Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Australian Armenian same-sex marriage supporter Gladys Berejiklian appointed Premier of Australia’s most populous state

*picture - via FAIRFAX/Huffington Post

Australian Armenian Gladys Berejiklian was appointed Premier of Australia’s most populous New South Wales state (with capital Sydney). What makes this appointment a particularly good news for me is her support for marriage equality and LGBT community.

According to ABC, “She is a private woman who supports same-sex marriage, is compassionate towards the plight of refugees and helped sign off on the Government's signature infrastructure projects.”

Interestingly, Australian media specifically mentions that her support for same-sex marriage is “at odds with her Armenian Orthodox Church”.

In an interview with local media in 2015, Gladys Berejiklian said people had strong views about marriage equality but believed most people on the north shore would support a change in the law.
“I get a sense that as far as my electorate’s concerned that the majority — while I do know there are people who don’t support it and I want to acknowledge they’ve got a right to express those views — I would think the silent majority would support it, I personally do,” she said.
Australian Marriage Equality (AME) and Australians for Equality (A4E) today welcomed the support of the new NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for marriage equality.
“We congratulate Gladys Berejiklian on becoming Premier of NSW and thank her for her support for marriage equality and the LGBT community,” Australian Marriage Equality Co-Chair, Alex Greenwich said. 
“Premier Berejiklian joins a growing number of Liberal Party leaders who support marriage equality, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgeman.”

From her bio on Wikipedia: “Berejiklian was born in Sydney, the eldest of three daughters born to Armenian immigrant parents, Krikor and Arsha. Her grandparents were orphaned in the Armenian Genocide in 1915. Berejiklian spoke only Armenian until she was five years old, when she began learning English.”

“Berejiklian became the second woman to hold the office of Premier, after Labor's Kristina Keneally, who served in the position from 2009 to 2011, and the first female Liberal Premier in Australia.”

1 comment:

artmika said...

...and her support continues: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklia breaks ranks with Armenian church ahead of same-sex marriage survey and declared she will be voting "Yes" in the same-sex marriage postal survey

"New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has broken ranks with her ethnic church and declared she will be voting "Yes" in the same-sex marriage postal survey.

Speaking at an event in Sydney, Ms Berejiklian described same-sex marriage as a "no brainer" and one of the most important human rights issues of our time.

The position has put her at odds with her Armenian Apostolic Church, which claims same-sex marriage would pave the way for "radical gay sex education programs" to be taught in schools.

Ms Berejiklian, who was born in Australia to Armenian immigrants, is a regular attender of church events and has been to several this year.

In a Facebook post this week, the Armenian Apostolic Church of Holy Resurrection in Chatswood — where Ms Berejiklain's parents were married — warned followers their faith was "under fire" in the survey.

It said redefining marriage would have "consequences" for religious freedom, free speech and children's education.

"Allowing radical gay sex education programs to become widespread and compulsory, where parents can't say no," the post read.
During her speech at the "Parliament Says Yes" event, Ms Berejiklian said she was crossing her fingers the survey returns a "Yes" vote.

"There is no doubt that there are people out there in the community with conservative views, there are people out there with different religious beliefs and faiths," she said.

"We respect all of that, especially with someone like myself with my own personal background."

Church 'has nothing against gays and lesbians'

Nishan Basmajian, the executive officer of Australia and New Zealand Diocese of the Armenian Church, said his organisation respected gay people.

"We are against same-sex marriage," he said.

"We have nothing against gays and lesbians, nothing at all.

"Through our Christian values and Christian education we don't see those values are respected [in same-sex marriage]."
Mr Basmajian said the church did not "mix too much" with politics.

"I don't know what the Premier thinks but as a church we adhere to our Christian values," he said.

Ms Berejiklian said voting for same-sex marriage was a simple decision for her.

"I'm hoping that all of us will look back and feel incredibly proud that we were part of something special," she said.

"That we put aside all of our different political views and came together in supporting our colleagues, in supporting our community, in supporting what is one of the most important decisions of our time, I believe, in terms of human rights."

Same-sex marriage survey forms are being distributed to Australians, with final results from the survey to be announced in November."