Weekly Update - 19 April - Abortion in Tas, same-sex 'marriage', competing 'rights', 2 submissions needed

Baby - green blanket - shutterstock 35040856 Below are some of the highlights of the week. Perhaps we should say the ‘low-lights’ because the Tasmanian lower House passed the ‘abortion up to birth’ Bill that criminalises anyone who protests within 150 metres of an abortion clinic (with 1 year jail terms) as well as huge fines for counsellors who refuse to refer a patient to a PRO-abortion counsellor!
Then the New Zealand parliament voted to legalise same-sex ‘marriage’! With the tragic bombing in Boston it has been an eventful week. This week we have fewer items but more details...

Australian News

1. Tasmania – Abortion law PASSED by House of Assembly
The revised abortion law, euphemistically called the Reproductive Health Bill, was rushed into parliament, debated and voted on this week. The lower house, the House of Assembly, voted in favour of the Bill by 13 votes to 11 votes.

ALL 10 Liberal MPs voted against the Bill – along with ONE Labor MP, Michael Polley, the brother of Tasmanian pro-life Senator Helen Polley. All Greens MPs voted FOR the Bill.

The vote hinged on three Labor MPs – Attorney General Brian Wightman, Brenton Best and Graeme Sturges. Unfortunately, all three eventually voted for the Bill.

Some changes were made to the original draft Bill to try and gain more support – including dropping the time for a woman to choose for herself to have an abortion from 24 weeks to 16 weeks – abortions are allowed after 16 weeks if two doctors say it is medically, psychologically or socio-economically justified. The fine for counsellors who don’t refer to a pro-abortion counsellor has been halved – but is still huge - $32,500!

The current Tasmanian law already allows abortion so long as two doctors (including one ob/gyn) decide that the risk of continuing the pregnancy is greater than the risk of having an abortion – the law said that the woman has to be given counselling and must give informed consent. This Bill is all about allowing abortions for ANY reason – it removes the notions of counselling and ‘informed’ consent. It is all about crushing pro-life counselling services and stopping objections to abortion.

The NEXT step - The Bill will not be debated in the Legislative Council until after the May election. Our sources tell us the debate is likely to occur in June.
ACTION: If you live in Tasmania, please contact your Member in the Legislative Council. Click here for contact details.

Media reports: Mercury - ExaminerAdvocate on Legislative Council vote

 

2. Tasmania – same-sex adoption law passed by lower House
Whilst everyone in Tasmania was preoccupied with lobbying against the proposed draconian abortion law, the Tasmanian House of Assembly has passed a law to allow homosexual couples to adopt children.

Since 2003 (at the same time the Relationship Register was legalised) same-sex couples have been able to adopt KNOWN children. This NEW law would allow them to adopt ANY children, if they are in a registered relationship.

Only FOUR MPs voted against the Bill – congratulations to Liberals Rene Hidding, Jacquie Petrusma, Michael Ferguson and Mark Shelton. Unfortunately Liberal Leader Will Hodgman voted for the Bill. ALL Labor and Greens MPs voted for the Bill.

ACTION: The Bill now goes to the Legislative Council. If you live in Tasmania, please contact your Member and ask them to vote AGAINST this Bill to protect the rights of children to have a mother and a father.
Click here for Tasmanian MP details.
Media reports – click here and here.

 

Overseas News

1. New Zealand votes FOR same-sex ‘marriage’
New Zealand has become the thirteenth nation to legalise same-sex ‘marriage’. The vote, on Wednesday night, was 77 to 44. The Bill was sponsored by Labour MP Louisa Wall – who is a lesbian.

Immediately, Australian Marriage Equality, the main advocates for same-sex ‘marriage’ in Australia, called on Australia to follow suit (media release). They claimed that Australian homosexuals would go to New Zealand to ‘marry’ and Australia would miss out on the money they would spend on ‘weddings’. They also called on Tony Abbott to allow a conscience vote for Coalition MPs (this is one of their ongoing campaigns!). Homosexual journalists are writing profusely (see Steve Dow at The Age) and the media are running online polls.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she still supported marriage remaining only between a man and a woman (but she supports a conscience vote). Tony Abbott said the matter was ‘decisively defeated’ last year. Unfortunately NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has said TODAY that he now supports same-sex ‘marriage’ and is calling for Tony Abbott to give a conscience vote!

Media reports:
Same-sex marriage law passed,
NZ Herald, 17/4/2013.
Gillard, Abbott unmoved by NZ gay marriage vote, The Age, 18/4/2013.
O'Farrell comes out for same-sex marriage, SMH, 19/4/2013.
If you didn’t read our post earlier this week on other countries passing similar laws, read it here.

