nearly four years after the 2007 statement from the Union of Progressive Judaism where they overturned their ban on same-sex commitment ceremonies, the UPJ have now endorsed full marriage equality under Australian law, as per the following media release from Australian Marriage Equality.

Media Statement
Wednesday May 25th 2011

RABBIS GIVE STRONG SUPPORT TO SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Australia’s Progressive Rabbis have endorsed marriage equality.

Australian Marriage Equality National Convener, Alex Greenwich, and former AMA head, Prof. Kerryn Phelps, have welcomed the statement saying it highlights support for allowing same-sex marriages among people of faith.

“We welcome the Rabbis’ strong statement in support of marriage equality because it highlights that people of faith can and do support full legal equality for all Australians”, Mr Greenwich said.

“To often this issue is wrongly portrayed as ‘God v gays’ when it is really about the equality and dignity of all people.”

“The statement is important, not only because it is made by religious leaders, but because it is based on religious values such as the recognition of human dignity and because it recalls the deep discrimination Jewish people have endured.”

The statement was also welcomed by former AMA head, Prof Kerryn Phelps, who was married in a Jewish ceremony in the US to her wife Jackie Stricker-Phelps.

“I am very pleased leaders of my faith have now formally declared support for my marriage and call on the Australian Government to do the same”, Professor Phelps said.

“Rabbis have been performing same-sex marriage ceremonies for some years now, and it’s important these marriages have the same legal recognition as other marriages.”

“The recognition and respect that my faith provides our relationship gives us great strength .”

The full statement from the Union of Progressive Judaism is attached.

For more information contact Alex Greenwich on 0421 316 335.


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