Rabbi Dovid Freilich shows his ignorance of marriage in Australia

Rabbi Dovid Freilich believes marriage is about having children. In Australia having children is not a requirement of married couples and anyone who believes otherwise clearly has a mistaken understanding of marriage.

The following appears on page 6 of the April 22, 2011 Melbourne edition of the Australian Jewish News:

Majority for gay marriage

GARETH NARUNSKY

IN Wentworth, the Sydney electorate with the highest number of Jewish voters, more than 72 per cent of people support same-sex marriage.

That figure comes from a survey conducted by shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull after the House of Representatives called on MPs to gauge voter opinion on extending the definition of marriage.

Jewish gay, lesbian bisexual, transgender and intersex group Dayenu has welcomed the results, but the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia (ORA) said it remained opposed.

Out of 2333 Wentworth residents who responded to the survey, 72.7 per cent said they were in favour of gay marriage.  Wentworth takes in the suburbs where a majority of Sydney’s Jews live.

Dayenu president Roy Freeman said the survey’s results were “amazing”.

“It would be great to see a Liberal MP of his standing taking a particular stand on this particular topic,” he said.

ORA president Rabbi Dovid Freilich said his organisation opposed any legislation to legitimise same-sex marriage.  “This is not intended to show any discrimination against the gay community, but simply to uphold the sanctity and purpose of marriage, which is the union of man and woman in not only expressing their love for one another, but in also bringing future generations into this world,” he said.

Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins of Sydney’s progressive Emmanuel Synagogue said “new times called for new readings”.

“Both the Progressive and Masorti movements have gone on record to endorse the rights of same-sex couples to have their exclusive committed relationships recognised and honoured by tradition,” he said.

Michael Danby, the MP in Melbourne Ports, which has the highest number of Jewish voters in Melbourne, has invited submissions rather than running a survey.

Today I submitted the following Letter to the Editor:

Thank you for your article on gay marriage.  The overwhelming evidence shows a clear change in thought on how modern Australians believe in equality for all citizens.

However, it is evident that Rabbi Freilich does not fully understand about marriage in Australia when he talks about a purpose for marriage, because the federal Marriage Act does not stipulate that a married couple must bring future generations into this world.

Despite this, numerous same-sex couples successfully raise happy, healthy children, even in the Jewish community.  If Rabbi Freilich would like to see these children raised with the full support of the Jewish community he should be campaigning for the removal of the legislation preventing marriage equality.  His actions will only harm those in same-sex relationships and their children.  Is this what the rabbi wants?

I suspect the good rabbi is more interested in blindly following harmful and outdated religious dogma than the welfare of the people in the Jewish community, but I remain open to correction.

Why does Marriage Discrimination make Julia Gillard moist?

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

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 Google Albums and Facebook.

When Michael met Gregory (or “A Delicatessen of Delights”)

The Potential Wedding Album project and Same Same tell you the story of how Michael and Gregory met.

I wrote about The Potential Wedding Album (TPWA) project last October.  It’s a great initiative that aims to raise awareness of the discrimination that Australians who are in a non-heterosexual relationship face in relation to Government recognition of their relationship.

To help get this important message out, TPWA have now partnered with Same Same and are running a series of interviews with same-sex couples, talking about how they met.  The first interview in the series is with me and my partner Gregory.  Read our story, and if you’re inspired, contact both TPWA and Same Same and tell your story too.

The Potential Wedding Album

In Australia it is currently illegal for two men, two women, or two people who just don’t identify as a male-female couple to get married.

There is no logical or valid explanation for this discrimination.  The legislation was put in place in 2004 under the Howard Government and remained in place under the Rudd Government and the current Gillard Government.  None of these “leaders” can justify this decision aside from a woeful “because”.  We all know they did it so they didn’t lose the vote of the hateful and bigoted Christian lobby.

Let’s pretend for a moment, however, that instead of legislating hate, the government decided to legislate love.  What might this love look like?  The Potential Wedding Album is a beautiful glimpse into this dream of what could be, and dare I say it, what will soon be.

Take a wander through the pages of this magnificent piece of work.  Journey through the lives of the photos you see, and the happy people in them.  There is a lot of love and joy there.  If marriage was permitted to be between any two consenting adults, just think what a better society we would have.

The world will still go on when same-sex couples can marry.  The sky won’t fall in.  There won’t be a cataclysm or a rapture, but there will certainly be enrapture.  What there will be is an abundance of love, happiness, acceptance, inclusion, and so much more.

Religious fundamentalists, whether they be Jewish, Muslim, Christian or whatever, will increasingly be shown to be the intolerant, narrow-minded bigots and haters that they are.   Their beliefs, or more accurately, their make-beliefs, which are based on antiquated, irrelevant nonsense, have no place in the 21st century.  These ideologies and dogmas need to be expunged from humanity because of their destructive and hurtful capacity.

Sooner than later our society will accept and nurture the relationships between homosexual couples, bi-sexual couples and couples that simply don’t conform to the stereotypical male/female gender binary.