2. USA: Florist SUED for NOT providing flowers for homosexual ‘wedding’
A florist in Washington state, in the USA, is being sued because she refused to provide flowers for a homosexual wedding. Apparently a long-time customer asked her to provide flowers for his same-sex ‘wedding’ – she declined, saying her Christian faith and ‘relationship with Jesus’ meant she could not do so.

Of particular concern in this case is the fact that the STATE of Washington is suing her (not the man himself). She faces fines of thousands of dollars for ‘allegedly violating the state's Consumer Protection Act. According to the state’s Attorney- General, Bob Ferguson, "If a business provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their weddings, then it must provide same-sex couples the same product or service."
Read Christian Post media report.

They’re not the only ones - back in February 2013, a baker in Oregon, USA, refused to provide a cake for a same-sex ‘marriage’ – and the owners are now subject to a complaint – which could result in a $50, 000 fine!
Media report: Oregon baker refuses wedding cake to gay couple

In Canada, these sorts of complaints are now commonplace – in June 2012, Michael Coren reported that, in the five years since same-sex marriage was legalised in Canada there had been between 200 and 300 LEGAL proceedings against people who objected in various ways – read his article.

 

3. UK - Equality Commission’s Guidelines on rights for children and homosexuals
The UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) enforces equality law, and has the power to haul individuals and organisations off to court. It has produced new guidelines for how to deal with employees’ beliefs in the workplace.

The UK’s Christian Institute concludes, “Gay rights are more important than the belief that children need both a mum and a dad, the equality regulator has suggested….” Read the Christian Institute report.

 

4. USA: Ben Carson on same-sex ‘marriage’
Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the USA, has stepped down as the ‘commencement speaker’ for the Johns Hopkins University.

Ben is a Christian – I read his compelling autobiography about his work some years back. He gained national US media attention in February 2013, when he was the Speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast in the USA. He openly criticized President Barack Obama’s ‘approach to health care and his overall management of the nation’s economy’ – and the President was in the audience!

In late March, in an interview on Hannity, he was asked about his position on same-sex ‘marriage’. Ben Carson said he didn’t support same-sex ‘marriage’ – and went further… He said, "My thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It's a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality – it doesn't matter what they are – they don't get to change the definition.”

Since then he has been criticised by liberals, and some at his university, and accused of ‘equating’ homosexuals with pedophiles and those who engage in bestiality. In the end, he apologised for his comments. Now he has decided to not give the commencement address, saying he didn’t want to “distract from the celebratory nature of the day. Commencement is about the students and their successes, and it is not about me.”

The comments reminded us of those made by Australian Senator Cory Bernardi, who mentioned that other groups might also want ‘marriage’ rights – the polyamory community and maybe those who engage in bestiality. Within a few months, a new polyamory lobby was formed in Australia to lobby for ‘marriage’!

Sources:
Ben Carson Steps Down as Johns Hopkins Commencement Speaker, Christian Post, 11/4/2013.
Ben Carson endures predictable liberal assault, Standard, 14/4/2013.

 

5. UK – Teacher loses in High Court for statements on homosexuality
Christian Concern reports, “A Science teacher who was barred from teaching after expressing his beliefs on sexual ethics in the classroom has lost his case in the High Court. Robert Haye (43) was dismissed from Deptford Green School after he commented that homosexual practice was a “sin” when responding to questions posed by his Year 11 pupils…”
Read their report.

 

On the Issues

Bullying – ‘gays trump Christians, Muslims trump gays’

Interesting article, by free speech advocate Ezra Levant, on whose rights will prevail… If you saw the recent Q& A on religious issues, you’ll have an idea of what he means! The Muslim on the panel said things a Christian would have been castigated for saying…
Religious bullying: In today’s politically correct pecking order, gays trump Christians and Muslims trump gays - Toronto Sun, Canada. 13/4/2013.

 

Coming Events

1. World Congress of Families – BOOK NOW!
Sydney- May 15-18.  Click here for the Sydney WCF website.
Don’t forget to use the promotional codes to get a 20% discount.

 

2. National Day of Thanksgiving – Saturday 25 May, 2013
The NDOT website has information, events and resources.

 

Ongoing Campaigns

1. Federal anti-discrimination law – Inquiry - sexual orientation and gender identity Bill
Please make a submission/write a letter to the Senate Inquiry on this Bill, which would add ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ as ‘protected grounds’ to anti-discrimination law.

Submissions close on FRIDAY 26 April, 2013.

Click here for the Inquiry website.
Click here for our Campaign page with ideas for your submission.

 

2. Medicare for sex-selection abortion – Submissions close 24 April
Submissions for this Inquiry close on 24 April – click here for our Campaign page which has full details and links to the Inquiry website.

