Victorian community says “NO” to Homophobia

March 28, 2013 by Jo Silver
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The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) at the recommendation of the JCCV GLBTI Reference Group is joining the “No to Homophobia Campaign” and will ask its affiliate organisations to sign up.

The “No To Homophobia” campaign was started by GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) groups in Victoria with the aim to reduce the incidence of homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and intersex harassment in Victoria (and beyond) by empowering both GLBTI people and the broader community to respond to and speak out against this harassment.

Nina Bassat

Nina Bassat

Nina Bassat AM, JCCV President, fully supports this important campaign that promotes respect for each other and healthy relationships regardless of sexual orientation and gender identification.  Nina acknowledged the emotional turmoil members of the GLBTI community can face at school and within the community.  Mrs Bassat said “No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identify”. The mental wellbeing issues in relation to bullying, depression and lack of self-esteem can be catastrophic.  By Jewish organisations joining the campaign, the JCCV not only anticipates a greater level of understanding and awareness within the Victorian Jewish Community but also an education with respect to what constitutes homophobic, biphobic and transphobic harassment.  For instance, phrases such as, ‘That’s So Gay’.

John Searle

John Searle

John Searle, VEORHC Chair and founder of the GLBTI reference group, felt this campaign could markedly change perceptions, as it is the first campaign of its kind to be broadcast on mainstream national television with the Australian Football League as a major supporter. Searle stated, “Messages of support from well-known celebrities and sporting giants will impact positively on GLBTI kids who look to football players as role models”.

Searle continued to explain that the campaign is an excellent fit with the reference group’s recommendations for community organisations to provide a safe and welcoming environment regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) will request that affiliates become part of this vitally important campaign at the next plenum meeting in May 2013.

For individuals or groups who are feeling lost, alone and need someone to talk to, there are a number of resources available including Jewish Care on (03)8517-5999.  In addition, if you witness homophobic, biphobic or transphobic harassment, please contact the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission on 1300-292-153 or email enquires@veohrc.vic.gov.au or submit the incident online via:  http://humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au .

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