Australiaâ€™s Progressive movement has paved the way for the country’s first gay Jewish union.
The Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia, New Zealand and Asia adopted British guidelines for same-sex ceremonies at its biennial conference held last week in Tasmania.
Council chairman Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins said the English model makes an important distinction between the commitment ceremony and a marriage ceremony.
â€œThe distinction is also necessary for legal reasons, as it conforms with Australian law,â€ Kamins told the Australian Jewish News.
The guidelines were offered to the Progressive rabbis by Rabbi Mark Solomon, a former Australian rabbi who is part of the British Liberal movement.
The Australian council agreed earlier this year to allow, but not require, its rabbis to conduct same-sex ceremonies.
Delegates from Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand attended the conference in Hobart, the capital of the island, which has a Jewish population of about 100 and is home to the oldest Australian synagogue in use.
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