3. SA: Prostitution Bill - please contact MPs
The ‘Prostitution Bill’ will be introduced on 16 May, 2013.
ACTION: If you live in SA, please contact your MPs in both Houses and ask them to oppose this Prostitution Bill.
Click here for MP Contact details.

 

4. NSW: Same-sex ‘marriage’ – please contact MPs
If you live in NSW, please contact your MPs in both Houses (one in Legislative Assembly, ALL in Legislative Council) and ask them to vote AGAINST the proposed same-sex ‘marriage’ legislation’.
Click here for MP contact details.

Weekly Update - 12 April - Tas abortion Bill, halal food, FGM, life in the womb, campaigns and more

 

This week - a major development in the Tasmanian abortion legislation...

Australian News

1. Tasmania – REVISED abortion Bill NOW in the parliament – EVEN WORSE!
Tasmanian’s Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne has tabled a revised abortion Bill in Tasmania’s House of Assembly yesterday. The original draft was the subject of a ‘Consultation’ by a government department – but no submissions were published or report tabled.

Now a NEW, REVISED Bill is in the House of Assembly and could be debated as EARLY AS NEXT TUESDAY!
FamilyVoice has analysed the new Bill – in particular, they say that, as well as the previously proposed penalising of people who go within 150 metres of an abortion clinic with fines of $65,000 and a year in jail, the revised Bill ADDS the power for “police to demand that people they “reasonably believe are protesting” state their name and address, and if they don’t they may be arrested without warrant. 

If you live in Tasmania, please contact your FIVE MPs in the House of Assembly AND your one MP in the Legislative Council NOW!
Click here for Tasmanian MP contact details.

Three more things to DO…
* A NEW petition has been started in response to the revised bill.  Even if you have signed the first petition, please sign the new online petition as well. BY MONDAY!
* There is a vigil in Hobart (gather at Parliament Gardens) and Launceston (outside Michelle O’Byrne’s office) on Tuesday from 12.30 to 1.30 pm!
* Spread the word to friends in Tasmania.

 

2. Qantas bans pork in airline meals to ‘appease’ Islam
In another example of appeasement, Qantas has banned pork from its in flight menu on flights to Europe. Apparently they have an agreement with Emirates, and they have a stop-over in Dubai. The agreement requires them to serve meals that do not contain pork or alcohol. In addition, in-flight announcements will be followed by a translation in Arabic.
Apparently Qantas already has a ‘no pork or alcohol’ policy for meals on flights to Jakarta in Indonesia.

And they’re not the only airline that bans pork on flights stopping in the Middle East: Virgin’s flights to and from Abu Dhabi don’t serve pork – and the meals are also ‘halal accredited’!
Article: Pigs can't fly - Qantas bans pork on in-flight menu to respect Islam

 

3. Halal – Baw Baw Shire facilitates the promotion of ‘halal’ products
The Baw Baw Shire (Vic) wants to expand the halal food market – their website has a special page promoting halal food in their region – in fact, they’ve been doing it since 2005! The Baw Baw Shire website says, “Baw Baw Shire Council has an on-going commitment to the promotion of halal opportunities to its businesses and facilitation of access to domestic and export markets.”

So now rate-payers are paying for the facilitation of Islamic halal certification and promotion!

 

4. Australian governments commit to counter ‘FGM’ – female circumcision
A national Summit to address and counter the use of female genital mutilation (FGM) was held on 9 April with “representatives of State and Territory governments as well as non-government organisations, community groups and professional bodies.”

We applaud the strong statement that was made to oppose FGM – which is often practiced in some Islamic communities and some African communities.

The Statement from the Summit says, in part, “Discussion focused on actions that can be taken to ensure that FGM is not practiced in Australia, to support women and girls arriving and settling in Australia, and to bring about elimination of the practice globally. All participants agreed to build on efforts to best support women and girls in Australia affected by FGM, and prevent it from occurring to a new generation.
Australia recognises the practice of FGM as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.”

Read the Summit’s statement – click here.


Overseas News

1. Netherlands: Court allows pro-pedophile group to continue operating
Last year a Dutch court ordered the ‘Martijn Foundation’ to disband because it was advocating for the legalisation of sex with children. According to media reports, the group’s website actually said the group provides “a platform for discussion of paedophilia”.

But an appeals court has now overturned the decision, saying the organisation was not actually breaking any laws – they were just ‘talking about’ promoting pedpophilia and the legalisation of sex with children.

Article: Ban lifted on pro-paedophilia group in The Netherlands, Independent, 3/4/2013.

 

2. USA: Connecticut stops euthanasia law
Some good news! Last week, Connecticut was considering a euthanasia, or ‘assisted suicide’ Bill. The Public Health Committee could have voted to allow the Bill to be debated by the legislature. But the Committee didn’t take a vote, meaning the Bill dies in Committee and won’t go to the legislature.

