JCCV Calls for Respect and Decency in Same Sex Marriage Debate

September 6, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has called for a respectful debate in the lead up to the same sex marriage survey.

This follows a statement from the Rabbinical Council of Victoria “encouraging citizens to vote ‘no’ to reforming the Australian marriage laws”.




JCCV President Jennifer Huppert stated: “We call for respectful behaviour from everyone, regardless of their views and beliefs on same sex marriage, and remind community organisations, community leaders and members of our community of the JCCV policy on respect when engaging in the debate.”

The JCCV policy on respect:

3.7.1 ACKNOWLEDGES the distinctive character of the Victorian Jewish community as part of the Jewish people worldwide, with a shared history, culture and religious tradition.   

3.7.2 RECOGNISES that irrespective of the common traits that bind us as a community, Victorian Jewry is also diverse and pluralistic and that this is reflected in different, often strongly held views, on a range of issues affecting the Jewish and larger communities.  

3.7.3 CALLS FOR respect for any such differences, while affirming that disagreement is only permissible in ways that do not vilify other persons or their views.

3.7.4 CALLS FOR abstention from any public or private conduct that incites hatred against, serious contempt for, revulsion, vilification or severe ridicule of, another person or group on the ground of their identity (including race, religion, colour, disability, sexual orientation, gender and national origin) or views of that other person or group.

 Ms Huppert added: “It is not acceptable to denigrate, insult or intimidate people, simply because they don’t share your views.  Vulnerable people, especially young LGBTI people, must feel included in the community, supported and embraced.”

As an Orthodox Jewish Community Centre the ARK Centre rejected the statement .

They said: “We do so for two main reasons:

First, the plebiscite is a secular matter, not a religious one. There is separation between church and state in this country and this vote poses no threat to our ability to freely practice our religion.

Second, as Jews we need to be sensitive to matters of discrimination. We must never take any freedoms for granted. We have fought for generations to ensure our own religious liberties and must never back down from advocating for the abolition of any and all discrimination.”



3 Responses to “JCCV Calls for Respect and Decency in Same Sex Marriage Debate”
  1. David Burstyner says:

    1. The statement treats what the Torah says as dictating secular laws. That approach is flawed because Australia is not a jewish state or, for that matter, governed by any religion. It should not even need to be said that the Torah has little role in shaping laws which govern non-jews. It is extraordinary and disappointing that the RCV is trying to influence the marriage rights of non-jews (let alone jews who hold different views). Australia, thankfully, separates church and state in Australia.

    2. What overseas jurisdictions? What problems? It is very strange that No campaigners make repeated reference to adverse overseas experiences, but don’t say where or what? Things seem to be going just fine in the Netherlands (which introduced SSM 17 years ago). And it’s more than 2 years since Ireland, staunchly catholic, introduced same sex marriage.

    3. Accepting a need for tolerance in the present debate, it remains irrational to value the contribution of the RCV given their stated position that “According to Torah values, any marital relationship between two people of the same gender would be abhorrent”.

    Just as it is appropriate to not restrict people who follow the RCV from practicing whatever they want (as long as they don’t victimise others), the RCV should not interfere with the way other people want to live.

    In short: RCV should but-out.

  2. peta solomon says:

    The rabbinical council is clearly incorrect in its interpretation of what it means to be a jew – the fundamental characteristic is compassion (not condescencion)and a belief in equality and dignity. The notion that we can truly “respect” people who we are not prepared to accord the same rights and freedoms as ourselves, is laughable and hypocritical. The “tradition” that is so lovingly referred to has forced people who don’t fit into that mold for far too long to live lives in hiding, enter into marriages which don’t fit and worse, persecution. There is nothing Jewish about that “tradition” it is merely a convention of the lucky majority. We as a community which has always been in the minority, who have suffered on account of this, should be the first to refuse to countenance a denial of equality on the basis of convention or the choices that the majority are free to make. And just what is this “experience of overseas jurisdictions” that is being referred to, what is the evidence for the implication that this has been an adverse experience? There simply is none – in fact the “experience of overseas jurisdictions” is that there has been no adverse effect or indeed in many jurisdictions effect of any sort. It is a disgrace that an organisation having the standing of the RCV should spout generalities, citing no evidence at all in support of their blatently bigoted view. The sad truth is that when some people feel they are in a position of power, they will not hesitate to flex their muscle even where the result is to hurt or harm others. Marriage equality does not threaten us, even those of us including myself who are fortunate to fit within the traditional mold (a circumstance which is an accident, not design)so that I never have to have my future and who I can marry decided upon by others – it is an opportunity to show what we are made of – we can call on the best of our compassion and integrity or the worst – the RCV clearly calls on the latter. I will be voting yes for equal rights for all

  3. Henry Herzog says:

    How does marriage equality threaten religious freedom? Which same sex couple would want to be married by someone who opposes SSM. Love is blind while discrimination isn’t. And love is stronger than hate; it’s just that ideology always gets in the way.

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