Union for Progressive Judaism says yes to same sex marriage

March 27, 2012 by J-Wire
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The Union for Progressive Judaism has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill.

The UPJ represents 26 congregations and communal organisations across Australia, New Zealand and Asia and has more than 7,000 members.

The UPJ fully acknowledges the rights of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) people in our own community and throughout the world. In accordance with the values of equality and egalitarianism, we believe that the GLBT community should be afforded full rights, equal to all other peoples. As it says in Genesis “And God created humans in God’s own image, in the image of God, God created them; male and female God created them.” (Genesis 1:27). Accordingly we acknowledge that all people are made B’Tselem Elohim, in the image of God and that each person should be treated with dignity and respect regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.

The UPJ therefore condemns all forms of homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation. There is no justification for such abuse and disrespect and it is essential that all perpetrators of homophobia are prosecuted and held responsible for such offensive comments both in the eyes of society and before the law.

Similarly, legislative changes made in recent years to acknowledge same-sex partnerships have helped to decrease the level of discrimination written into our legal system. However, these changes must be part of larger changes to make same sex partnerships the equal of heterosexual partnerships. This includes making marriage an option for all people, not just heterosexual couples. The UPJ joins with our rabbinic council, the Moetzah, in calling for full marriage equality to be written into Australian law. We also call for these changes to be written into the law of all countries in our region and across the globe.

Australia has overwhelming public support for marriage equality, and the UPJ supports the move to act in accordance with the interests and feelings of the majority of Australian citizens. We believe that this includes recognition of same sex marriages held both here and overseas.

Steve Denenberg

Jewish people have suffered discrimination throughout our history. We oppose prejudice in all forms, not only when it is directed towards us. We are therefore compelled to stand with the GLBT community in their fight for equality and respect. The UPJ and its constituents will make every effort to give equal opportunity to GLBT members in relation to membership, leadership and learning. We also welcome all partners of GLBT members and treat GLBT couples equally to heterosexual couples and families.

Executive Director of the UPJ commented to J-Wire on the statement above…he said: “Quite simply we believe that is time for Australian legislation to recognise and reflect the fact that same gender couples should have exactly the same rights as heterosexual couples, including the right to marry.

Our rabbis and congregations endorsed this view at our Gathering in 2011 and we believe that it is time for our society to move beyond the rejection that has characterised the treatment of same gender couples”.



2 Responses to “Union for Progressive Judaism says yes to same sex marriage”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    Thanks MIchael. I’ll be writing to the Senate to voice my objection to any marriage between people of the same sex. Marriage is the union of people of the opposite sex for the benefit of their children. I believe that for various reasons there should be a civil union for long lasting partnerships. I am aware of concerns about property, superannuation, health insurance, inheritance, etc. What I am opposed to is the agitation by homosexuals who do not merely want to be accepted as equals, but who want to compel society to accept their sexuality as equal to, and as desirable as, heterosexuality. It isn’t, and homosexuals should be grateful that their parents celebrated life by having children. I completely reject the UPJ stance that regards marriage as a right. If it is a right we should be able to marry infants, siblings, parents and, to avoid, specie-ism, creatures other than humans. I resent the aspersion that anyone who does not subscribe to radical liberalism is an abusive, disrespectful homophobe. The contempt and name-calling heaped on anyone who does not fall into line is completely unacceptable; opposing views must be debated, not banished through insult and intimidation, the stock in trade of the so-called progressives. For the record, there are two members of my extended family who are homosexuals. I love and respect those affectionate, talented and highly intelligent human beings. The high regard for those people does not require me to accept their sexuality. And my membership of a progressive congregation, does not make me a supporter of the UPJ’s political push which runs counter to the biblical description of homosexuality as an abomination punishable by stoning. A live and let live modern approach is reasonable, while the descent into politics by a religious movement isn’t.

  2. Thank you for this necessary support.

    All Australians are able to make a submission to the Senate by April 2.



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