Bialik College becomes first Australian school to support marriage equality

Bialik College becomes first Australian school to support marriage equality

LAST UPDATED // Friday, 19 February 2016 17:13 Written by // Cec Busby

A Jewish college in Hawthorn has become the first Australian school to officially show its support for marriage equality.

The school of a more than 1000 students ranging from kindergarten to year 12 has shown its support for same-sex marriage by providing a letter of support to Australian Marriage Equality.

The school’s logo now sits proudly beside other members of Australian academia including UTS, Monash and Swinburne universities as supporters of the cause. The college is also a proud supporter of the Safe Schools Coalition.

Michael Barnett, convenor of Aleph Melbourne, a support group for Melbourne’s Jewish gay and bisexual community, described Bialik College’s decision as a significant moment.

“As a former student of Bialik College, I am exceedingly proud of my first high school today.  They have come a long way since I attended in the early 1980s. I would have had an easier time at school, experienced less bullying and felt less isolated if the school had told me it was ok to love boys and that I could even marry a man when I grew up. That validation would have made a huge difference to me, particularly at that formative stage of my life.”

In a statement, Bialik says the school's rainbow community should be welcomed and celebrated.

Principal Jeremy Stowe-Lindner of Bialik College says:

"The rainbow spectrum of our community, and I use the term ‘rainbow’ deliberately, is something that we should celebrate. The idea of inclusion of those whose lifestyles are different to what some may see as mainstream and who contribute positively to the community without impinging on the freedom of others, is a fundamental tenet of modern liberal Jewish values.

"I would like to express my personal view as Principal of a cross-communal pluralist Jewish school that the inclusion of members of the community in our institutions, including marriage, should not be a matter of debate but simply a matter of fact." 

The school encouraged other schools to add their name to the list of academic supporters.


Cec Busby

Cec Busby

Cec Busby is the news editor of SX and online editor of

Comments (15)

  • Neil Aitchison

    22 February 2016 at 01:13 |
    The so-called "Safe Schools" program targets young impressionable school children who are being groomed into sexualised hedonism without their parents having a say in the matter or even knowing about it (ALL children are being targeted by this destructive and misguided hedonism). They are being told to say same sex slogans and propaganda that allows reverse-bullying toward anyone that disagrees with homosexuality. Even the words "him", "her", "boy", "girl". "mother", "father" are discouraged so that same sex relationships are not shown up for how they are deficient in these areas. All the high health risks associated with homosexuality are ignored, and the children are exposed to gross sexual discussions that are adults-only topics.

    Talk about a screwed up education system run by screwed up public servants and endorsed by screwed up politicians who don't seem to care that using children as pawns in their political agenda amounts to child abuse.

    What we are seeing is that all heterosexual people WILL be adversely affected by same sex marriage contrary to the what the same sex lobby people tell us (the PM's marriage is a perfect example of this). If our society turns out the way that the same sex lobby group wants, then rampant hedonism will exist and heterosexuals who innocently and genuinely show love for their wives and husbands (like our PM did with his wife) will be viciously attacked and the fabric of our society will be destroyed when the traditional family is destroyed in this way. There is no love involved and there is no equality involved. Same sex parents keep saying that they are raising children as good as heterosexual parents and they want to feel good about their parenting ability, but no matter how nice we treat the same sex parents and make them feel good with "supportive" words, their children will still miss out on either a father or a mother. Their children suffer because of selfish parents. We can see now how the same sex marriage agenda DOES affect heterosexual people in a horrible, dangerous and disgusting way. Let's leave marriage as it is and let's not be fooled by the hedonistic goals of the same sex lobby group!


