Progressive Jewish groups have welcomed the Australia Labor Party’s decision to change its party platform to support same-sex marriage.

The Union for Progressive Judaism and members of the Rabbinic Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia, Asia and New Zealand (Moetzah) released a statement of support last week.

UPJ executive director Steve Denenberg said the groups support marriage equality under Australian law.

“Judaism teaches that all human beings are created betzelem Elohim (‘in the image of God’) and are therefore entitled to full dignity and equality,” Denenberg said.

“The Jewish people are all too familiar with discrimination and worse, and we reject it however rationalised.

“There is no reason for Australian law to limit or discriminate against the civil or legal rights of any individual or group.”

The statement follows a motion passed by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry late last month opposing hate or vilification on the grounds of sexuality or gender identity.

“There is still much work to be done to remove intolerance of and unlawful discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons in the Jewish community and the wider Australian community, and to provide adequate services and support for them and their families,” the motion said.

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