Love is, by far, the best option.

The Sacred and the Secular: The Same Sex Marriages Case – An Evening with Albie Sachs

On Monday night I had the privilege of hearing Albie Sachs talk about his involvement in legalising same-sex marriage in South Africa.  An amazing person, someone we can all learn something from.

See below for details on the event and some background on Albie Sachs.

Albie Sachs, Gabi Crafti, Michael Barnett & Gregory Storer (photo by Gaby Jung); Sep 20 2010
Albie Sachs, Gabi Crafti, Michael Barnett & Gregory Storer; Sep 20 2010 (Photo by Gaby Jung)

The Sacred and the Secular: The Same Sex Marriages Case – An Evening with Albie Sachs

Organisation The Human Rights Law Resource Centre
Date 20 September 2010
Description The Human Rights Law Resource Centre (HRLRC) invites you to an evening with Albie Sachs, Former Judge of the South African Constitutional Court, on the topic of ‘The Sacred and the Secular: The Same Sex Marriages Case’.Sachs was appointed by Nelson Mandela as an inaugural judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He was a member of the National Executive of the ANC and played a crucial role in South Africa’s transition to democracy, including by contributing towards the drafting the South African Bill of Rights. Whilst in exile in Mozambique in 1988, Sachs was badly injured by a car bomb placed by South African security agents. He lost an arm and the sight of one eye as a result.

As a judge of the Constitutional Court, Sachs was responsible for many landmark human rights judgments, including in relation to equality, non-discrimination and social and economic rights. In 1991, Sachs won the Alan Paton Award for his book ‘Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter’. He is also the author of ‘Justice in South Africa’ (1974); ‘The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs’ (1966); ‘Sexism and the Law’ (1979); and ‘The Free Diary of Albie Sachs’ (2004). Sachs’ latest book, ‘The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law’, will be launched in Melbourne at this seminar.

Sachs is visiting Australia to deliver the University of New South Wales Law Faculty Annual Hal Wootten Lecture.

Time: 5.45 pm for 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm.

Venue DLA Phillips Fox, Level 21, 140 William Street, Melbourne
Cost $30 ordinary; $15 concession
Contact admin@pilch.org.au

The Sacred and the Secular:

The Same-Sex Marriages Case

with

Albie Sachs

Former Judge of the South African
Constitutional Court

Albie Sachs was appointed by Nelson Mandela as an
inaugural judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa,
from which he retired in 2009. He was a member of the
National Executive of the ANC and played a crucial role in
South Africa’s transition to democracy, including through
the drafting of the South African Bill of Rights. In 1988,
while in exile in Mozambique, he was badly injured by a car
bomb placed by South African security agents, losing an
arm and the sight of an eye.
As a judge of the Constitutional Court, Justice Sachs was
responsible for many landmark human rights judgments,
including in relation to equality, non-discrimination and
social and economic rights.
In 1991, Albie Sachs won the Alan Paton Award for his
book Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter. He is also the
author of Justice in South Africa (1974), The Jail Diary of
Albie Sachs (1966), Sexism and the Law (1979) and The
Free Diary of Albie Sachs (2004). His most recent book,
The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law, will be launched in
Melbourne at this seminar.
Albie Sachs is visiting Australia to deliver the University of
New South Wales Law Faculty Annual Hal Wootten
Lecture.

Ilana Leeds, a victim of Jewish religious brainwashing

Ilana Leeds posted a hateful comment on Galus Australis. She is a narrow-minded bigot who contributes to the high rate of youth suicide.

[SOURCE]

Ilana Leeds posted a hateful comment on Galus Australis:

1. Same sex marriage – I do not particularly (along with a few others) like having homosexuality presented to me as ‘normal’. It is not and while I do not advocate discrimination against people who are practicing homosexuals, I think if they want marriage and all the other things that go with it,(Like the adoption of children) they need to give up their deviant practices and return to a heterosexual lifestyle and put themselves in order. Children deserve to have a normal family situation as far as possible.

Ilana Leeds believes her god demands she say this because she’s been brainwashed to believe it.

Ilana Leeds is a narrow-minded bigot whose attitudes and beliefs contribute to the high rate of youth suicide.

Her partner in crime Shoshana Silcove is just as shameful.

A Secular solution for Marriage Equality for Australia’s second-class citizens

Marriage Equality
Marriage Equality

On August 14 the Equal Love people put on another rally in Melbourne.  It started on the steps of the State Library of Victoria and ended on the steps of the Marriage Registry in Spring Street.

It was a lovely afternoon for a rally to protest the unnecessary discrimination that same-sex couples face in Australia.  There is absolutely no justification for this appalling situation.

I have documented the event using photos, and uploaded them to Picasa and Facebook, as I have done in the past.  Please take a moment to look at the photos and understand that the people you see who are not allowed to get married by the Australian government are all second-class citizens.  Australia is a better place than that.  It’s citizens deserve full equality in all aspects of life.

