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...
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 9 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 - Examiner – Advocate 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.
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!
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’!
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.
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.
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.