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

20-week abortion ban moves forward in Texas


Matt Cantor - Newser





Texas' state House has preliminarily backed a clampdown on abortions, with a 97-33 vote on a bill that most notably includes a ban on the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The mostly party-line vote came with 19 representatives absent, 18 of whom were Democrats, the Dallas Morning News notes. The House voted at 3:23am, prompting a big reaction from members of the public who had been in attendance since 2pm yesterday. While some cheered, a louder contingent yelled, "Shame!"
















Children & Family

The misnomer of ‘motherless’ parenting


Frank Ligtvoet - NY Times





Sometimes when my daughter, who is 7, is nicely cuddled up in her bed and I snuggle her, she calls me Mommy. I am a stay-at-home dad. My male partner and I adopted both of our children at birth in open domestic adoptions. We could fill our home with nannies, sisters, grandmothers, female friends, but no mothers. My daughter says “Mommy” in a funny way, in a high-pitched voice. Although I refer the honors immediately to her birth mom, I am flattered. But saddened as well, because she expresses herself in a voice that is not her own. It is her stuffed-animal voice. She expresses not only love; she also expresses alienation. She can role-play the mother-daughter relationship, but she cannot use her real voice, nor have the real thing.












Kiesha confided to DOCS worker

Sky News





Murder victim Kiesha Weippeart was aged three when she told a child safety worker: 'Mum did that,' about a cigarette burn she had. 'Mum hit there' and 'Mum did that,' Kiesha said when a caseworker asked her about a cigarette burn. Fresh documents released to the media on Tuesday also said Kiesha's resemblance to her biological father, Chris Weippeart, 'annoyed Ms Abrahams and triggered her physical and verbal abuse'.


















Environment

Greens want to shut all NSW power plants


AAP





All large-scale fossil fuel power stations would be shut down by 2031 under a plan by the NSW Greens, who argue politicians are the only barrier to a state run completely on renewable energy. Greens MP John Kaye says the party will introduce the Transforming NSW Energy Sector bill when parliament resumes in August.


















Homelessness & Poverty

MPs urged to make halving the number of homeless a priority


Catholic Weekly





More than 1200 CEOs and business leaders slept out across Australia in support of the 2013 Vinnies CEO Sleepout. The St Vincent de Paul Society has used the spotlight of the event to call on both sides of Federal Parliament to recommit to the targets set out in the 2008 The Road Home White Paper to halve homelessness by 2020.


















Indigenous

Western Australia will go it alone to close Indigenous health gap


The Guardian



WA government will fund initiatives itself rather than re-sign the federal Closing the Gap agreement.
















Marriage

Conservative Christian: We can only blame ourselves if gay marriage wins at Supreme Court


Stoyan Zaimov - Christian Post





The executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, a movement of Christians from various denominations with traditional values working to preserve the sanctity of life, marriage and religious liberty, says conservatives will only have themselves to blame if gay marriage becomes legalized in America.






The 5 ways gay marriage can win at the Supreme Court... and the one way it could lose

The Atlantic





On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hand down hotly anticipated verdicts on two cases related to gay marriage: a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples legally married in their states, and a challenge to California's Proposition 8, the November 2008 ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in that state. Gay-marriage advocates are cautiously optimistic both cases will go their way. On DOMA, multiple lower-court judges, many of them Republican-appointed, have already ruled the 1996 law unconstitutional, and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, thought to be the potential swing vote, seemed sympathetic to the anti-DOMA case during oral arguments in March.














Politics

Prime Minister Julia Gillard expected to deny MPs secret ballot if leadership spill called


Simon Benson - The Daily Telegraph





Julia Gillard will deny her MPs a secret vote in a special caucus meeting expected to be called as early as today to spill the Labor leadership - an unprecedented move to protect her position. In a warning to Kevin Rudd's supporters that they would have to blast her out of office, the PM's office yesterday suggested any vote to remove her would have to be by a show of hands. Last night senior Rudd supporters claimed they were confident of the numbers - suggesting the former PM now had 55 to 57 out of 102 MPs - and enough names to put to a petition to call a special caucus meeting for a spill of the leadership.


















Refugees

The man who trades on tragedy


Michael Bachelard - The Canberra Times





An Indonesian former policeman turned people smuggler has been caught on a hidden camera referring to asylum seekers as ''goats'' and boasting of how he bribed police to turn a blind eye to his operation. The man, Freddy Ambon, is one of Indonesia's most active people smugglers, and boasts of sending multiple boats per month to Christmas Island, charging refugees between $5000 and $6000 for the journey.










STD fears over asylum-seeker kids

Paul Maley - The Australian





Unaccompanied minors on asylum-seeker boats are arriving with "high rates" of sexually transmitted diseases, fuelling concerns that proper child protection procedures are not being followed.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Arab Spring yielding unintended tragedy


Robert Robb - AZCentral





The Arab Spring, celebrated by the world with the hope that autocratic dictators will make way for new democratic and popularly elected leaders, is a disaster in the making. These clashes have harmed the Christians of the Middle East. Christians are fleeing, Syria Iraq and Egypt, where about 10 million Coptic Christians live and the level of religious persecution is the highest in the world, according to a Pew Research Center study. The study concluded that in the years since the Arab Spring, both social and governmental intolerance has impeded religious freedoms across the Middle East, especially in Egypt, home of the largest Christian population in the Middle East.














Obama to Egyptian Christians: Don’t protest the Brotherhood

Raymond Ibrahim - Front Page Mag





As Egyptians of all factions prepare to demonstrate in mass against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi’s rule on June 30, the latter has been trying to reduce their numbers, which some predict will be in the millions and eclipse the Tahrir protests that earlier ousted Mubarak. Among other influential Egyptians, Morsi recently called on Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II to urge his flock, Egypt’s millions of Christians, not to join the June 30 protests.












Is Europe discriminating against Christians?

Martin Kugler - Mercator Net





1700 years after the Edict of Milan, religious intolerance is still a problem, even if the platitudes flow thick and fast.
















Other

Coalition split as senators defy party line on local government referendum


Naomi Woodley and staff - ABC





Splits within the Coalition have emerged after two votes in the Senate last night saw several members defy the party line. A bill to allow a September referendum on recognising local government in the constitution passed despite a string of Opposition frontbenchers choosing to abstain.














Tougher parole laws in response to Jill Meagher's murder, to be 'the toughest in Australia'

ABC





Tough new parole laws will allow police for the first time, to arrest and detain anyone suspected of breaching their parole. Victoria will pass laws to make it an offence to breach parole. The new laws will be introduced in the Victorian Parliament later this week.