Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen claims gay kids are expendable, divert funds to needy Jewish schools

August 23, 2014

Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen

Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen, expert on anti-bullying research

Australia’s leading expert on bullying, Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen, son of the late governor-general Sir Zelman Cowen, has just published the findings of his latest research.  He’s found that an effective way to counter the problem of anti-semitic bullying is to divert funding away from anti-homophobia bullying programs.

Rabbi Dr Shimon Cowen says he’s sorry for the little gay boys and girls who are bashed on a daily basis at school, enduring routine taunts of “poof” and “dyke”.  However he knows that it’s more important that little Jewish boys and girls are protected and has cleared his conscience for suggesting that programs like the Safe Schools Coalition Victoria be disbanded, with the funding diverted to the needy Jewish community, with poor funding options and barely adequate safety at their schools.

Cowen’s pièce de résistance from his research is the finding that the problem of homosexual bullying will eventually go away because, he says, if the gay boys and girls are bullied sufficently, they’ll eventually kill themselves due to self-loathing and depression.  He sees this as a win-win situation.

[This article was first published in 2012 however in correcting a broken link it has has somehow acquired a publication date of 2014]


Miriam Margolyes – Australia’s newest Citizen and outspoken marriage equality advocate

January 26, 2013

I woke up on Australia Day to my partner Gregory telling me that Miriam Margolyes has become an Australian Citizen and that she had been photographed with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.  Nice one.

It’s not everyday that an outspoken (Jewish) lesbian marriage equality advocate is photographed with Julia Gillard, both sharing a moment of pure glee.

Miriam Margolyes is not one to mince her words, and has made it evidently clear that she believes Gillard needs to change her position to support marriage equality.

(“One-woman show with great expectations“; SMH Feb 1 2012)

Miriam Margolyes wants a word with Julia Gillard – although a word is not all the forthright British actor might deliver if she encounters the Prime Minister.

”I love Julia Gillard, she’s great fun, but I believe she is not in favour of gay marriage,” Margolyes says. ”She should be smacked.”

(“A woman not afraid to say her piece“; The Age Feb 25, 2012)

FORTHRIGHT British actress Miriam Margolyes – a ”socialist, lesbian, Jew” – is on a roll about gay marriage and her crisp English diction reaches a crescendo.

”People just get their knickers in a twist about this. Everybody should just grow up. If somebody you don’t know wants to get married, what the hell does it have to do with you?” she says.

”I don’t want to ape a straight relationship,” says Margolyes, who has been with her Australian partner for more than 40 years. ”The only reason I’d get married is to get some presents. I want some Le Creuset sets. Not that I cook.’

(“Barry Humphries joins Q&A“; Q&A May 28, 2012)

MIRIAM MARGOLYES: What about President Obama, who has come out in favour of gay marriage?

TONY JONES: Dragged into the open by his vice president?

MIRIAM MARGOLYES: Is that how it was?

TONY JONES: Pretty much.

BARRY HUMPHRIES: Afraid so.

MIRIAM MARGOLYES: Well, I wonder will it cost him in the election in America and would it here, for example? No, I don’t think it would here because Australians are sensible. In England, where they’re frightfully stupid, over 70% are against gay marriage in England. I, as it happens, since nobody’s asked, I don’t want to get married to my partner of 43 years but some people do and, you know, let them. It’s another question, of course. I realise that.

So how about it, Julia?  Go have a chat with Miriam and sort out her right to get married (and mine too), here in Australia, under Australian law, in case she ever decides she wants to tie the knot.  It won’t cost you the election and it might even help you win it, because love always wins over hate.


Clarifying the authority of the ECAJ

January 11, 2013

Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Australia
legcon.sen@aph.gov.au

January 11 2013

Dear Committee Secretary,

I wish to clarify some potentially misleading information presented in submission #242 by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) on the Exposure Draft of Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012.

The ECAJ describes itself as “the officially elected representative organisation of the Australian Jewish Community and speaks on its behalf.”

If you review the ECAJ web-site (www.ecaj.org.au) you will see on the front page it lists its constituents and affiliates.  These are the organisations and communities it represents.  To help you understand this better, let me give you an example.

