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The federal government is proposing to introduce MORE anti-discrimination laws.
Although they say exceptions for religious groups will not change, they are proposing that church groups that run Commonwealth-funded aged care will NOT be able to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Read more in our post below...
The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee has been asked to hold an Inquiry into the proposed law 'Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012'.
Submissions are due by 21 December
Yes, we know that's the week before Christmas when everyone is REALLY BUSY! Perhaps that's why submissions close then!
It is VITAL that we make a submission/write a letter to the Inquiry!
Express your concern about adding sexual orientation and gender identity, about religious 'exceptions', about the aged care issue, about having to 'justify' behaviour - reversing the onus of proof and so on...
Click here for our Campaign Page - with FULL details and info on how to make a submission!
The federal government has announced that they are planning wide-ranging changes to federal anti-discrimination laws.
[See website with proposed exposure draft Bill - click here]
The most significant change is that two NEW attributes will be added to the law - prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The government also plans to make it ILLEGAL for religious bodies that provide Commonwealth-funded Aged Care to discriminate on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. (More on this below)
This proposed legislation follows a Consultation process that the government held during 2011, which sought input about their Discussion paper on the issue. (Click here and scroll down for Discussion Paper and submissions.)
These new proposals bring an increasing imposition on free speech, conscience and religious freedom. When complaints are made, the respondent will have to 'justify' their actions - see more on that below.
The federal government has asked the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee to conduct an Inquiry, "allowing community feedback prior to legislation being introduced into the Parliament."
What does that mean?
We get to have a SAY - we must be prepared to give our feedback on this proposal.
When the details of the Inquiry are released we will let you know how you can make a submission/give your feedback.
In the meantime, we need to know WHAT the government is proposing...
More details about the proposed anti-discrimination law
In her media release today, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon announced that the current FIVE Acts covering anti-discrimination will be combined into ONE federal anti-discrimination law.(1)
The proposed law is called the 'Human Rights and Ant-Discrimination Bill 2012'.
Read more about the proposed law...
- Attorney-General's Media Release - click here.
- Exposure draft of the proposed legislation - Human Rights and Ant-Discrimination Bill 2012
- click here for Home Page (Draft Bill and Consultation).
- the Draft exposure of the Bill - 198 pages long - click here.
- Explanatory Notes - 152 pages explaining each section of the proposed Bill - click here.
The most significant change is that two NEW attributes will be added to the law - prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Currently the protected attributes under Commonwealth law are:
age; breastfeeding; disability; family responsibilities; gender identity; immigrant status; industrial history; marital or relationship status; medical history; nationality or citizenship; political opinion; potential pregnancy; pregnancy; race; religion; sex and social origin.
The AG's media release points out that many of these attributes currently have different levels of protection. Under the new law, the current 'highest standard' of protection will be applied to all areas of anti-discrimination law.
'Unfavourable treatment' - and 'justification'
Under the proposed law, there would be "a single, simple definition of discrimination as ‘unfavourable treatment’ and a simple ‘defence’ of 'justification'. The media Release says that 'justification' means "discrimination is not unlawful when it is done for a legitimate aim and proportionate to that aim."
The Media Release notes that many current exceptions will be replaced by this notion of 'justification'.
Of course, the problem is that businesses, groups and individuals will have to 'justify' their behaviour to Commissions and Courts. The proposed law also aims to "Streamline the complaints process" at the Commission - aiming to make it a "cost-free jurisdiction". With the way lawyers get involved in these matters, that remains to be seen!
The Media Release says that one way they want to make the process simpler is "shifting the burden of proof to the respondent to justify the conduct, once the complainant has established a prima facie case."
At the state level, tribunals have used this method of forcing the respondent to prove they are 'justified' - or not guilty - in their discrimination. That removes the legal notion of "innocent until proven guilty".
Churches and Religious organisations
Most of you will ask how this will affect churches and religious organisations.
The government says that the current exceptions for churches will remain - with one exception...
Priests and Ministers
Section 32 of the proposed law covers the appointment of priests and ministers. (Page 47, P 63 screen)
The Act proposes an exception for the appointment, ordination and training of ministers and priests, and for those carrying out a role in religious observances.
Under the proposed law churches can discriminate on the grounds of age; breastfeeding; family responsibilities; gender identity; marital or relationship status; potential pregnancy; pregnancy; religion; sex; sexual orientation. [But not on the other attributes].