Peter Wolfgang, President of the Family Institute of Connecticut, explained that they had a very good public hearing presenting the dangers of the proposed law. He highlighted the importance of a press conference that included Prof. Stephen Mikochick, the national disability law expert who testified against Assisted Suicide – as well as the fact that voters contacted their politicians! Read Life News’ report.

 

3. UK: Bedford Council backs nil policy for sex clubs
Bedford Council has unanimously voted for a Borough-wide ‘nil’ policy in relation to sex establishments. The decision means that if applications for sex clubs are made in the future, the Council is in a much stronger position to refuse them.

Christian Concern (UK) is ‘greatly encouraged’ by the decision. They say, “The Council’s unanimous vote sends out a clear message about the unsuitability of such premises…” In recent years, applications for ‘sex establishments’ have been refused in Oxford, Maidstone and London. The objectors have all been supported by Christian Concern. Read their report.

 

4. Singapore – High Court and ‘criminalisation’ of homosexual sex
Singapore’s High Court has handed down a ruling on a petition brought by two homosexuals seeking the repeal of a law that makes homosexual acts between two men illegal. The law is not actively enforced, but activists see it as the ‘lightning rod’ for reform. The Court ruled that it is not their role to make such changes to the law – it is the role of the legislature. The Court is still considering another case about whether the law is constitutional.
Media report: Setback for gay rights in Singapore, AAP, 10/4/2013.

 

On the issues

1. Life in the womb – stunning new 3D ultrasound images
An amazing development in technology now allows amazingly clear views of life in the womb. The new software, developed by Dr Bernard Benoit, ‘takes a conventional 3D ultrasound scan and adds colour, skin texture, lighting and shadows.’ A 4D version allows parents to see the baby smiling and kicking in real time.
Click here to view the amazing photos and video at the Daily Mail. The story was then reported by Lifesite.

 

2. Pornography – protecting women, gaining freedom
In this compelling article, Jonathan Welton describes how, whilst he was a youth pastor, his youth group succeeded in closing down a strip club in Chicago that was illegally allowing in minors.. He goes on to talk about gaining freedom over pornography, and importantly, protecting those who are exploited by pornography. He says, “We are not predators, we are protectors.”
Read the article: She is Worth Protecting – posted on Rogue Theologian.

 

Coming Events
See our email earlier this week… BOOK NOW!

1. Life Dinner – Sat 20 April. North Fitzroy.
Cost: $80/ $60 concession

2. World Congress of Families
Sydney- May 15-18? Click here for the Sydney WCF website.
Don’t forget to use the promotional codes to get a 20% discount.

3. National Day of Thanksgiving – Saturday 25 May, 2013
The NDOT website has information, events and resources.

 

Ongoing Campaigns

1. Federal anti-discrimination law – Inquiry - sexual orientation and gender identity Bill
Please make a submission to the Senate Inquiry on this Bill, which would add ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ as ‘protected grounds’ to anti-discrimination law.
Submissions close on FRIDAY 26 April, 2013.
Click here for the Inquiry website.
Click here for our Campaign page.

 

2. Medicare for sex-selection abortion – Submissions close 24 April
Submissions for this Inquiry close on 24 April
click here for our Campaign page which has full details and links to the Inquiry website.
We’ll be sending out some additional information next week to help you address the specific terms of reference.

 

3. SA: Prostitution Bill - please contact MPs
The ‘Prostitution Bill’ will be introduced on 16 May, 2013.
ACTION: If you live in SA, please contact your MPs in both Houses and ask them to oppose this Prostitution Bill.
Click here for MP Contact details.

 

4. NSW: Same-sex ‘marriage’ – please contact MPs
If you live in NSW, please contact your MPs in both Houses (one in Legislative Assembly, ALL in Legislative Council) and ask them to vote AGAINST the proposed same-sex ‘marriage’ legislation’.
Click here for MP contact details.

Weekly Update - 5 April - same-sex 'marriage', euthanasia, climate change report, articles on issues, campaigns

 

This week we've updated ALL the contact pages for MPs - state and federal governments, PM website, Premiers etc.

Click here for the MPs Contact page.

Now the News, articles about the issues, and Ongoing campaigns!

Australian News

1. Tasmania – same-sex ‘marriage’ Bill re-introduced

The same-sex ‘marriage’ issue is back on the agenda in Tasmania. Homosexual lobby group Australian Marriage Equality (AME) has been campaigning hard – there is an election on 4 May for THREE Legislative Council divisions - Montgomery, Nelson and Pembroke (election details). Apparently the representatives from those three divisions all voted AGAINST same-sex ‘marriage’ when the Legislative Council last voted on the issue. AME want MLCs elected who support same-sex ‘marriage’ (read account of AME’s lobbying).

