Rabbi joins religious leader to back marriage equality

November 21, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Sydney’s Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio has joined other religious leaders from across all faiths in backing marriage equality at the first National Faith and Civil Marriage Equality Forum held at Parliament House in Canberra.

The forum hosted by The Equality Campaign brought together religious leaders from Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths.

marriageAccording to Tiernan Brady, executive director of Australians For Equality, the forum’s aim was to bring people together across a range of faiths to talk about the way forward for marriage equality in Australia.
“The leaders come from across the country and spoke about how they have found a way to support marriage equality not despite their faith but because of it,” said Brady.
“The values behind marriage equality are the same as those in religion which are about human dignity, love and respect. Most of our faiths are built on the foundation stones of respect, human dignity, the sanctity of the person and social justice. These values do not contradict same-sex marriage, rather they lead us to supporting it.
Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow who delivered a key-note address at the event told the forum: “The one thing all these religions share is a focus on the protection of individual dignity, kindness treating each other as your brother and sister.”

Rabbi Ninio from Emanuel Synagogue in Sydney stated “There is holiness and sanctity in LGBTQI relationships just as there is in heterosexual ones. Marriage is about relationship and not about gender and it is time to legislate to enable us to celebrate LGBTQI unions with the ceremony of marriage.”

Dr Gavriel Ansara from Rosh Pinah, an Affirming Orthodox Jewish Network suggested marriage equality was a value shared by the Jewish community. “It’s time we in Australian Orthodox Jewish communities listen and act to protect our most sacred Torah values of justice, compassion and inclusion by protecting our religious freedom to say ‘yes’ to civil marriage equality,” Ansara said.

Benjamin Oh from Catholics for Equality suggested marriage equality was a matter of human dignity saying “The Catholic community has a diverse voice many of them support marriage equality, it’s important for us to remind ourselves that at the heart of the conversation faith and marriage equality are loving relationships and dignity of all people no matter your faith or sexuality,” said Oh.

It was a sentiment shared by the Imam Nur Warsame, who described marriage as a human right who said:  “Marriage equality is a basic human right, Islam is a religion that promotes all human rights not some human rights. It will help a lot of young people gain confidence because they are in an environment that says to them that they are wrong and impure, marriage equality will help a lot in the LGBT Muslim community gain confidence.”

The forum concluded with the issuing of a joint statement from the religious leaders supporting equality for every Australian, while calling on Australian politicians to unite and make civil marriage a reality.

The joint statement said:

As clergy and lay leaders in our faith communities, we believe we are all equal in the eyes of God, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. We urge faith leaders to promote equality and inclusion for all people.
As people of faith, we understand that marriage is based on the value of love and commitment and we support civil marriage equality, not despite, but because of our faith and values.
We support a change to the legal definition of civil marriage to include LGBTI people’s relationships and families, a change that the majority of Australian society supports.
We urge people of faith to exercise their freedom of conscience to stand up for civil marriage equality as a matter of social justice.
We call on politicians to unite to make civil marriage equality a reality for every Australian.

Comments

11 Responses to “Rabbi joins religious leader to back marriage equality”
  1. Rabbi Chaim Ingram says:

    To Michael Barnett: to use the least confronting analogy I can muster: if I am morally opposed to stealing, it will not appease me in the slightest if my neighbour tells me that he absolutely does not intend to burgle me either now or at any time in the future.

    Why aren’t the clergy who participated in the “equality” forum at Parliament House honest in telling us who they are and what they represent, i.e. a liberal, radical minority wing within their respective faith communities.not represntative of the mainstream.

    I am always incredulous when I hear radical, liberal faith leaders bndy around words like “sacred” “holiness” and “sanctity” in connection with homosexual marriage. How can something be sacred which is against the fundamental tenets of the monotheistic faiths whose fringes they respresent?

    Respect, human dignity and social justice are not exclusively faith-based values. Belief in G-D and submitting to His will as taught in the monotheistic faiths most certainly is. From that emerges holiness.