Religious bodies and educational institutions
Under the draft exposure of the Bill, religious organisations will retain their current exceptions - covering the attributes of:
marital or relationship status; potential pregnancy; pregnancy; religion. In addition they will also be able to discriminate on the basis of the new attributes of gender identity and sexual orientation.
(See Section 33, page 48 of document, P 64 on screen),
However, this is a QUALIFIED exception...
The proposal says that the the exception applies if
"the discrimination consists of conduct, engaged in in good faith, that:
(i) conforms to the doctrines, tenets or beliefs of that religion; or
(ii) is necessary to avoid injury to the religious sensitivities of adherents of that religion. [S 33, 2(b)]
We know from experience that when it gets to court it is extremely DIFFICULT, not to mention costly, to argue about doctrinal matters and 'religious sensitivities' - the NSW Wesley Mission case and the CYC camp at Phillip Island are two classic examples!
Exception to the exception - Provision of 'Aged Care'
The proposed law makes an EXCEPTION to the religious exception...
Religious organisations that provide Commonwealth-funded 'Aged Care' will NOT be able to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity (but they will on the other attributes in S 33).
Section 33, sub-section 3...
(3) The exception in subsection (2) does not apply if:
(a) the discrimination is connected with the provision, by the first person, of Commonwealth-funded aged care; and
(b) the discrimination is not connected with the employment of persons to provide that aged care.
That means they can discriminate in employing workers, but not on who they provide the service to.
The Attorney General said this move was "in recognition that aged care services become a person’s home."
However, it totally overlooks the fact that it is ALSO the home of all the other residents!
The same conditions apply for educational institutions run by religious organisations. In addition, the proposed law states that it is not unlawful to discriminate if "the discrimination is connected with employment by the educational institution, or with the provision of education or training by the institution." [Emphasis added]
The government is not planning to make ANY changes to the racial vilification provisions, which prohibit conduct where "the conduct is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate, or intimidate another person or a group of people."
At this time, other attributes, such as religion and sexual orientation have NOT been added to the vilification law.
This is a relief given the number of cases that have been pursued under state vilification laws and the fact that insult or offend is included in the federal race law.
Of course, we know that the government is inclined to support such laws. The real problem is that, once the laws are all combined in ONE Act, it would be easier to AMEND the Act to extend the vilification laws to other 'attributes'.
In Tasmania, extensions to the Anti-Discrimination Act are currently being debated. Until now, the vilification laws covered seven attributes. Under the proposed change, ALL 20 attributes would be protected by vilification laws similar to Victoria's Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.
Read the list of federal protected attributes above to see what this would mean!
(1) The Bill will "replace the Age Discrimination Act 2004 (ADA), the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA), the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (RDA), the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (SDA) and the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (AHRC Act)." Source: Explanatory Notes.
Here is our report written for our December 2012 Journal:
USA: Election result and marriage votes
With the re-election of Barack Obama, the intense campaigning of the US Presidential election is over. Many conservatives opposed Barack Obama since he supports same-sex ‘marriage’ and abortion. Some evangelicals were concerned that the Republicans’ Mitt Romney was not as strongly conservative as they wanted, and expressed concerns that he was a Mormon.
An incumbent President has a huge advantage in the US election. Whilst the Republicans were running ‘primaries’ to select their candidate - with the candidates often criticising each other - Mr Obama, as the automatic Democrat nominee, was able to focus on speaking about the nation, international affairs and his ‘record’ and criticising the Republican candidate.
Commentators pointed out that more than 90% of African-Americans, more than two thirds of Hispanic voters, and 60 % of young people aged 18-29 voted for Obama. This was despite his poor financial record and his liberalism on social issues.
Then there were votes about same-sex 'marriage' in four states...
Following both the Victorian and NSW Governments biting the bullet and at last getting serious about dealing with the ongoing travesty of child sexual abuse, the federal Government has now taken the action that should have been taken many, many years ago and set up a Royal Commission to investigate the matter.
Sadly, this appalling sexual abuse of children and the number of situations now being made public in the ongoing Victorian Enquiry, is something we have known about over the years. It is simply that few people have been prepared to admit that there is a systemic problem because the majority of cases have involved the Catholic Church.
Our own research, many years ago, and that of many victims groups, clearly showed where the major abuse problem was, but today that problem is not being talked about. . .
The problem is homosexual paedophilia.
Analysis of web sites documenting church child abuse clearly shows that some 80% of those committing child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church are male priests or teaching brothers abusing young (mostly early teen) boys.
In 2002, Michael Rose, a Catholic Investigative Journalist from the USA, wrote a very disturbing book titled 'Good Bye Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption into the Catholic Church'. In the fourth chapter he describes how a homosexual "subculture" came to dominate some US seminaries in the 70s and 80s.