One of the constituents of the ECAJ is the Jewish Community Council of Victoria.  The JCCV represents approximately 60 member organisations in the Victorian Jewish community.  There are many organisations it does not represent, including a number of schools, synagogues and other organisations.  The JCCV claims to be the voice of the Victorian Jewish community, yet it has no authority to be the speak on behalf of the organisations it does not actually represent.  Similarly, the ECAJ has no authority to claim to represent those organisations, communities or citizens who are not affiliated with its constituents.

It is also important to understand that the ECAJ does not represent in any way the best interests of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the Jewish community.  The ECAJ, and its constituents have no formal GLBTI representation, and have never engaged in any formal consultation with the GLBTI community to understand and cater for the specific needs of this highly disadvantaged, marginalised and victimised minority section of its community.

In fact it is clear from the ECAJ submission to your committee that they believe GLBTI people should not have any protection under anti-discrimination legislation.  The ECAJ also give tacit approval that same-sex couples should be denied the right to equality under the Marriage Act, which is further evidence that the ECAJ do not represent the interests of GLBTI people.

To this end you will have a better understanding that not only do the ECAJ not represent the entire Australian Jewish community, but they do not and cannot speak on its behalf.  Further, I can state with absolute authority that the ECAJ do not speak on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the Jewish community.

Finally, I would like to make it clear that it is imperative that anti-discrimination legislation afford full protection to people on the grounds of gender identity, gender expression, biological sex characteristics and sexual orientation.

I will be glad to assist in clarifying any of this information.

Sincerely,

Michael Barnett
Convenor
Aleph Melbourne
www.aleph.org.au
0417-595-541


ECAJ calls for inclusive society (that excludes gays getting married)

January 7, 2013

ECAJ logoDespite my ongoing calls for the Executive Council of Australian Jewry to decry the efforts of the Orthodox Rabbinate’s opposition to civil legislative reform to allow same-sex couples to marry in Australia, they remain steadfastly silent.  I have put a case forward that it is in their best interests to support marriage equality in Australia, especially given they already have issued a statement for respect of GLBT people.

The Executive Director of the ECAJ, Peter Wertheim expresses an interest in the harmony of society in  Australia, as reported in the Australian Jewish News :

Executive Council of Australian Jewry executive director Peter Wertheim said there was nothing Dr Mohamed could learn from Gaza and its Hamas rulers that could possibly have any legitimate application in Australia.

“His visit and his comments undermine Australia’s efforts to build a peaceful, inclusive and democratic multicultural society,” he said.

I put it to Peter Wertheim that whilst the ECAJ remains silent on marriage equality it shows that the organisation is not genuine about its desire for a wholly inclusive society in Australia, and demonstrates that the ECAJ’s agenda is pro-Zionist and not pro-humanity.

The credibility of the ECAJ, being a body that represents the interests of Australians, is perilously fraught at present.  Yet a simple statement claiming that it believes all Australians should have equal rights before the law could easily rectify that.

Is that too much of an ask Peter?


A Dedication to the Absence of Humility

January 6, 2013

I dedicate this post to those people who believe they are more entitled to certain rights than other people.

I dedicate this post to those people who use religion to uphold bigotry and state that their god believes some people are sinful because of the way they live their lives.

I dedicate this post to those people who support those people who uphold bigotry and state that their god believes some people are sinful because of the way they live their lives.

I dedicate this post to those people who remain silent when those people who uphold bigotry state that their god believes some people are sinful because of the way they live their lives.

I dedicate this post to those people who know better and yet they remain tight-lipped.

I dedicate this post to those people who are so ideologically manipulated and brain-washed that there is no hope for them ever.

I dedicate this post to those people who believe fags should be killed.

I dedicate this post to leaders of states who don’t believe their citizens are all entitled to the same rights.

I dedicate this post to people who believe they are more worthy of certain rights just because.

I dedicate this post to hatred, intolerance, homophobia, transphobia, religious brain-washing, spinelessness and political cunning.

I dedicate this post to those people who enjoy beating a person to within inches of death and then tying them to a fence to see out the final hours of their life.