 

Weekly Update 27 March - Abortion, politics, slave trafficking, OS Court cases, Ongoing Campaigns

Australian News

1. Tasmanians – PLEASE SIGN online petition against abortion
If you live in Tasmania, please sign the online petition to Members of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. It begins, “Tasmanian citizens draw to the attention of the House that the Minister for Children intends to legislate for late-term abortion in Tasmania, which is totally unacceptable….”

The petition has been organised by West Hobart resident, Amanda-Sue Markham. The ‘Sponsoring member’ is Jacquie Petrusma MP, a Member of the House of Assembly.

If you live in Tasmania, please click here to SIGN IT!

If you have friends in Tasmania, please send them the information and ask them to SIGN IT!

2. Federal Politics – Ministers resign from Cabinet
Three federal Labor government Ministers have resigned following the leadership ‘spill’ last week – Martin Ferguson, Chris Bowen and Kim Carr. In addition, Parliamentary Secretary Richard Marles resigned as well as three government Whips. Prime Minister Julia Gillard sacked Simon Crean who called for the leadership spill. A new Ministry has now been announced and sworn in.

It now appears that the Kevin Rudd backers expected him to challenge, but at the last minute he decided not to!

This media article summarises the new Cabinet positions as well as reporting on those who resigned – click here.

Even the ABC has been critical – on 7.30 Report. And the ABC’s AM program questioned Julia Gillard about the leadership, Cabinet re-shuffle and the latest disastrous opinion polls – click here.

3. Federal – media laws DUMPED!
The controversial media laws have been DUMPED, after the Gillard government failed to gain support for them from the Independents. Four of the six media Bills were not passed. PM Julia Gillard has promised that the laws will not be re-introduced. Read report.

4. Victoria – Liberal government establishes ‘gay advisory group’
The headline says ‘Napthine sets up gay advisory group’.

But read on, and it is apparent that the proposal to establish a ‘gay advisory group’ had been planned long before Denis Napthine became Premier. The Baillieu government made an election commitment to establish the group – and the proposal was opposed by some Coalition MPs.

The Committee, called ‘The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Ministerial Advisory Committee – or the GLBTI-MAC’, will report to Health Minister David Davis and Mental Health Minister Mary Wooldridge – both of whom are known to support homosexual rights (both voted for the Relationship Register for homosexuals – see Life Vote (extra issues doc on right hand side of page).

The Committee is chaired by Michael Kennedy, who was executive director of the Victorian AIDS Council. It includes 23 people – a researcher, a social worker, and a range of homosexual activists.
Mr Davis said the group would advise the government on a range of issues, including support for the ageing; improvements to health services; suicide prevention; and "rapid testing" for HIV. Media reports say it will also tackle ‘homophobia’!

The Committee was actually announced a year ago - the Media Release from David Davis and Mary Wooldridge on 30 March 2012 announced the establishment of the Committee and called for applications. Read the Government’s media release from 30 March 2012.

This week’s report merely affirms that the Committee is now operational! Of course, we believe that the government doesn’t need a ‘Ministerial Advisory Committee’ on homosexual rights – especially one that is made up of activists!

The headline falsely leads the reader to think that Denis Napthine has established the group. In fact, this week Denis Napthine said on 3AW radio that he does NOT support same-sex ‘marriage’ (media report).


5. NT – Coalition Leadership coup whilst Terry Mills was overseas
In the NT, there has been a leadership challenge that we haven’t previously reported on. On March 13, the leader of the ruling Coalition government, Terry Mills, was removed from his position as Chief Minister just seven months after the Coalition won government. The challenge was made whilst Mr Mills was overseas in Japan. Mr Mills had been the Principal of a Christian school prior to entering politics.

The new leader is Adam Giles, an indigenous man. Mr Giles had made an unsuccessful challenge a week earlier.
Read The Australian’s report.


6. Slave trafficking – Movie: ‘Trade of Innocents’ – FILM screens April-May

The trafficking of people around the world for sexual exploitation and slavery is a huge problem. A new movie dramatically highlights the situation…

The Synopsis says: “Inspired by true events, Trade of Innocents tells the compelling story of a couple who set out to rescue young girls sold into South East Asia’s sex slave trade, where women and children are purchased for exploitation.
Human trafficking investigator Alex Becker ( Dermot Mulroney) and his wife Claire (Mira Sorvino) are adjusting to their new life in Cambodia while dealing with the devastating impact of their own daughter’s abduction.
When known trafficker Duke (Trieu Tran) threatens the lives of a group of young girls in the local community, Alex and his team are the last defence against the criminals who want to sell the children to the highest bidder. At the scene of a raid to free the victims, Alex is distraught when he discovers the trafficker has escaped, taking Claire and a seven-year-old girl captive.
Redemption and healing run through this gripping thriller that brings light to dark places."