Our question then was, 'Is this also happening here?'
Even before that, we had discovered that the Catholic Church had adopted the false idea, as have too many other Christian denominations today, that people are 'born' with their same-sex sexual attraction, and did not believe that sexual orientation was wrong. We actually engaged with some Catholic people involved in, as they put it, 'helping them not act-out their orientation'. We encouraged them to review the real evidence, and encouraged them to see that those people needed healing, not acceptance and celibacy. Unfortunately, our influence was limited. Yet, while there is still NO evidence to support the 'born gay myth' (and there never will be), today, even organisations like BeyondBlue are stating it as a "fact" - as seen in recent replies from that organisation.
Despite the overwhelming evidence that most of those abused by Priests and teachers within the Catholic system are young teenage BOYS, have you heard any media or political mention of this as mainly homosexual abuse?
NO. Why? Because revealing that as the major cause of this problem exposes all those who are today vigorously attempting to normalise homosexuality and same-sex attraction. When we, as a society, normalised prostitution, it was done to 'regulate' and 'clean up' the so-called 'sex industry'. Did it work? NO. In fact it encouraged and expanded bad behaviour - including underage sex and the importation of sex slaves. The 'sex industry', in Victoria alone, is ten times bigger today than when it was illegal. That is what happens when we foolishly think we can step outside God's created order to control deviant sexual behaviour by normalising it.
NO, not all homosexuals are abusers - just as not all Priests are abusers, and not all brothel owners run under age prostitutes or sex slaves, but that should not stop an honest appraisal of the situation.
Political correctness must not become a part of this Royal Commission.
Unfortunately - by widening the Royal Commission to cover all organisations and all child sex abuse, that may well be the result. It may well negate the overwhelming evidence that homosexuality is a major problem within the Catholic Church in this matter of the sexual abuse of children. While we must not demonise the whole, for the error of a few, the truth MUST be exposed for what it is. This is why we wrote a short submission to the Victorian Government enquiry, pointing out the true nature of most of the abuse within the Catholic Church and calling for recognition of that fact. To date, we have heard nobody reveal that truth, despite revelations that a very high percentage of the abuse has involved men abusing young teenage boys. It ought to be obvious!
So we must continue to reveal the truth, so that those who have been so appallingly treated can see for themselves the true nature of the problem, but also so that society can come to terms with the lies that are continuing to be be foisted upon our children today. This is not homophobia or hate - this is about exposing the darkness and being Salt and Light - which only comes by proclaiming the Truth.
Please consider writing to the Federal Government, both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, about this problem. Ask them not to bury the truth under an all-encompassing enquiry. Ask them not to make the terms of reference so wide that the real problems are not dealt with.
Ask them to ensure that their own misguided political correctness, in accepting same-sex attraction as normal, is not allowed to hide the real nature of the problem within the Catholic Church.
And your own Federal MP
If you live in Victoria - Please make your own MP aware of the facts above, and ask them to ensure that political correctness is not used to skirt around the problem of homosexual paedophilia. To find your MP use our Web Site links
We strongly recommend that every church have a stated policy regarding any child sexual abuse discovered or rumoured within their congregation. The first priority in such a policy should always be that any reports or rumours of child sexual abuse are handed over to police authorities for investigation.
The anticipation regarding the US election has been mounting in recent weeks. One recent media report said that the campaigns of both candidates have raised a total of more than $2 billion!
Both candidates, the Republicans' Mitt Romney and the Democrats' Barack Obama, have been criss-crossing the country for weeks seeking support from voters. The poll is taken today, the second Tuesday in November - so the result will be known within a day or so.
Those who are concerned about family and life issues have expressed concern about Barack Obama's support for abortion and same-sex 'marriage'. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney has become more conservative in recent years, expressing pro-life views in recent months, and his VP running mate is a committed pro-life conservative evangelical.
Some evangelicals have expressed concern about the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon. However, in the end, there are only two candidates for the Presidency... and voters have to decide who is the best (or better) leader for the USA.
Here in Australia the situation is different - we have a party system and the Prime Minister is the leader of the Party with the most seats in the House of Representatives. We know that Labor supports same-sex 'marriage' and homosexuality anti-discrimination and vilification laws whilst the Liberals oppose both of those.
However, it is also important to weigh up the values and policies of the leaders - Labor's Julia Gillard with her pro-abortion views and membership of Emily's List against Liberal's Tony Abbott who is pro-life.