    • Serena

      22 February 2016 at 09:20 |
      The point of the fury against the PMs Valentine's Day comments was simply to point out his heterosexual privliedge. The fact is that because he's heterosexual he's able to get married where as LGBT people are denied the right. Furthermore it's insulting and heavily privlegde blind for him to give such a speech about his own marriage when he wants the public to vote on other peoples. That's all. But I wouldn't expect an arrogant pastor who runs a surf shop to understand that. That would be way beyond the comprehension skills of a man who's highest level of education is bible studies from Auty mchomophobes upstairs bible college and dry cleaning. No no. To him it's innocent heterosexuals being attack for innocently showing affection. The most insulting part of this is that for years LGBT people and same sex couples have been maligned, abused and even met with violence for wanting to express their sexuality and show affection for their partners. I'm betting no ones ever bashed or assaulted you for being with your partner, where as that is a genunine experience and risk from many LGBTs. Alan Turing probably didn't want to be chemically castrated, Oscar Wilde probably didn't want to be sent to prison, Matthew Shepard didn't want to be beaten to death. And I could give many more examples. But of course privlegde blind conservatives are never able to see beyond the end of their own nose, such is their arrogance. Certainly not when the sentiments are expressed by a pastor who thinks public servants with real jobs are screwed up. Christianity is shameful. Time to make churches pay tax I say. Hopefully then Pastors will have to find jobs in the real world - I look forward to the day I can walk into macdonalds and ask you for a hamburger. Seems the only job a pastor would be qualified to do.


      • Julia

        22 February 2016 at 17:40 |
        Well said Serena. There's a horrible irony in Neil's complaints that heterosexuals are being prevented genuinely showing love and citing the Prime Minister for example, when so many Christians constantly attack LGBTs for doing exactly the same thing. Both Miranda Devine and Fred Nile attacked Penny Wong when she announced she and her partner were having a baby, Bill Mulenberg attacked Ian Thorpe when he came out in an interview with channel 9 and most disgracefully of all in the United States the leader of a right wing SPLC listed hate group penned a posion pen poem (terribly written) mocking and humiliating Football player Michael Sam for kissing his partner in front of journalists. This is not even a double standard, it's an outright fabrication on the part of Neil. It is LGBTs who suffer policing and attacks for their expressions of love not heterosexuals. Goodness the media constantly shoves heterosexuality and patriarchy down our throats. There's certainly no love or equality in Neil's agenda that is for sure. Conservatism is shameful.


    • Julia

      22 February 2016 at 03:48 |
      It's funny how conservatives are always bashing highly educated public servants, when they usually have little education or knowledge themselves. This guys thinks the epitome of all knowledge is from a book of fairy tales and yet he thinks people with real jobs have a poltical agenda and are screwed up. He talks about hedonism. I say the real problem is Christian arrogance. For goodness sakes, since when has reading fairy tales and telling people they're going to hell been a real job. Conservatism is shameful


    • No to Christian lies

      22 February 2016 at 03:40 |
      Politicians and public servants have real useful jobs. Pastors spout nonsense for an hour a week, get pensioners to donate all their saving and don't pay any tax on it.


    • Bruce

      22 February 2016 at 03:38 |
      Ahh typical pastors response. Long winded and meaningless. Just like a sermon. Using a lot of words to say nothing, except bigotry


    • Sandy

      22 February 2016 at 03:12 |
      Awww Neil's worried he won't be able to say he anymore. Poor baby. He's so oppressed by all the inclusivity. Never mind the actual structural oppression, discrimination and violence against LGBTs. That's nothing compared to how hard it will be for him if other people think he might be gay.

      Huh. What's that. Look out Neil. Starbucks took the secular Christmas decorations off it's cups. Oh no. A war on Christmas. Argh. It's horrible.


    • Harriet

      22 February 2016 at 03:02 |
      Christianity is a mental disorder.


      • Alain

        22 February 2016 at 03:08 |
        I'd say christianities a perversion. And the last people who should be making accusations of child abuse are people representing church organisations


    • Benjamin

      22 February 2016 at 03:01 |
      Grooming. Isn't that what the school chaplaincy program does.


    • Truth teller

      22 February 2016 at 03:00 |
      It's ironic that this poster calls public servants, educators and politicians, most of whom are highly educated, screwed up, when he's a pastor, most likely with a certificate in bible studies from some backwater bible college. But who needs facts and reason when you have a book of fables. All the evidence is, is that when school curricular doesn't include LGBT people it leads to bullying and a toxic culture towards LGBT youth. This is what researchers in areas of childhood development and education are saying. But this guy can't stand it if everything else isn't straight like he is. He thinks he can override experts because of some line in an ancient book that was probably mistranslated anyway.