The movie will be shown in selected movie theatres around Australia (six states plus the ACT) from 10 April. The details about the film – and locations and online ticket bookings are available on the Koorong website. Plan to take a group to see the film…. Click here for FULL details!


7. SA: Euthanasia Bills - ACTION needed - please contact MPs

In the SA House of Assembly last Friday (22 Mar), Bob Such announced that his new bill to allow euthanasia for comatose patients would be delayed until 12 September. However, debate continued on his other euthanasia Bill, the Ending Life with Dignity Bill. Five MPs spoke.

Fortunately, a vote was avoided - Leesa Vlahos (ALP, Taylor – strongly pro-life) was able to secure an adjournment until 11 April.

ACTION NEEDED: If you live in SA (or have friends who do) it is vital that you contact your MPs. FamilyVoice urge us to “send gently worded, compassionate letters to MPs asking them to vote against this dangerous bill, giving good, non-religious reasons. ‘Pious’ or accusing letters would hinder rather than help.”

If you live in South Australia please contact your MPs in both Houses and ask them to vote against the euthanasia legislation. Click here for SA MP contact details.


Overseas News

1. USA – Supreme Court hears two same-sex ‘marriage’ cases
The US Supreme Court is hearing two important cases on same-sex ‘marriage’ this week. The first is the case on Proposition 8, the California referendum that overturned the state’s legalisation of same-sex ‘marriage’. Today the Supreme Court is hearing legal argument on whether the ‘Defence of Marriage Acts’ are constitutional and should be ‘struck down’. One Judge cautioned that the Supreme Court might not make a broad ruling on the matter.

The decisions are not expected until June 2013.
The actual arguments in the Prop 8 case are posted here. CNN has the transcript plus audio of the arguments here.

2. UK – High Court rules on bus ads
The UK High Court has handed down its decision regarding the ads on buses by UK Christian group Core Issues Trust. They wanted to run an ad on buses, saying that people leave homosexuality. This was in response to a pro-homosexual ad by Stonewall. The head of Transport for London (TFL), Boris Johnson, had stepped in and stopped the ad and Core Issues Trust took the case to court. The Court has ruled that ALL the ads – by Core Issues Trust AND Stonewall AND the British Humanist Association – were against the advertising guidelines for TFL.
The Independent’s report was somewhat one-sided, reporting that the Christians LOST (here). But Christian Concern tells what really happened – read their report here.

 

Ongoing Campaigns

1. Federal anti-discrimination law – Inquiry - sexual orientation and gender identity Bill
We must tell the Inquiry that we oppose the addition of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ as ‘protected grounds’ to anti-discrimination law.
The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee is conducting the ‘Inquiry’ into this proposed legislation and has to hand its Report to parliament by 17 June, 2013.
Submissions close on FRIDAY 26 April, 2013.
Click here for the Inquiry website  - More details and a Campaign Page next week.

2. Tasmania: Abortion legalisation - Submissions close on Friday 5 April
Please send a short submission/letter to the Consultation, which is being conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services. Remember that this Bill is worse than Victoria's - it proposes large fines and jail terms for counselling if you oppose abortion and don't refer your patient to a pro-abortion counsellor! And for going within 150 m of an abortion clinic to protest.

Email your response to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. '; document.write(''); document.write(addy_text80860); document.write('<\/a>'); //-->\n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
See our Campaign Page for full details.

3. Senate Inquiry – Medicare payments for sex-selection abortion
Submissions for this Inquiry close on 24 April –
click here for our Campaign page which has full details and links to the Inquiry website.


4. SA: Prostitution Bill - please contact MPs

Labor MP Steph Key has ‘delayed’ the introduction of her new ‘Prostitution Bill’. She now plans to introduce it on 16 May, 2013 – apparently to allow ‘more consultation’!

It may mean she needs more time to ‘get the numbers’ – but it also gives US time to contact our MPs to ask them to vote AGAINST this Bill!

ACTION: If you live in SA, please contact your MPs in both Houses and ask them to oppose this Prostitution Bill.
Click here for MP Contact details.


5. NSW: Same-sex ‘marriage’ – please contact MPs

If you live in NSW, please contact your MPs in both Houses (one in Legislative Assembly, ALL in Legislative Council) and ask them to vote AGAINST the proposed same-sex ‘marriage’ legislation’. Click here for MP contact details.

Weekly Update 22 March - Politics, Multiculturalism report, Anti-discrimination laws, Abortion in Tas

Another eventful week - so much happening!

