Anti-homophobia policy to be introduced in NSW

May 26, 2010 by Roy Freeman
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The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies has voted overwhelmingly to implement an anti-homophobia/anti-transphobia policy.

This is fantastic news for the Jewish GLBT community as the NSWJBD finally recognises that there is a demographic within the Jewish community that needs more support.

Despite the fact that it is often considered much easier for people to come out of the closet these days, recent stories in the Australian media such as the gutter-press outing of Campbell and the ignorant and damaging comments from Akermanis have shown that there are still massive hurdles to overcome.

In religious families, many GLBT Jews live in the closet for fear of being ostracised by their parents and siblings if they came out. Many Orthodox Rabbis still preach intolerance of and hatred towards the GLBT community, and those Rabbis who don’t agree with this more often choose to remain silent on the issue rather than be seen to rock the boat. This contributes to the low self-esteem issues that many closeted people experience and often tragically leads to self-harm and suicide attempts. Suicide Prevention Australia released statistics last September which stated that same-sex attracted youth are up to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers and that 47% of transgender youth have attempted suicide.  Other statistics show that 30% of youth suicides are as a result of sexuality or gender identity issues.

The NSWJBD vote is a big step forward for the Jewish GLBT community.

Roy Freeman is an organiser at Dayenu


2 Responses to “Anti-homophobia policy to be introduced in NSW”
  1. Congratulations to everyone who supported this history-making policy change, and most especially the dedicated team lead by Roy Freeman from Dayenu.

    It is long overdue for the Jewish community to wake up to the reality that same-sex attraction is as normal and valid as being left-handed. There is no room for intolerance of same-sex attracted people in the Jewish community, or anywhere else for that matter, because for as long as there is, people will be suffering at great personal and communal expense.

    Michael Barnett.

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