Media Release

For release: June 23, 2011

ACL’s June Viewpoint magazine goes beyond the rhetoric and spin to outline in detail what’s really behind the highly emotive but often misunderstood topics of same-sex marriage, school chaplaincy and the proposed new charities commission.

The public policy magazine has been delivered to all Federal MPs this week to help inform them of the important implications of the issues.

On same-sex marriage, the Australian Family Association’s Terri Kelleher debates the issue with Rodney Croome from Marriage Equality.

Terri Kelleher said: “Defending marriage is both reasonable and entirely compatible with equality and justice. Unfortunately, however, the debate is often framed as a simplistic division of enlightened progressives versus prejudiced bigots. But name-calling neatly avoids the one essential element of the debate: thoughtful consideration of the institution of marriage itself.

Although the ACL supports marriage remaining between a man and a woman, Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson Rodney Croome was invited to present the case for same-sex marriage and he says the current definition of marriage is discriminatory, unjust and hurtful.

“The reason the right to marry is so fundamental, and denial of that right so painful, is that marriage is a key legal and cultural institution, a ‘bedrock institution’, some say. In a legal sense, it provides partners with immediate and unchallenged access to their spousal entitlements.”

On chaplaincy, Scripture Union Queensland’s Tim Mander skilfully defends school chaplaincy against Greens MP John Kaye, a vocal opponent of any form of religious teaching or pastoral care in schools.

Not-for-profit specialists, Elizabeth Turnour from Moores Legal and Louise Steer from the Fundraising Institute of Australia outline the implications for churches and charities of the Government’s new charities commission, including taxing commercial activities, while Senator Doug Cameron explains why charities and churches should be more highly regulated.

The June issue also highlights the crisis affecting Australia’s children, and the implications of the Greens having control of the Senate from July 1.

Viewpoint Magazine is available at www.viewpointmagazine.com.au and selected newsagents.