Just when Australians were being branded racists and bigots, Victoria's Anti-Discrimination Tribunal has demonstrated that racial or religious prejudice has no part to play in a modern multicultural society. Not that its latest ruling has anything to do with Pauline Hanson, Asians or Aborigines. The tribunal rejected the idea of a Jews-only dating agency. Ann Ivamy-Phillips wanted permission to set up an introduction agency exclusively for Jewish women. The reason? Melbourne Jews were finding it increasingly difficult to meet suitable marriage partners. Ms Ivamy-Phillips told the tribunal that Jewish law forbade Jews to marry outside their faith. 'It's important to our culture and religious beliefs that we should be married,' she said. However, there was a surplus of Jewish women in Melbourne because more and more Jewish men were marrying outside the faith. 'There's evidence that, deep down, every Jewish person would want to marry a Jew,' she said. But the tribunal was not persuaded by the argument. Refusing to grant an exemption, it ruled that such a move might result in any minority group being allowed to open similar agencies. 'This would foster a kind of discrimination that the Equal Opportunity Act is designed to eliminate,' the tribunal's president, Cate McKenzie, said. 'There is insufficient material to show a strong social need or that the exemption would redress a cultural disadvantage,' she said.