WUPJ – The Jewish Superhero

February 25, 2011

[SOURCE]

It’s heartening to see the Progressive Jewish world working to reduce the isolation and marginalisation of same-sex attracted people.  Unconditional acceptance and inclusion is the only way this can be done effectively and it seems they are on track here.

Yes, there is the big elephant in the room about same-sex marriage, and there doesn’t appear to be a light at the end of that tunnel yet.  I am optimistic that when the federal government here in Australia removes the obstacles to marriage equality, the Progressive community will be open to discussing this issue in a sensible and respectful manner.  I would be happiest to hear them say they will fully support the evolution of the Marriage Act.

I have included below a communication from Philip Bliss, President of Progressive Judaism Victoria and the Chair of the World Union For Progressive Judaism Resolutions Committee.  It contains the relevant resolution passed at the recent WUPJ assembly in San Francisco.  Clearly this is a step in the right direction.  I have asked Philip Bliss to have his committee consider including mention of bisexuality and gender identity, and reminded them that same-sex attracted people generally find the term “sexual orientation” favourable over “sexual preference”.

A hearty Mazal Tov to the Progressive community.  They are great advocates of human rights and equality and set a high benchmark for others to follow.

Dear Michael
In response to your email
As chair of the WUPJ resolutions committee I was delighted that the resolution below was passed by a huge majority (only one vote against) at our recent WUPJ convention in San Francisco. I also gave on interview on the GLT radio station Swirl a few days after.
I would say that this resolution covers the attitude of the UPJ and PJV here in Victoria
Sincerely
Philip Bliss President PJV


2) WUPJ Resolution on Gender and Sexual Equality
Whereas this International body of the World Union for Progressive Judaism condemns all forms of bigotry and discrimination in our society as being  incompatible with the preservation of human dignity which is destructive of tzelem elohim.
And whereas the WUPJ upholds the principle of treating all people equally whether by gender, age, colour or sexual preference.
And whereas the WUPJ has long championed full equality of women in our movement and in society generally.
IT IS RESOLVED that this International Assembly of the World Union for Progressive Judaism  calls on all institutions, colleges, congregations and youth groups to give equal opportunity to gay and lesbian members,  especially in terms of leadership and learning and to be aware of gender issues when developing study curriculum
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that this International Assembly of the World Union for Progressive Judaism calls on all institutions associated with the WUPJ to treat gay and lesbian couples in the same manner as married heterosexual couples and families.  This call includes commitment ceremonies, and family membership fees.


Is Suicide Prevention Australia genuine about preventing suicide?

September 10, 2010

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.  A lot of people are seriously trying to save a lot of people’s lives.  On the surface this looks like a genuine effort, and for the most part it is, but look a little deeper and not everything is as rosy as you’d like to think.

Suicide Prevention Australia endorses the Salvation Army in their attempts to curb suicide.  Yet the Salvation Army does not believe homosexuality is acceptable.  In fact the Salvation Army does not even acknowledge same-sex attracted people as an at-risk group on their Suicide Prevention Resources & Information page, despite rates of suicide amongst same-sex attracted youth currently reaching alarming levels.

Read my recent and unanswered letter to Ryan McGlaughlin, CEO of Suicide Prevention Australia.  I urge you to write to him as well and ask him the same questions as I do.  Why does SPA continue to endorse the Salvation Army, an organisation with homophobic attitudes that are harmful to same-sex attracted youth?  Why is Suicide Prevention Australia staying silent on this matter?

SPA need to speak out loudly against the Salvation Army and any other organisation that is intolerant of homosexuality.  Until then they can’t be seen to be serious about preventing suicide.


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