Australian News

1. Federal politics – leadership challenge
After a week of speculation, the federal Labor Party caucus has held a special meeting to ‘resolve’ the leadership issues. On Thursday, after a public call by Simon Crean to hold a ballot on the leadership, Julia Gillard announced, at the start of Question Time, that a meeting would be held to vote on the leadership at 4.30pm.

Prior to the meeting, Kevin Rudd told the media that he would not contest the leadership – unless it was ‘vacant’ and unless a majority of the caucus called on him to do so.

In the end, Julia Gillard was the only nomination for leader, and she was elected unopposed. Wayne Swan was re-elected as the Deputy Leader.
Read report on the ABCclick here.

The Australian Financial Review’s verdict? That Tony Abbott was the winner of the leadership spill!

2. Multiculturalism REPORT published – encourages ‘interfaith’ to combat Islam!
The federal parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Migration has tabled its REPORT on its Inquiry into Multiculturalism.

The FULL Report is available on the Committee’s website – click here.

The report is 292 pages long – but it is important to read the RECOMMENDATIONS, which start on Page xxi. There are 32 Recommendations under 12 headings – covering multiculturalism, racism religious diversity – questions about Islam, social inclusion, national policies, settlement and participation, employment and so on.

A number of submissions expressed concern about Islam and the fact that some Islamic organisations were calling for shari’a law in Australia. The Report notes that there will be ‘one law for all’ and that legal pluralism will not be adopted in Australia.

However, the Report recommends that the government promote and advocate ‘interfaith activities’ in an effort to promote harmony. This is of great concern, especially given the statements made by the organiser of the recent Peace Conference. It was promoted as an ‘interfaith’ event – but Waseem Razvi is on the record as saying “we need to have interfaith, multifaith and debates with the non-Muslim community to engage them, and to bring them over to Islam.”

So much for ‘interfaith’ activities!

Read media reports:
Backlash against Muslim enclaves, Herald Sun, 20/3/2013

No room for Sharia law in multicultural society, The Australian, 3/3/2013.

 

3. Apology for forced adoptions
The federal government made another formal apology this week. This time it was to the mothers whose babies were forcibly adopted between the 1950s and 1970s.

Whilst it seems that some women did not give permission for their babies to be adopted, and others gave up their babies for adoption thinking it was their only option, or under pressure from families and others, we must remember that it is often difficult, or even impossible, to assess actions taken then from today’s perspective.

Bettina Arndt highlights this point in her article in The Age. She asks if we will in the future apologise for policies that are current practice. She acknowledges the pain felt by women who gave up their children, but goes on to say “As with all social policies, the practices of the time were seen as being in the best interests of the children and their mothers, given the stigma attached to being born out of wedlock and the absence of any financial support for single mothers.
She asks will we need to apologise to children who have not had access to their fathers, mentions those placed in institutions or aboriginal children given ‘bi-lingual education’.

Her conclusion: “Official apologies are a handy tool for currying favour with voters convinced that we now have all the answers. They cut little ice with people with long memories.

There are other groups of people who might need ‘apologies’ based on current practice: such as those born through IVF and surrogacy to singles and homosexual couples, underage girls who are taken to get abortions without their parents’ consent, or the aboriginal children who are still being removed from their families ‘in their best interests’.

Today's policies are tomorrow's apologies - This trend to social revisionism is silly and dangerous - Bettina Arndt, The Age, March 22, 2013

 

4. When murder looks like abortion – Andrew Bolt on late-term abortion
An item by Andrew Bolt that deals with the horror of late-term abortion.
Andrew mentions the fact that it is done in Victoria, and that some pro-abortion ‘ethicists’ are promoting abortion AFTER BIRTH.
He then goes on to describe (with links to actual photographs) the abortions done by a US abortionist, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who is now on trial in Philadelphia charged with seven counts of first-degree murder for killing babies born alive after abortions..

Andrew warns about the explicit photographs in the article he links to – and adds, “And if they do offend, do not support the practices which have consequences so horrific you cannot bear to see.”

When murder looks like abortion – Andrew Bolt, 22/3/2013.

 

5. Update: Peace Conference – ‘Six surprises’
Once the 'Islamic Peace Conference' started in Melbourne last Friday, there was very little media reporting. The following article in The Australian was the only media report we noticed. The article notes that the organiser, Waseem Razvi, told the 2000 people there for Friday prayers that the main speaker, Dr al-Sudais, could not attend the conference for personal reasons' - and the second speaker, from Kuwait, was ill and suffering from jet lag. The Friday prayers were led by Br Imran of India (Waseem Razvi’s teacher) and Sheik Anwar Sahib from New Zealand.
Media Report:
Sheik a no-show at Islamic event 'for personal reasons' - The Australian, 16/3/2013. 

