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.



 









Bioethics

Sex offender continues IVF fight in Supreme Court bid


Shannon Deery - Daily Telegraph





A convicted sex offender granted access to IVF treatment has this morning continued his fight to become a dad. In a landmark ruling last July, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal cleared the way for the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to gain access to the expensive fertility treatment. This was despite bans on serious criminals gaining access to IVF.














Drugs & Alcohol

A mother's instincts led to quest for the truth behind daughter's death


Geesche Jacobsen - SMH





When Sharon Forbes was told her daughter Laura had died from a suspected drug overdose, she immediately sensed something was not right. Police were ready to write it off as just another junkie death, but Mrs Forbes started investigating her 21-year-old daughter's life.


















Random violence isn't confined to the Cross

Paddy Doulman - SMH





The death of Thomas Kelly is a tragedy that has hit home with many young people across the country. Unfortunately, random, unprovoked attacks are not confined to Kings Cross. They can happen anywhere – and aren't that uncommon, either.










Breath-test borrowing takes police by surprise

Jane Holroyd - The Age





Victoria Police has given a lukewarm endorsement to an initiative that provides free breath-testing devices to party-goers on the state's surf coast. Surf Coast Shire recently received a grant from the state government's Transport Accident Commission to provide four hand-held preliminary breath-testing devices, which residents can borrow for social events.
















Gambling

Dragged under by addiction


Jason Dowling and Richard Willingham - The Age





Twenty years after poker machines were introduced in Victoria, the harmful impacts on gamblers are causing concern. Just before 10am on a chilly Wednesday morning in Melbourne's north, where only a handful of shops at the Epping Plaza are open and few have customers, one business is doing a roaring trade. The Epping Plaza Hotel is Victoria's number one poker machine venue and by day's end more than $57,000 is likely to have been lost on its pokies, losses that are repeated every day.






Human rights

Canada: Bill to scrap section 13 ‘hate crime’ provision passes House of Commons

Thaddeus Baklinski - LifeSiteNews







A bill to scrap the controversial Section 13 “hate crimes” provision of the Canadian human rights code passed third and final reading in the House of Commons by a vote of 153 to 136 late Wednesday. Bill C-304, “An Act to Amend the Human Rights Act,” was introduced by Alberta Conservative MP Brian Storseth. It now goes to the Conservative-dominated Senate where it is expected to pass and be given royal assent. Critics of Section 13 have long argued that the clause created the precise equivalent of a ‘thought crime’ in Canadian law. The provision defined a discriminatory practice as “any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt” if the person or persons affected are “identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”










Marriage

Greens 'elitist' on wedlock


Ean Higgins - The Australian





A splt within the Greens over gay marriage has widened, with a prominent party official claiming senator Sarah Hanson-Young's insistence that marriage is between two consenting adults discriminates against others in the gay community, including polyamorists. Greens ACT convenor Simon Copland, who is political editor of the gay magazine FUSE, has written a critique of Senator Hanson-Young's marriage equality bill. Mr Copland describes the approach as elitist in catering to well-off and presentable homosexual and lesbian couples. The Greens and gay leaders were trying to "hide the 'scary queers' who may harm the rest of the movement".












Sociologist faces backlash for unfavorable study on kids with gay parents

Ethan Cole - Christian Post





A professor of sociology has come under intense attack after releasing a study that is damaging to gay-parents-headed households. Mark Regnerus, an associate professor at the University of Texas, led the study, "How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the new family structures study," which was published in the professional journal Social Science Research last month. The study immediately became a lightning rod for controversy with its finding that children of gay parents were worse off financially, mentally, and relationship-wise than those with married heterosexual biological parents.
















Politics

Coalition ‘also to blame' for Greens' rise


Herald Sun





The coalition is as much to blame as Labor for the influence of the Greens in federal parliament, the Australian Christian Lobby says. The group that offers support for candidates who show concern for Christian values believes both sides of politics must work harder to diminish the minor party's influence in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has faced criticism over an agreement she signed with the Greens to support her minority government.










Melbourne by-election right down to the wire


Paula Maud - Melbourne Leader





Melbourne's new state MP is likely to be determined by the preferences of independents. And the failure of the Liberal Party to field a candidate means more than 10,000 people who voted Liberal in 2010 - about 30 per cent of those who voted - are set to decide whether Melbourne remains an ALP stronghold or becomes the Greens' first Lower House Victorian seat.












Greens 'fail on the economy'

John Ferguson - The Australian





The Labor candidate who lost to the Greens' Adam Bandt at the 2010 federal election has blasted the minor party's policy agenda and demanded greater scrutiny of its costings during elections. Cath Bowtell, Victorian Labor's state president, yesterday accused the Greens of failing to embrace economic growth and signalled she would contest the next federal election in the inner-city seat of Melbourne.










Support for boycotts on Israel backfired

Christian Kerr - The Australian





Senior figures in the NSW Labor Right have explicitly linked action against the Greens at the ALP state conference with the party's support for the anti-Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Former state treasurer and ALP general secretary Eric Roozendaal and fellow Legislative Councillor Walt Secord, an adviser to premiers Bob Carr and Kristina Keneally, linked the successful conference motion to deny the Greens automatic preferences to the local party's support for the BDS movement.












Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Sex worker appeals ban on using motel bed


Petrina Berry - Herald Sun





A Queensland tribunal has debated whether lawful sex workers who rent out hotel rooms are any different to travelling solicitors or accountants. Queensland Civil and Administration Tribunal members made the comparison while considering a sex worker's appeal against an anti-discrimination case she lost last year.










Brothel attacked twice in two months

Christopher Knaus - The Canberra Times





The brothel targeted in an alleged violent break in on the weekend was also firebombed just two months ago. Police are still hunting two men who allegedly tried to break in to the Gold Curves Studio on Wollongong Street on Saturday morning. The men, both described as having Irish accents, rang the brothel's doorbell about 6.15am, not realising it was closed.


















Religious Freedom & Persecution

'Nigeria’s Christians must convert,' says Islamist group


John Pontifex - Aid to the Church





Islamist militants have claimed responsibility for the deaths of more than 50 people in north-central Nigeria – and called on the country’s Christians to convert to Islam. Boko Haram spokesman Abu Qaqa, issued a statement that the Islamist group carried out the attacks on more than a dozen villages last weekend and said it will continue to attack the country’s Christians. According to the statement: “Christians in Nigeria should accept Islam, that is true religion, or they will never have peace.












Refugees

PM Julia Gillard attacks opposition's 'sham' on asylum-seekers


Lanai Vesek - The Australian





Julia Gillard has seized on the opposition's admission the UN refugee convention is out of date, saying it exposes as a "sham" the Coalition's refusal to agree to Labor's Malaysia Solution. Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison told The Australian the 1951 convention was unfit to address contemporary challenges posed by refugee movements.












Sri Lankan envoy backs the policy of turning back boats, amid spike in attempts by Tamils

Lanai Vesek - The Australian





Sri Lanka's high commissioner in Australia has endorsed the Coalition's policy of turning around asylum boats as the most effective deterrent to people-smuggling. But members of Australia's Tamil community said asylum-seekers turned back to Sri Lanka would face persecution. Sri Lankan authorities arrested 131 would-be refugees heading to Australia at the weekend, after intercepting fishing trawlers off the island's east coast. High commissioner Thisara Samarasinghe, a former navy chief, said turning vessels around at sea and sending them back to where they came from was the most effective deterrent for asylum-seekers.












Sexualisation of Society

'Fifty Shades' spawns copycat erotic fiction


yahoo





The phenomenal success of erotic literature sensation 'Fifty Shades of Grey' was always going to encourage a crop of copycat fiction. Enterprising English mother-of-five Mel Dutton has wasted no time in bashing out her own homage to the Fifty Shades trilogy, dubbed 'Fifty Shades of Chav'. In the UK the term 'chav', shorthand for the young, working class demographic, is the loose equivalent of the Australian bogan.










Other

Pell and the church are scapegoats for a multitude of sins


Gerard Henderson - SMH





The status of Cardinal George Pell, the Catholic archbishop of Sydney, seems to differ according to the issues in which he is involved. When Pell expresses scepticism about human-induced climate change, there is invariably a rush to computers and microphones to declare that he is not head of the Catholic Church in Australia. Last month, Bishop Pat Power, a long-time critic of Pell, declared the Cardinal's position on climate change was not in the tradition of "mainstream Australian Catholicism" and was contrary to the position of Pope Benedict XVI.














Church of Scientology silent in TomKat split

Staff reporter - AFP





"It's a terrible public relations situation for the Church," said Karen Pressley, former "commanding officer" of the Scientology Celebrity Centre - the very name of which raises eyebrows to LA newcomers - based in Hollywood. "This is now his third marriage as a Scientologist and my observation is, what does it says about Tom Cruise's ability to succeed in relationships?" she asked rhetorically.










US: Why is the Episcopal Church near collapse?

Rob Kerby - Belief Net





The headlines coming out of the Episcopal Church’s annual U.S. convention are stunning — endorsement of cross-dressing clergy, blessing same-sex marriage, the sale of their headquarters since they can’t afford to maintain it. The American branch of the Church of England, founded when the Vatican balked at permitting King Henry VIII to continue annulling marriages to any wife who failed to bear him sons, is in trouble. Somehow slipping out of the headlines is a harsh reality that the denomination has been deserted in droves by an angry or ambivalent membership. Six prominent bishops are ready to take their large dioceses out of the American church and align with conservative Anglican groups in Africa and South America.














Swearing starts a new discussion

Alice Hogg - The Age





When security guard Craig Symes told his manager to ''get f---ed'' his employers felt they had strong grounds to sack him. But the company, Linfox Armaguard, has instead found its policies on swearing at work have come under scrutiny. In one of several cases of workers challenging their dismissal over the use of four-letter words, Mr Symes was reinstated last month because Fair Work Australia found bad language was commonly used in the guard's Brisbane workplace.