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Peak Body Releases First-Ever GLBT Report

Peak Body Releases First-Ever GLBT Report

31 October 2011

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has released a ground-breaking report on prejudice and mental health issues in Melbourne’s Jewish GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) community.

The report found that Jewish members of the GLBT community are subjected to discrimination, harassment and abuse because of their sexuality, and that this is a direct cause of mental health issues such as depression and suicide in the GLBT community. The report also acknowledged that it is probably harder to ‘come out’ in the Jewish community than in other communities, and that there is a greater challenge for the Orthodox community who must reconcile the rulings of Jewish law with the need to ensure that all people are treated with compassion and acceptance.

JCCV President John Searle said: “The report is significant because it is the first time that the peak body of our community has put such a report to the community. We have recognised the need to deal openly with issues of vilification and discrimination in our community, and hope that this report will play a part in educating members of the community so as to reduce prejudice and incidence of mental health issues amongst our GLBT community members”.

The report is the work of the JCCV’s GLBT Reference Group, comprising representatives from the JCCV Executive, Jewish people who identify as gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender, and representatives from Jewish Care and the Australian Jewish Psychologists.

Submissions were sought from members of the community, and consultations were held with both the Orthodox and Progressive Rabbinates, schools and community organisations.

As well as presenting its findings, the report offers a number of recommendations, including increasing the level of education within schools, professional development programs for Rabbis and the adoption by all community organisations of a policy prohibiting discrimination and vilification based on a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lastly, the report calls for a review to be performed within three years to ascertain the extent to which the recommendations have been adopted and the impact this has had within the community.

The JCCV aims to distribute the report as widely as possible.

For further information, please contact JCCV President John Searle or Executive Director Michelle Coleman on (03) 9272 5566.

Click here to see the Report of the GLBT Reference Group:



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