Inside report…
Our colleague who attended the Islamic Peace Conference has written a very compelling report – titled Six Surprises from the Islamic ‘Peace Conference’. The ‘Surprises’ include the fact that their free tickets weren’t honoured, low Muslim numbers, good opportunities for Christian witness, Christians being rudely ‘ejected’, and some protests on the final day.

Significantly, the report gives another ‘Surprise’: “The Conference publicly advocated Sharia law including the cutting-off hands for theft, the death penalty, the cruel slaughter of animals, and it did not condemn all terrorism. A woman’s clothing was suggested as contributing to her rape. In an Exhibition hall, a series of pull-up posters outlined these aspects of Islamic teaching…”

But perhaps that wasn’t a surprise, since the organiser for the Conference is known to want sharia law in Australia!
 

6. Groups in the Labor Party supporting ‘life’ and family
Early last year we reported that a new pro-life group had been set up in the Labor Party – called ‘Labor for Life’. Check out their
Facebook page. Tasmanian Senator Helen Polley is the group’s National Patron.

In August 2012, another group was formed within the Labor Party in Tasmania by some ALP members. It promotes life issues and the traditional family, and is called ‘Christians for Labor’. Senator Polley also supports the new group.

The organisers of these groups ask people to contact their Labor politicians to present their views on these issues.

Media report – Labor group seeks Christian recruits The Examiner, 19/9/2012

Their Facebook page calls the group ‘Conservative Christians for Labor’.

ED COMMENT: The establishment of these ‘sub-groups’ tells us a lot about the general direction of the Labor Party – Labor Party policy supports same-sex ‘marriage’ and abortion.

 

Overseas News

UK and France - Same-sex ‘marriage’
Rallies will be held this weekend in Paris and London to oppose same-sex ‘marriage’.

The French group La Manif Pour Tous (March for All), is organising the rally in Trafalgar Square this Sunday (24th March) from 2pm - 5pm. The event will coincide with a similar event in Paris. 

Up to a million people attended a similar rally in Paris in January 2013 organised by La Manif Pour Tous.

The French National Assembly has already passed laws to legalise same-sex ‘marriage’ – the law is due to be debated by the Senate in April. 

In the UK, as Christian Concern reports, “the Government's 'Same Sex Marriage' Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons in February despite significant opposition from back-bench Conservative MPs. If it passes at the third reading it will then be debated in the House of Lords.”

Please pray for the success of the rallies.

Pray that many people will show their opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’ by attending and by contacting their MPs.

 

Ongoing campaigns

1. Tasmania abortion legalisation - Submissions close on Friday 5 April - EXTENSION of DEADLINE!
Please send a short submission/letter to the Inquiry.
It is being conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Email your response to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See our Campaign Page for full details.

 

2. Federal anti-discrimination laws – ADDING sexual orientation and gender identity
Good news – and bad news!
The good news: The Federal Government has ‘delayed its controversial overhaul of the nation's anti-discrimination laws indefinitely. Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says the proposed laws did not strike the right balance and will be reworked’. (Read ABC Report)

The BAD news: They are proceeding with sexual orientation discrimination law…
Federal Attorney General Mark Dreyfus introduced a Bill for part of the government’s proposed anti-discrimination law into federal parliament on Thursday 21 March, 2013.

The Bill, Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013, would ADD discrimination attributes of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex as “protected grounds” to the current law.

We oppose the addition of these attributes to the law.

Mr Dreyfus gave a brief ‘second reading’ speech in the House of Representatives. The Senate then referred the Bill to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee for an ‘Inquiry’.

The Senate Committee is asking for submissions – they close on 26 April, 2013.

The Committee has to hand its Report to parliament by 17 June, 2013.

Click here for the Inquiry website – the text of the Bill, information about the Inquiry and how to make a submission etc.

We will do a more detailed Report on this proposal NEXT WEEK.

 

3. SA: Prostitution Bill - please contact MPs
Labor MP Steph Key has re-introduced a Bill to legalise prostitution into the SA Parliament’s House of Assembly this week. A previous Prostitution Bill was defeated at the second reading last November – but she doesn’t give up!

ACTION: If you live in SA, please contact your MPs in both Houses and ask them to oppose this Prostitution Bill. Click here for MP Contact details.

 

Upcoming events

Book now for these events:

Life Coalition Dinner (20 April in Melbourne)

See details in our previous email – or click here.
Please register as being with ‘Salt Shakers’ and let us know when you book.

World Congress of Families in Sydney (15-18 May).

Click here for details. Earlybird bookings close 28 March, 2013.
Don’t forget to use the given codes to get an additional 20% off your booking.

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