15 SEPTEMBER 2011
The following is correspondence between the president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, John Searle, and myself in regard to the secretive members of the Searle-appointed gay, lesbian, transgender, HIV (GLTH) reference group:
JEWISH COMMUNITY COUNCIL'S SECRET AND CLOSETED GLTH REFERENCE GROUP!
From Mannie De Saxe:
Many members of the gay, lesbian, transgender, HIV (GLTH) communities have lived in closets for much of their adult lives. In addition, many GLTH people have been murdered, assaulted, vilified, discriminated against, been subjected to electro-shock treatment to attempt to change their homosexuality to heterosexuality, subjected to police attacks and imprisonment because of their sexual orientation. Many were also kicked out of their homes by families who were not prepared to have such children as part of their households. Jewish families guilty of this sort of abuse often went into self-imposed mourning at the loss of a child.
GLTH people in these situations are not prepared to be scrutinized by groups of people who are anonymous.
GLTH activists will not be pushed back into the closet by those who wish to remain in the closet themselves.
If members of the JCCV’s self-appointed members of a GLTH Reference Group wish to remain unidentified then they are in no position to scrutinize any documentation concerning the problems Jewish members of GLTH people are confronted by on a daily basis.
People who have nowhere to turn are often led in desperation to suicide and that is not a prospect we are willing to permit to continue.
It is in the interests of JCCV to ensure that a group of people who are involved in a reference group to widen the debate within the Victorian Jewish communities of the issues confronting Jewish gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV people on a daily basis are people who are not hiding their identities anonymously and ashamedly.
It is estimated that there are 40,000 people in Victoria who identify as Jewish. It should not be beyond the capabilities of a so-called Jewish Community Council of Victoria to find GLTH people willing to be members of a reference group.
If the JCCV organisation continues with this secrecy then the whole sham of the reference group set-up will need to be publicly exposed.
Mannie De Saxe
On 9/14/2011 5:02 PM, John Searle wrote:
Sorry it took a few days to get back to you but things have been rather
The GLBT members of the reference group have at this stage requested that
their identities remain undisclosed.
Accordingly, I am not in a position to advise you of their names. I am
sure you appreciate the need to respect their confidentiality.
Jewish Community Council of Victoria
306 Hawthorn Road,
South Caulfield, Victoria 3162
Tel: Office - (03) 9225 7753
Tel: Mobile - 0412 251 344
On 12/09/11 10:47 PM, "red-jos"
Mannie De Saxe
PO Box 1675
Please advise the names of the JCCV Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV
(GLTH) Reference Group members.
Mannie De Saxe, Lesbian and Gay Solidarity, Melbourne
The President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) Dr Danny Lamm welcomed the announcement today by Attorney-General of Victoria, Robert Clark, of the appointment of Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) President John Searle as the new chairperson of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
He said: “I am delighted that the President of one of the ECAJ’s major State constituent bodies has been honoured with such an important government appointment. John is admirably suited for this role, having committed years of communal service to human rights in a voluntary leadership position. He exemplifies the best of Jewish and societal values as a leader and a family man, and Victoria can expect from him total dedication to advancing the cause of human rights and equal opportunity.”
Dr Lamm also praised Victorian Attorney-General, Robert Clarke, and Premier Ted Baillieu and his Cabinet for the appointment. “They could not have placed their confidence in a better person”, Dr Lamm said. “John has devoted his communal life and much of his professional career as a barrister for the last 22 years towards combatting discrimination and promoting equal opportunity for all. The Victorian government has made an excellent choice.”
(Editor's note - the italics are mine to emphasise the fact that certain members of the Jewish communities believe that John Searle has "combatted discrimination and promoted equal opportunity for all" except if they happen to be gay, lesbian, transgender, HIV members of the Jewish communities!)