JCCV votes on Same Sex Civil Marriage

October 3, 2017 by David Marlow
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The members of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) voted overwhelmingly in support of same sex civil marriage at their Plenum last night. 

JCCV votes

The National Council of Jewish Women of Australia (Victoria) moved the motion below, which was seconded by AUJS (the Australasian Union of Jewish Students).  The motion was strongly supported with 41 votes in favour and 4 abstentions.

The motion was consistent with the recent resolution of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

JCCV President Jennifer Huppert stated, “The debate at the Plenum was respectful and positive, with a clear message sent in support of equality and inclusion, and against discrimination.  Speakers recognised that this was a civil matter and a human rights issue, and not a religious issue.  They were careful to reiterate JCCV’s commitment to religious freedom and remained respectful of those with an alternate view.”

The resolution:

“This meeting of the Plenum of the JCCV:

NOTES that the question before Australia at the upcoming postal survey is one relating to civil, not religious, marriage

SUPPORTS same sex marriage under civil law as part of its commitment to equal rights and respect for all people and the elimination of discrimination in all its forms.

URGES all participants in the public debate regarding same sex marriage to engage with respect and tolerance, and without personal rancour.

And resolves

    1. To call on the Federal Government to support the elimination of discrimination against same sex couples under Australia’s civil law by extending legal recognition to marriages between same sex couples who choose to marry;
    2. To support equal treatment under Australian law to same sex couples who choose to marry; and
    3. To call on its members and the wider community to take part in the postal survey and help ensure that the basic right to marriage is afforded to all Australians regardless of their gender or sexuality in order to create a modern, fair and just society.”

Michael Barnett told J-Wire: Aleph Melbourne congratulates the Jewish Community Council of Victoria for passing a resolution at its Monday evening plenum meeting in support of marriage equality.

That the motion was voted on without opposition, by a significantly larger than normal number of delegates, speaks volumes to the importance equality means to the Jewish community.

Particular mention goes to the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia for proposing the marriage equality motion and speaking to it with such dignity and respect.

By supporting marriage equality the JCCV sends a message to all Victorian Jews, and the wider community, that no matter a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex status, their relationships are valued equally and should be afforded equal dignity.

The successful JCCV marriage equality motion follows closely a similar successful motion from the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

Aleph Melbourne calls on the Executive Council of Australian Jewry to declare support for marriage equality at a national level, in line with its stated values of social inclusion.



6 Responses to “JCCV votes on Same Sex Civil Marriage”
  1. Michael Barnett says:

    An excellent outcome for equality.

  2. david singer says:

    The JCCV resolution:
    “NOTES that the question before Australia at the upcoming postal survey is one relating to civil, not religious, marriage

    Michael Barnett takes a different view:
    “If Jewish couples [viz, any gender] are seeking a religious marriage from Progressive or Masorti rabbis in Australia they will get one. If they are seeking a religious marriage from Orthodox rabbis, the wait will be longer. My guess is it will happen when synagogue boards put same-sex marriages in the job descriptions for their rabbis. It will happen.”

    Could the JCCV or Michael Barnett reconcile these two statements which appear to contradict each other?

    • Michael Barnett says:

      David, if the law changes to allow two people of the same sex to get married in a civil context, and if a rabbi wants to use that civil law to marry those people in a religious context, then that is something that should be able to happen, as an expression of religious freedom.

      There is no contradiction here.

      • david singer says:


        I think there is a real contradiction between the JCCV resolution and your comment – that you seem to deliberately wish to avoid discussing.

        What will happen if a Rabbi does not want to to marry a same-sex couple?

        Will the following current guideline be maintained:
        “A minister of religion of a recognised denomination is not under any obligation to solemnise any marriage and may impose additional requirements (such as attendance at services or Church counselling) as a condition of solemnising the marriage”

        With respect no one can say what will happen until we see what legislation is proposed and what changes will be made to the Marriage Act and the guidelines.

        I repeat what I wrote in an earlier article:
        “$120 million spent on asking a poorly-drafted question – without seeing the legislation designed to follow the Survey – is breathtaking. Answering that question without understanding the can of worms it could possibly open is equally mind blowing.”

        • Michael Barnett says:

          David, you are fear-mongering like there is no tomorrow. The Marriage Act gives explicit protections to minister of religion and there will be no dilution of that, whatsoever.

          No rabbi will ever be forced to marry any couple, same-sex or otherwise, they don’t want to marry.

          • David Singer says:


            Fear-mongering am I.?

            The NSW Law Society issued a press release today stating:

            “Lawyers have an obligation to question any adverse consequence of a proposed change to the existing law, in particular how it will affect the dignity and equality of all Australians and the impact on justice, fairness and other freedoms. This is made difficult, if not impossible when there is no available draft legislation containing the proposed change.

            The Law Society will carefully scrutinise any draft legislation which ultimately becomes available to ensure that the proposed change does not have any adverse impact on religious or other traditional freedoms we presently enjoy.”

            Signing a blank cheque is always a most irresponsible act for anyone to advocate.

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