EMANUEL Synagogue’s Rabbi Jacqueline Ninio has publicly declared her support for same-sex marriage in a video posted on Facebook in the lead-up to Mardi Gras.
Rabbi Ninio begins by reasoning, “As a rabbi, I go to Jewish texts and I find that they say to us that all human beings were created in the image of God, and each of us were created to reflect that divine and that beautiful holy essence within us.
“And part of how we were created is our sexuality.”
Commenting on the human need to have a life partner, she says,“I don’t believe that God or humanity would be created in the way that we were if we couldn’t honour and sanctify sacred partnerships of same-sex couples in the same way as we do with heterosexual couples.”
Rabbi Ninio goes on to express her desire “to be able to stand together with the same-sex couples in my community, just as I do with the heterosexual couples, and to sanctify their union, to celebrate their relationship in front of family, in front of community, friends and in front of God”.
As of press time, the video has had over 2500 views.
Speaking to The AJN about why she took part in the video, Rabbi Ninio said, “I think it is incredibly important that religious leaders speak out in favour of marriage equality.
“I don’t believe it is an issue of religion, it is a matter of human rights and equality under the law.
“However, having said that, I believe that there is strong foundation within Jewish texts to support marriage equality in civil law and further, to support rabbinic officiation at such marriages.”
The video was posted on the Facebook page of Australian Marriage Equality (AME), an organisation that advocates for reforms to Australian marriage law.
“There is a misconception that marriage equality pits the gay community against people of faith, when the polls show a majority of people of faith support the reform,” AME national director Rodney Croome told The AJN.
“It’s very important that religious leaders like Rabbi Ninio come out in support to break down this misconception, and to represent majority support for marriage equality in their congregations.”
Rabbi Ninio’s video is one of several uploaded onto AME’s Facebook page featuring religious and lay leaders from around Australia declaring their support for marriage equality.
Others featured are Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman, Reverend Margaret Mayman from Pitt Street Uniting Church in Sydney, and Reverend Peter Catt from Brisbane’s St John’s Anglican Cathedral.