    Sanctity without G-D makes as much sense as air without oxygen. And if a god was present at all in their deliberations it appears to have been one fashioned in their image!

    • Michael Barnett says:

      You really do like to abuse the word “radical” Chaim. In 2016 there is nothing radical about any two consenting adults wanting to marry each other.

      But that aside, I had a chat with god last night. It was pretty good. We both agreed over a glass of wine and some cheese (and bikkies) that the High Court of Australia was right in deciding the Australian Constution is capable of allowing a rewording of the Marriage Act to allow a genderless definition of marriage.

      It’s no rabbi’s place to tell other people how to live their lives, no matter what their take on religion is. You’re welcome to live your life how you wish and you can preach whatever you want, but in civil society, you are not entitled to intrude on other people’s private lives. That’s how it works. If you don’t want me telling you how to live your life, and to be honest, I neither mind nor care what you do in your personal life, then the reciprocal applies, as far as my life and that of my husband goes.

      There are greater problems in this world that you don’t seem to be too concerned about. Go give the Sydney Yeshiva a hand. They’ll be needing it in February when the Royal Commission knocks on their door again.

    • Michael Barnett says:

      You really do like to abuse the word “radical” Chaim. In 2016 there is nothing radical about any two consenting adults wanting to marry each other.

      But that aside, I had a chat with god last night. It was pretty good. We both agreed over a glass of wine and some cheese (and bikkies) that the High Court of Australia was right in deciding the Australian Constution is capable of allowing a rewording of the Marriage Act to allow a genderless definition of marriage.

      It’s no rabbi’s place to tell other people how to live their lives, no matter what their take on religion is. You’re welcome to live your life how you wish and you can preach whatever you want, but in civil society, you are not entitled to intrude on other people’s private lives. That’s how it works. If you don’t want me telling you how to live your life, and to be honest, I neither mind nor care what you do in your personal life, then the reciprocal applies, as far as my life and that of my husband goes.

      There are greater problems in this world that you don’t seem to be too concerned about. Go give the Sydney Yeshiva a hand. They’ll be needing it in February when the Royal Commission knocks on their door again.

  2. Eleonora Mostert says:

    Oops do these people have it wrong. It is an abomination in the eyes of God. What’s next!! Pedophilia is ok too, let’s do away with rape while we’re at it, after all we wouldn’t want to with hold a mans rights to rape a woman or a child or a 6 week old baby.
    Let the people vote, not the few God forsaken clergy or the Politicians. If I’m not mistaken we voted before on this issue and the population voted against it. If it is a “Natural state of affairs” two men or two women would be able to reproduce between the two.
    All these people are insane.

    • Michael Barnett says:

      “If I’m not mistaken we voted before on this issue and the population voted against it.”

      I’m sure you’re mistaken. There’s never been a plebiscite on marriage equality in the past. Perhaps you’re thinking of the MPs who voted in Parliament. That’s their job, to represent their constituency.

      “Pedophilia is ok too, let’s do away with rape while we’re at it, after all we wouldn’t want to with hold a mans rights to rape a woman or a child or a 6 week old baby.”

      The flaw in your argument is that rape and paedophilia don’t involve consent. They are illegal activities. I’m not sure which illegal activity you’re referring to when you object to two consenting adults wanting to get married.

      Marriage does not require procreation, and procreation does not require marriage, as evidenced by the many unmarried parents and the many childless married couples.

      • Robert Weil says:

        I say bring on the plebiscite Michael. Like Brexit and the U.S. presidential election, I am super confident that the vote against same-sex marriage, or “marriage equality” as you so misleadingly refer to it would be comprehensively rejected by the clear-thinking population who are fed up with having this idiocy shoved down their throats.

  3. Eleonora Shifrin says:

    What a disgrace! Haven’t they read their holy books?

  4. Michael Barnett says:

    I still fail to understand why religious opponents to marriage equality are the slightest bit bothered by proposed amendments to the civil Marriage Act that will remove gender-based discrimination, as they will *never* require rabbis (and other marriage celebrants) to perform any marriage against their will. No one seems to have an answer to that question.

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