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

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What can gays do in New York that they can’t do in Australia?

August 15, 2011

Seven years after the Howard Liberal government introduced the delightfully discriminating Marriage Amendment Act (2004), we’re still rallying for marriage equality.

Tracy Bartram was guest of honour:

Tracy Bartram - fag-hagging it for marriage equality

Tracy Bartram - fag-hagging it for marriage equality

Federal Member of Parliament (The Greens) for Melbourne, Adam Bandt is a strong advocate for Marriage Equality.  He had a few words to say about Marriage Equality (including how the Liberal Party has been noticeably absent at these rallies – Shame Liberal Party Shame):

Adam Bandt - Federal MP for Melbourne (The Greens) - marriage equality legend!

Adam Bandt - Federal MP for Melbourne (The Greens) - marriage equality legend!

There were even drag queens and a hot dancing boy (because sequins and lip-sync are necessary to help legislate away the hate):

Polly Filla, Simon and Bumpa Love

Polly Filla, Simon and Bumpa Love

I seem to be a recurring feature at these rallies, and so does my partner Gregory.  We’re not married, but we are in a registered relationship in the state of Victoria.  We’ve been in a relationship since November 2008.  Why can’t we get married Julia?

My partner Gregory and me

My partner Gregory and me

Oh yeah, and in case you didn’t know, same-sex couples can now get married in New York (but not Australia!):

Same-sex marriage is now legal in New York

Same-sex marriage is now legal in New York

Back in March I took some pics, and last Saturday, August 13 2011, I took some more.  Enjoy the excitement of the day – photos on Picasa and Facebook.


Why does Marriage Discrimination make Julia Gillard moist?

March 26, 2011

Another Equal Love Rally came and went today.  Thousands of queer Melburnians and supporters turned up to protest the discrimination that the Gillard Government forces down the throats of all Australians when it comes to marriage rights.

 

Equal Love

Equal Love

Every single Australian is affected by this discrimination, not just those people wanting to enter a same-sex marriage, or a marriage not defined by gender.  The federal Marriage Act limits the choice of partner of every single Australian.

 

A gay marriage is a happy marriage

A gay marriage is a happy marriage

It’s time for the Gillard Government to stop pandering to the Christian and other religious fundamentalist bigots and start governing for all Australians, not just the ones that make her the most moist.

 

It's time Julia

It's time Julia

I took some photos of the rally.  Check them out on Picasa and Facebook.


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