First Jewish same-sex marriage announced in Sydney

January 5, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Emanuel Synagogue’s Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins has told J-Wire the shul will host the first same sex marriage on May 2.

Dr Kerryn Phelps and Jackie Stricker with Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins              Photo: Facebook

Rabbi Kamins added that the first couple to be married will be two men.

In the meantime, the synagogue has hosted a ceremony renewing marriage vows between Dr Kerryn Phelps and Jackie Stricker with Rabbi Kamins officiating.

Australia legislated for same sex marriage last month with both women playing role to secure the success of the push for the new law.

On her Facebook page Kerryn Phelps wrote: “On 4 January 1998 Jackie and I married in a religious ceremony in New York.In 2011 we returned to New York for the legal ceremony when marriage equality was introduced, but it was not recognised in Australia until a few weeks ago.

Today we celebrated the 20th anniversary of that first ceremony, this time renewing our vows in the presence of our family and friends in our home country.

It was a joyful celebration of our 20th anniversary, the achievement of marriage equality and a closing of the circle for us.’

It was also a reminder that inclusion and acceptance by your faith community is a potent force for spiritual wellbeing.

J-Wire understand that Sydney’s North Shore Temple Emanuel has no marriage booked and the TBI in Melbourne is yet to respond.


20 Responses to “First Jewish same-sex marriage announced in Sydney”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    Will the good rabbi please explain how, in the synagogue which employ him, he can celebrate and sanctify a relationship which leads to a practice described in the bible as an abomination for which the penalty was stoning.

    Isn’t it the Jewish way to simply keep quiet and ignore practices that no longer apply in modern times, say like stoning disobedient sons or forcing a woman accused of adultery to drink a concoction of filth from the Temple site?

    I have been a member of NSTE for four decades. The Reform Judaism that attracted and inspired me is no longer recognizable; it has transmogrified into a virtue signalling movement searching for politically correct social rights to champion.

    • Michael Barnett says:

      Paul, whatever it is you have in mind that is an abomination certainly doesn’t require the blessing of a rabbi or the government to happen, and if as you suspect, it will happen after marriage, chances are it is happening beforehand in glorious abundance.

      I hope you are as concerned that heterosexual couples are not abominating in their marriages the same way you fascinate with homosexual men (and women?) abominating, because if not, surely that would indicate a degree of hypocrisy.

      • Paul Winter says:


        It is not I but the bible which describes the act of a man sleeping with a man as an abomination and demands stoning for those who commit such acts.

        The bible regards a woman and a man having sexual relations withing the bonds of marriage as perfectly acceptable.

        My point, which you seem to want to misinterpret, is that no person who has been granted smicha – on the basis of continuing the chain of tradition -should bless what the bible expressly condemns.

        • Michael Barnett says:

          Paul, you seem to be at odds with Progressive Judaism on this issue, which is bizarre seeing you attend a Progressive Jewish synagogue. Perhaps it’s time to talk to your rabbi, or change your synagogue.

  2. Vivienne Porzsolt says:

    Heartiest congratulations to Rabbi Kamins and Emanuel Synagogue Woollahra for taking the lead and affirming inclusiveness as a communal value. That’s the way to ensure Jewish continuity!

  3. Michael Barnett says:

    And may there be many more. L’chayim!

    • Lynne Newington says:

      …… the “Q”for queer associated with terminology LGTIQ.
      I find it offensive for those who have loved ones be generally acknowledged as such don’t you? Or anyone else for that matter.

      • Michael Barnett says:

        Lynne, the term “queer” in contemporary use is not generally a pejorative term, and is in fact quite affirming. Please take the time to research how it is used in the vernacular, particularly by queer-identifying peoeple.

        As much as I don’t like labels, because they are so constrictive and damaging at times, I don’t mind being called “gay” or “queer”, as long as they are not used as slurs.

        Perhaps the most damaging term is “straight”, because it’s use suggests a default sexuality, which is a preposterous concept.

      • Adrian Jackson says:

        LGTIQ is the Gay communities term and acronym.

        The term Queer is used by the Queers themselves mostly too.

        Even a straight man like me knows that.

        • Lynne Newington says:

          So you think that’s the answer?
          When you have the likes of the above pictured couples…..and Michael Kirby’s “Leaders needed to end LGBTIQ violence”, bringing their own condemnation whether a term and acronym. The very thought of the word conjures up a negative connection and wounding at least to children having their parents classified as such.
          Society is stooping pretty low in my opinion in accepting it.

          • Michael Barnett says:

            Lynne, please look up Queer Theory. It is real, it is here and for the foreseeable future it’s not going away. You seem to be hung up on something that many people readily embrace. Please learn and understand. And for what it’s worth the word Queer does not appear once in the article you reference.

            • Lynne Newington says:

              The United Nations doesn’t use it when referring to the community neither does the Australian Human Rights Commission, .
              That’s affirming enough for me, whether I’m classed as being hung up on what everybody embraces or not.

              “And for what it’s worth the word Queer does not appear once in the article you reference”.

              It’s in bold writing “Leaders needed to end LGBTIQ violence” without having to spell it out.

            • Adrian Jackson says:

              I agree Michael. SSM is law and the debate is over even for Lynne.

              Lynne I just call them “Gays” in letters as the acronym is a mouth full but its what they like using officially.

              The Enqlish language is always having words and acronym’s added.

              My Port Phillip Councillors use the acronym to discuss the Pride March in St Kilda and the Pride Centre we ratepayers and taxpayers are funding in Fitzroy St St Kilda soon.

              I disagree with this funding for the Pride Centre as the Gays should pay for it but I am happy with the Pride March funding which is minimal.

              • Michael Barnett says:

                Adrian, by way of corollary, would you support Jewish organisations paying for their own security infrastructure and not take government funding?

              • Lynne Newington says:

                This nothing to do with SSM and the law.
                It’s the “Queer” used in the acronym GLBTIQ that’s the issue here and the generalisation that its acceptable.
                It isn’t for many or necessary.
                Here in Australia it spells out Gay, Lesbian,Bisexual, Transender, Intersex and Queer where as LBGT suffices and no edge given for offense or inviting [privately or publicly] derogatory comments and psychological harm to children.
                If you’re not a parent at least, with any insight further discusssion leads nowhere.
                At least someone may take comfort in what I’ve said and can do no more than that.

                • Michael Barnett says:

                  Lynne, while it’s clear beyond doubt that you don’t like me self-identifying as a queer man, it’s not your place to tell other people how they should or shouldn’t self-identify.

                  The “I” in LGBTIQ is for Intersex. The Q is for Queer. There are people who are not Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. What do you propose people who are gender fluid, gender neutral or non-binary to call themselves? Perhaps F for Freak?

                  • Lynne Newington says:

                    Stop making a martyr of yourself.
                    You could be Old King Cole for all I care happy to have the general terminology attributed to yourself.
                    To even mention the word Freakin in this context is disgusting and speaks volumes.

  4. Adrian Jackson says:

    Congratulation from a straight bachelor and former Army officer who vote YES on SSM in Melbourne Ports federal electorate.

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