The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY DAN GOL­BERG SYD­NEY

AUS­TRALIA’S PRO­GRES­SIVE move­ment has adopted Bri­tish guide­lines for same-sex cer­e­monies, paving the way for the first gay Jewish “mar­riage”.

The Coun­cil of Pro­gres­sive Rab­bis of Aus­tralia, New Zealand and Asia agreed on the for­mat at its bi­en­nial con­fer­ence, held ear­lier this week in Tas­ma­nia.

Coun­cil chair Rabbi Jef­frey Kamins said the English model makes an im­por­tant dis­tinc­tion be­tween a com­mit­ment and a mar­riage cer­e­mony.

“The dis­tinc­tion is also nec­es­sary for le­gal rea­sons, as it con­forms with Aus­tralian law,” Rabbi Kamins said.

The guide­lines were of­fered to the Pro­gres­sive rab­bis by Aus­tralian -born Rabbi Mark Solomon, who is part of Bri­tain’s Lib­eral Ju­daism move­ment.

The Aus­tralian coun­cil agreed ear­lier this year to al­low — but not en- force — 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 tiny Jewish pop­u­la­tion of about 100 and the old­est Aus­tralian syn­a­gogue in use.

Ortho­dox and Pro­gres­sive Jews share fa­cil­i­ties at Ho­bart He­brew Con­gre­ga­tion— a rare co­op­er­a­tion that also ex­ists in the tiny Can­berra com­mu­nity.

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