    • Julie

      22 February 2016 at 02:55 |
      Only lobby group I see with hedonistic goals is yours Neil, The conservative Christianists. You desire to exclude LGBT people from social institutions to stroke you bigoted ego and tell ridiculous lies about children and playing a false victim card. Has anyone ever stopped you showing affection for your wife. Of course they haven't. But you lot sure as hell try to stop us from expression our gender, sexuality or showing affection for our partners. You try to make LGBT children suffer by only reflecting white heterosexual identities in curricular and encouraging an atmosphere of bullying and stigamitsation that harms LGBT youth.


    • Tristian

      22 February 2016 at 02:48 |
      IT's funny how pastors are talking about public servants and politicians, whom do necessary and important jobs, being screwed up when their entire livelihoods involves reading fables from a thousand year old book, living off donations from members of a church they got by telling them it was sowing their seed and God would reward them for giving and then using it to buy private jets. If you want to know who's profession is screwed up you may want to look in a mirror.

      It's funny how far right wingers always like to think that children have sponges for brains and are impressionable. Well I suppose they like it like that so they can indoctrinate them with religion and various other jib jab don't they. Kid these days are pretty smart, they'd easily be able to understand LGBTI issues. In any case LGBT children go to school and have a right to be included and not be made to feel invisible. Using inclusive terms is a valid part of that.

      There is no reverse discrimination. If you say bigoted things, you will be labeled a bigot. You can't use the mild word disagreement, a favourite of the conservative when trying to make their bigotry, to legitimise your homophobia. It doesn't work that way. Your garbled nonsense about not being able to use gendered pronouns and terms just shows how privlegde blind you are and that when we get down to the core of it your entire argument here is that you don't want to give up heteronormativity and straight priviledge.

      IF you'd bothered to do any research you'd know that attachment and support are more important for child development than the genders of their parents. This whole children miss out thing is more garbled right wing nonsense. Calling same sex parents shelfish is just another disgusting attempt by this bigot to demonise LGBT people and their families and promote his own beloved heteronormativity.

      When we get down to it we can see that the true horrible, dangerous and disgusting agenda is that of the conservative Christian, whom desire nothing but to force all of us to follow their dubious beliefs and constantly validate their delusions about their important to society. The traditional family is not and never has been the fabric of society. Let's amended the marriage act to include LGBT people, create a more inclusive society and kick the hedonistic goals of the Christian jihads to the kerb where it belongs.


    • Julia

      22 February 2016 at 02:33 |
      The only one screwed up here is the screwed up pastor whishing to impose his brand of heteronormativity and homophobia on the rest of us. There is no such thing as reverse bullying. You loosing your privlegde or at least having to check it to ensure a safer more inclusive environment for the rest of us is not adverse. You are simply a screwed up bigot.

      Same sex relationships are not deficient, simply because your preferred heteronomative terms and gendered pronouns don't apply. Neither is being LGBT a health risk. That is an outright lie designed to demonise LGBT people and divert attention from the forms of homophobia and systemic oppression that cause those problems. Children are not being exposed to sexual discussion - Our identities are not to be reduced to sexual practices. There is nothing screwed up about ensuring that school curricular reflect identities other than straight, white, cisgender males. If anything in the school system is screwed up it's the school chaplaincy program forcing religious propaganda down our throats at taxpayers expense.

      You and your heteronormative definition of the family are not the fabric of society. Our orientations and families are as important and as valid as your's understand. There is nothing inherently necessary or important about having two parents of opposite genders and all CREDIBLE research on same sex parents shows no different to their heterosexual counterparts.

      The only thing dangerous and horrible here is the bigoted Christians like you pushing this wooly nonsense. Your entitled to show genuine love for whomever you like. You are not entitled to prevent us from doing the same. The PM was ridiculed because promoting his own marriage while ignorning the fact that the right to marriage is not universally extended to all couples.

      Christianity is destructive and oppressive nonsense. Conservatism is shameful. Quit trolling this site and get back to your screwed up Christian surf shop, you arrogant hedonistic bigot. Keep your nonsense in your church where it belongs (actually it doesn't belong anywhere but If pastors want to stroke their ego and pretend they have something important to say at least do it so the rest of us don't have to suffer your delusions of self importance)


  • Michael Barnett

    19 February 2016 at 16:14 |
    Very proud!


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