ACL compiles a daily media monitoring service of stories of interest to the Christian constituency relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. Visit the ACL’s website each day to see what’s of interest in the news. Please note that selection of the articles does not represent ACL endorsement of the content.



 





Abortion

Doctor struck off medical register

Julia Medew - The Age





Australian women seeking late-term abortions may be left helpless after a prominent abortion specialist was struck off the medical register for inappropriately prescribing patients with addictive drugs for nearly 10 years. On Friday, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal cancelled Dr Mark Schulberg's registration for one year from July after finding him guilty of serious misconduct.










Charities & NFP

Charities left at the altar after Edelsten wedding


Chris Vedelago, Mark Hawthorne - The Age





When Geoffrey Edelsten married Brynne Gordon, no expense was spared. A star-studded guest list, a video invitation made by the director of Pretty Woman, a red carpet befitting royalty and American television stars Jason Alexander and Fran Drescher hired to co-host the party. And all this for a worthy cause, the happy couple said, requesting the 550 guests bring envelopes containing donations rather than gifts. But more than three years later, some of the charities say they are yet to receive a cent from Edelsten's charitable group.


















Children & Family

Research shows increase in marriage failures once children leave the home


Natasha Bita - News Limited Network





Empty nesters are divorcing in droves, as the "20-year itch" fuels a mid-life marriage breakdown. The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has found the risk of divorcing after 20 years of marriage has doubled in a generation. Middle-aged men are more likely to remarry than divorced women, who stay single or live apart from their new lovers.






Drugs & Alcohol

More travellers taking a trip they'd rather forget


Natalie O'Brien - SMH





Four Australian travellers a day are arrested for crimes around the world and statistics show a jump of almost 50 per cent from previous years. Figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade revealed that 1507 Australians were arrested or jailed for various crimes in the 2011-2012 financial year, up from 1067 in 2010-2011. The number of Australians in custody was at record levels with 572 being jailed as at December 31.


















Gambling

Sports betting condemned by Wilkie and ACL


International





Betting on live sports like cricket and football has become a threat to children and families. What started out as a fringe component of betting, has become a constant feature in live telecasts and many people are not happy with the effect this is having on children and family cashflow.












Gaming the politics of TV sports bet reform

Heath Aston and Colin Kruger - SMH





Run a cursor across the acres of comments on stories about sports betting and the trumpeting of live odds on TV and an unmistakable message for government emerges: Stop this now. In a letter published in Fairfax Media on Thursday, Lynne Poleson put it like this: ''Stephen Conroy and his cohort are fond of talking about 'working families'. Have they not seen the figures on compulsive gambling and what it does to these working families? How can they support the social evil that is sports betting? A whole generation of children from families who can least afford it will suffer as a consequence.''




















Human Rights

Discrimination laws still flawed


Matthew Franklin - The Australian





When the Australian Human Rights Commission invited former NSW chief justice James Spigelman to deliver the 25th annual Human Rights Day oration in December last year, it could not have anticipated the profound political impact of his comments. Spigelman, the ABC chairman, worked for former Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam in the 1970s but, having since devoted his career to the law, is no political activist. Nonetheless, Spigelman delivered a scathing indictment of a proposal put forward by former attorney-general Nicola Roxon to allow people to claim they had been discriminated against if they felt insulted or offended by the words or actions of others. The Australian Christian Lobby's submission made clear it backed the consolidation of anti-discrimination law but could not accept offence as a threshold for legal action.
















Marriage

Gay marriage protests rock Paris


Charlotte Plantive - The Canberra Times





Thousands of French demonstrators march along the River Seine to protest a new law allowing gay marriage. Riot police have battled hundreds of troublemakers in Paris at the end of a largely peaceful march by tens of thousands opposed to France's new gay marriage law. Sunday's main demonstration saw three separate processions converging on the Invalides esplanade, filling the huge promenade with pink and blue - the official colours of the anti-gay marriage movement. Police said 150,000 people turned out to protest, a figure immediately contested by organisers of the demonstration who said one million opponents of the law had shown up.












Kevin Rudd's gay turn denies facts on same-sex families

Christopher Pearson - The Australian





On Tuesday, Kevin Rudd declared himself in support of same-sex marriage. He told us that, after deep reflection, he found he was able to reconcile his religious faith with his secular ethical principles. His last line of argument was that: "30 years of research has seen the Australian Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association acknowledge that same-sex families do not compromise children's development". But Rudd hasn't kept up to date with recent research and his claim is misleading. Last July, in the journal Social Science Research, Mark Regnerus published a large-scale study comparing children raised by homosexual couples and those raised by married parents. It found many significant differences between the groups, with outcomes for the former rated "suboptimal" in almost every category.


















Misguided proponents of marriage equality trying to defy gravity

Angela Shanahan - The Australian





Conscience issues are right up in the news today. Gay marriage, and Kevin Rudd's conversion to the dubious cause of marriage equality, is the most newsworthy at the moment. His rollover, influenced by a combination of pressure from his family and an ex-staff member, and a desire to conform to the opinions of his heavily gay electorate, has split the Labor Party and put undue pressure on Tony Abbott. Rudd's conscience shift is understandable. Being, as he put it, the last of the Mohicans in the family is not easy. But less understandable is his reasoning. What he claimed to be a rational response, as printed in this newspaper, is a veritable farrago of emotionalism. He suppressed his strong biblically based evangelical religious impulses in the name of rationalism, but he ignores the obvious rational conclusion of natural law: that the binary sexual nature of humans is male and female, not homosexual and heterosexual.