I dedicate this post to everyone who believes some people are less deserving of equal rights than other people.

~~~

~~~

MACKLEMORE LYRICS

“Same Love”
(with Ryan Lewis)
(feat. Mary Lambert)

When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay
‘Cause I could draw, and my uncle was, and I kept my room straight
I told my mom tears rushing down my face
She’s like “Ben you’ve loved girls since before pre-k shrimp”
Trippin’, yeah, I guess she had a point, didn’t she?
Bunch of stereotypes all in my head.
I remember doing the math like, “yea I’m good at little league”
A preconceived idea of what it all meant
For those that liked the same sex
Had the characteristics
The right wing conservatives think it’s a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man made rewiring of a predisposition
Playing god, aw nah here we go
America the brave still fears what we don’t know
And god loves all his children, is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago
I don’t know

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
I can’t change
Even if I try
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately
“Man, that’s gay” gets dropped on the daily
We become so numb to what we’re saying
A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don’t have acceptance for ‘em
Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself
When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed
That holy water that you soak in is then poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that’s not important
No freedom till we’re equal, damn right I support it

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

We press play, don’t press pause
Progress, march on
With the veil over our eyes
We turn our back on the cause
Till the day that my uncles can be united by law
When kids are walking ‘round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are
And a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all
But it’s a damn good place to start
No law is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever god we believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it’s all the same love
About time that we raised up

And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
I can’t change
Even if I try
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
Love is patient
Love is kind
Love is patient
Love is kind
(I‘m not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(I‘m not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I‘m not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(I‘m not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I‘m not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(I‘m not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I‘m not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
Love is kind


Bnei Akiva’s Machane Keshet (Camp Rainbow) advertised outside Leibler Yavneh College

December 22, 2012

I was driving along Balaclava Road after lunch today and a billboard outside Leibler Yavneh College caught my attention, no doubt a testament to its effectiveness.

20121222 Bnei Akiva Machane Keshet billboard outside Leibler-YavnehIn particular I was drawn to the stylised rainbow, the word “keshet” (Hebrew for rainbow), the message underneath (“Show your true colours”) and that it was affixed to the fence of Yavneh College.

I parked my car so I could get a closer look at the billboard and I saw it was for the summer youth camp run by Bnei Akiva.

My initial reaction to seeing the billboard was that it was for the Keshet Australia program but I quickly realised that this wasn’t the case.  The reason I thought it might have been for Keshet Australia is because they are “developing an array of engaging education campaigns and initiatives for, and in partnership with, Jewish communal organisations; especially schools, youth movements, aged care-homes and synagogues”.

Optimistically, it would be ideal if Keshet Australia was associated with Bnei Akiva Australia.  The kids who participate in those programs definitely need the education about sexual orientation and gender identity that Keshet Australia intends to empower leaders in Jewish organisations with.

A collaboration between Bnei Akiva, Keshet Australia and Yavneh College would help safeguard the welfare of the most important assets in the Jewish community, the children.  Intolerance of homosexuality contributes to poor mental health outcomes, self-harm and suicide.  Ignoring the reality of this situation compounds the problem, only to the community’s detriment.

I actually had a quick look to see if there was any material online that Bnei Akiva had made available to help understand sexual orientation or homosexuality.  I only found one page on Bnei Akiva UK’s web-site discussing “controversial topics” that had a rough scan of some questions about homosexuality from a religious perspective.  Sadly, there were no answers, just questions.

I urge the educators in the Jewish community to work with organisations like Keshet Australia and Safe Schools Coalition Victoria and invest in the health and happiness of community that really does show its true colours.


Michael Danby MP, a two-faced abstainer

December 16, 2012

Ah, Michael Danby.  Only interested in grubbing for votes from the Jewish community, but fuck the rest of his electorate.  Peasant.

From a friend this week (Dec 13):

I called Michael Danby’s office this morning and was told that he “abstained” from the marriage equality vote on 19 September.  I think the woman I spoke to then realised that she’d said too much and put me through to a professional PR person, who told me to put all my questions in writing, blah, blah, blah.

So at least we have an answer; he chose to “abstain”.  I didn’t even know you could abstain in the parliamentary system.  Maybe abstaining means just putting up your hand to go to the bathroom …

Most ironic of all is that he chose to “abstain” on marriage equality and then created headlines yesterday for his vicious attack against Bob Carr for abstaining on the Palestine vote.

Correct, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Danby attacking Carr for having abstained:

Mr Danby described Senator Carr’s actions over the UN vote last month – and Australia’s ultimate decision to abstain –  as ‘‘unforgivable behaviour for any minister in any cabinet government.’’

I wish Danby would just say that he doesn’t give a rats arse about gays, that they can go to hell and that his political career, fueled by the Jewish vote, is the only thing important to his overgrown ego.

Danby, I’d tell you to kiss my hairy arse, but that’s a pleasure saved for my partner.


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