Bialik College becomes first Australian school to support marriage equality
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.