Politics

Battle surrounds union's alleged anti-gay stance


Tony Moore – Brisbane Times





A Queensland union’s alleged stance against gay marriage, euthanasia and abortion has triggered an ugly membership battle and prompted questions over the Labor Party's top Senate candidate. Organisers allege the Queensland branch of Australia’s largest union - the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association representing more than 35,000 members - is supporting lectures which encourage young employees to hold the same views as their superiors.


















Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Sex doesn’t sell - An old industry is in deep recession


The Economist





Times are tough for Debbie, a prostitute in western England who runs a private flat with other “mature ladies”. She does two or three jobs a day. A year ago she was doing eight or nine. She has cut her prices: “If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t still be open.” She says that she can now make more money doing up furniture and attending car-boot sales than she can turning tricks. George McCoy, who runs a website reviewing over 5,000 massage parlours and individuals, says that many are struggling. Sex workers tell him they have been forced to hold down prices. Like other businesses, massage parlours and private flats are suffering from rising rents and energy costs. Even Mr McCoy’s website is under the cosh: visitor numbers are down by a third.








Man, 72, caught in Highgate street prostitution bust

Phil Hickey – Perth Now





A 72-YEAR-old man is among nine men who have been charged following an overnight police operation targeting street prostitution in Highgate. Officers from Perth City Detectives, the Central Metropolitan District Crime Team and Perth police station charged nine men and one woman following a blitz on the inner city suburb last night.








International students targeted by traffickers

Radio Australia





Over a decade ago, the United Nations adopted an action plan to combat human trafficking.

More than 150 countries have since signed the Palermo Protocol and enacted laws criminalising all forms of trafficking.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Report blames Pakistan politicians security for anti-Christian riots

Umar Farooq - CS Monitor





Report blames Pakistan politicians, security for anti-Christian riots

Nearly four years after deadly anti-Christian riots left nine dead, authorities released a 318 page report indicating Pakistan's security establishment could have prevented them.










Accusations could carry serious consequences for believers

MNN





An Islamic leader is telling Sudan's government to take action against Christians. Ammar Saleh, the chairman of the Islamic Centre for Preaching and Comparative Studies, slammed his government last week for not taking decisive action against Christian missionaries, who he claims were operating "boldly" in Sudan.














Sexualisation of Society

Children damaged by 'diet of pornography'


Graeme Paton - SMH





Children are developing permissive attitudes to sex and are viewing women as objects after being raised on a "diet of pornography", a major British study has found. For the first time, the Children's Commissioner for England has found a clear link between exposure to extreme images at a young age and a rise in "risky behaviours". It emerged that children who regularly viewed pornography were more likely to have underage sex, develop "casual and hedonistic" attitudes, experiment with drink and drugs and indulge in sexting, when explicit pictures are taken and sent to others using camera phones.


















Other

A Christian constituency does exist, and it should have a voice


Lyle Shelton - ABC Religion and Ethics





In the mid-1990s, when I was a journalist working for Rural Press Limited, I was posted to the company's Canberra bureau in Parliament House for six weeks to fill in for a colleague. I was intrigued at the influence various constituencies had over politics and the media. My job was to write syndicated articles for the company's rural weeklies reporting on decisions from Canberra impacting the nation's famers. All manner of rural industry lobbyists walked the corridors and had open access to ministers and backbenchers alike.










‘It’s the beginning of the end’: gay scout vote only first step in demise of scouting, say leaders

John Jalsevac - LifeSiteNews





Parents, scouting leaders and pastors are warning that yesterday’s vote to allow openly gay youth to join the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is likely only the beginning of a much more fundamental transformation of the scouting organization. In a statement following the vote Jonathan Saenz, the president of Texas Values, the group behind the Save Our Scouts initiative, charged the BSA leadership with having “willingly opened the door to allow homosexual advocates to overrun an organization that stands for a code of morality that these intolerant advocates reject.”
















Boy Scouts vote to allow gay scouts

Mitch Dudek - Suntimes





The Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to allow gay scouts into its ranks. The move ends a ban that’s existed throughout the organization’s 103-year history, but the reversal does not extend to openly gay adults, who are still not allowed to serve as scoutmasters or participate in other leadership roles.












Judeo-Christianity have best ethics, says Coalition Senator Eric Abetz

Tory Shepherd - News Ltd





Senior Coalition Senator Eric Abetz says Christians have the best ethics to underpin society and the public should be able to debate their religions the same way they debate the superiority of their football teams. The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate says that only the "intellectually bankrupt" would expect MPs to leave religion at the doors of Parliament. Senator Abetz said people celebrated the election of the first Muslim to Parliament, Ed Husic, but there was an "elite" who mocked Christians and expected them to put their religion to one side when determining policy and legislation.