There is a federal election less than a week away.  One way you can send a message to the politicians who legislated this hateful situation and also to the politicians who have not promised to overturn it is to vote for a party that promises full equality in marriage.

I will be voting for the Secular Party of Australia.  They promise 100% marriage equality and will fight to overturn every piece of legislation that denies full equality to Australia’s GLBT citizens.  So committed to marriage equality are the Secular Party that they have undertaken a commitment to guarantee full marriage equality in advance of a nationwide relationship register. I understand this is an undertaking the Australian Greens refuse to commit to.  The Secular Party will ensure marriage equality is a priority.  Equality must be 100%.

You can help make a positive change this election by voting Secular in the Senate, and if you have a candidate in your electorate, also for the house of reps.

If you want full equality in marriage, you have the power to make a difference.  Use it wisely.

Michael.

GLBTI, Jewish and enrolled to vote in Melbourne Ports or Wentworth?

With the federal election looming, there are a number of political parties offering to fight for increased rights and equality of GLBTI people and families.  The key parties offering this are the Greens, the Australian Sex Party and the Secular Party of Australia.  The Liberal Party offers no hope for advancing the rights of GLBTI people and families in Australia.  The Australian Labor Party has previously advanced the rights for GLBTI people and removed a lot of the discrimination that we had been facing, however it is currently not prepared to turn around any significant existing discrimination facing GLBTI people, most notably in the area of marriage.

The Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group (TGLRG) has set up a web site “Moving Forward“.  They have surveyed a number of political parties and posted their responses online.  Take some time to read these survey responses.  TGLRG will post responses from other political parties as they are received.

The electorates of Melbourne Ports (VIC) and Wentworth (NSW) contain the largest Jewish populations in the country.  They both also contain significant gay, lesbian and bisexual populations.

The Greens’ Sue Plowright, the Australian Sex Party’s Christian Vega and the Secular Party’s Gregory Storer are candidates in Melbourne Ports.  The Greens’ Matthew Robertson and the Secular Party’s John August are candidates in Wentworth.  [I have provided links here for candidate’s web sites that I am aware of.  I will post others if they are brought to my attention.]

If you are in Melbourne Ports, LIVE are running a candidates forum on August 10.  Click here for details and to RSVP.  You can also send a question to the candidates via the web site.

If you are in Wentworth, Network (for Jewish young adults who are searching for, questioning and celebrating their Jewish identity) are running a pre-election candidate forum on August 11.  Click here for details and to register.

As I become aware of further such meetings or supportive candidate details prior to the election I will post them to my blog.  If you have any relevant details feel free to post a comment below.  Thanks.

Michael.

Shoshana Silcove: “I am against gay marriage”

Shoshana Silcove posted a comment on Mark Baker’s blog on Galus Australis telling the world she is against gay marriage.  That would make her a party pooper and a homophobic bigot, for starters.

Shoshana writes (her spelling errors are included):

I am against gay marriage but, that does not mean I would in any way supoort slaughtering people for being gay. One can see homsexuality as immoral yet, not be in any manner or form a proponent of persecution or genocide of gays. Persecuting or genociding any one group for any reason is horrifc and immoral too. I take umbrage with Mr. Baker’s implication (read between the lines) that those who do not want to see gay marriage legalised are inclined to be immoral persecutors or murderous beasts.

Let’s play a game here.  I think I’ll call it ‘swapsies’.  It goes like this.  Take a word out of a sentence and swap it with one or more other words.  It’s very simple.  We’ll play the game using Shoshana’s statement:

I am against gay inter-racial marriage
I am against gay Jewish marriage
I am against gay Progressive-Jewish-is-not-really-Jewish marriage
I am against gay Muslim marriage
I am against gay Christian marriage
I am against gay indigenous marriage
I am against gay secular marriage
I am against gay religious marriage
I am against gay fat-person marriage
I am against gay really-ugly-person marriage
I am against gay disabled-person marriage
I am against gay marriage-of-convenience marriage
I am against gay marriage

That was fun.  I’m sure I could play the game for hours on end.  Will they bring it our for Xbox or as an Android/iPhone App?  But what would Shoshana Silcove have to say about these?  Would she approve or disapprove of any of them?  Shoshana?   Do any of them appeal to you?  Send me your preferences.  I’d like to hear them.

Dear Shoshana, who gives you the authority to determine which two consenting adults can or can’t get married?  If same-sex marriage doesn’t please you, kindly refrain from commenting.  I don’t care who you marry.  It’s none of your business to make judgement calls about who I can marry.  I may disapprove of your choice in marital partner, if anyone would want to marry you, but to be honest, I don’t give a rats arse.

Michael.

Sir Ian McKellan, Same-sex marriage and Equal Love

At the Equal Love Rally today, Sir Ian McKellan was one of many speakers to condemn the discrimination against same-sex couples by the Australian Government.

Either you have equality or you don’t.  There’s no partial equality.

View my photos from the day on Google Albums and Facebook.

Michael.