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.



 









Children & Family

The case for generous parental leave

Andie Fox - The Guardian





Last week, The Australian reported that the country’s four major banks are strong opponents of the Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme. They’re among the country's biggest companies and, should Tony Abbott be elected prime minister, they will be paying a levy to fund the scheme. The policy, like no other in the federal space, is dividing supporters and opponents along peculiar lines.














Homelessness & Poverty

Connecting with the invisible homeless


Nicola Hirschhorn - The Herald





Jean was a grandmother in her 60s with a new love in her life. Geoff was an account manager with a mortgage and a young family. Sue and her husband were paying off their own home, and an investment property, and cared for foster children. Very different people, different circumstances, one thing in common: they all found themselves homeless. Tragically, many of us are just one or two significant life events away from becoming homeless.
















Human Rights

UN human rights team believes chemical weapons used in Syria


ABC





United Nations human rights investigators say they have "reasonable grounds" to believe that limited amounts of chemical weapons have been used in Syria. In their latest report, based on interviews with victims, medical staff and other witnesses, they said they had received allegations that Syrian government forces and rebels had used the banned weapons, but that most testimony related to their use by state forces.












Indigenous

Northern Territory leads in closing Indigenous life expectancy gap


Helen Davidson - Guardian





The Northern Territory is the only Australian state or territory on track to close the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation – but it will still have the highest child mortality rate in the country.
















Marriage

UK: Gay marriage a step closer to becoming legal after House of Lords rejects bid to block bill


Daily Mail





Gay marriage plans cleared another major parliamentary hurdle tonight when peers overwhelmingly rejected a bid to block the legislation. A rare 'wrecking' amendment declining to give the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill a second reading was defeated on a free vote by 390 to 148, with a majority of 242.






Same-sex marriage and the 'motherless generation'

David van Gend - On Line Opinion



Atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell said, "It is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society and worthy to be taken cognisance of by a legal institution." The legal institution of marriage is, as anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss puts it, "a social institution with a biological foundation". Our marriage laws and customs exist to reinforce this biological foundation, helping bind a feral-by-nature male to his mate for the sake of social stability and the child they might create.












Archbishop of Canterbury nails Same Sex Marriage Bill

Cranmer Blog





In general the majority of faith groups remain very strongly against the Bill, and have expressed that view in a large number of public statements. I cannot support the Bill as it stands.


















Politics

The other story in Newspoll - Greens dying


Andrew Bolt - Herald Sun





Newspoll hasn’t just measured the fall of Labor, but the dying of the Greens. At the election, it won; 11.8 per cent of the vote. Now it’s at 9 - a quarter of its support gone.










Qld's budget trims fat, skimps on gravy

Kym Agius - Brisbane Times





There is little in the Queensland budget for everyday punters except the promise that the good times are yet ahead. Treasurer Tim Nicholls has forecast economic growth to double after 2015, driven by LNG exports. There was little in the way of a plan B if there is another round of natural disasters which blew Mr Nicholls' budget off course to a $7.7 billion deficit.


















Sexualisation of Society

Artist faces child-porn charges


Aisha Dow, Sonia Harford - The Age





Melbourne artist Paul Yore is likely to be charged with producing child pornography following the seizure of several of his art works. Detectives raided the Linden Centre for Contemporary Art on Saturday and removed a number of images from Yore's installation, which allegedly depicted sexual acts with children's faces superimposed on them. The raid followed a complaint made to police.














Other

Gay scouting furore spawns new crop of clubs


Malia Wollan - The Age





United States: For more than a century, the Boy Scouts of America has had something of a monopoly on neckerchiefs, knot-tying, merit badges and all manner of backcountry skills for boys, treating snakebite and frostbite alike. No more. The protracted debate over whether to allow gay Scouts and Scout leaders has angered many church leaders and parents across the political and religious spectrums. The result is a surge of enrolments in alternative outdoor and character-building programs that cater to pagans and Pentecostals and everyone in between.












Less than 20 women seek frontline combat roles

The Age





Fewer than 20 women have applied to serve in frontline combat units, including the armoured corps and artillery, and none have applied for a role with the infantry. The figure includes the first-ever female troop commander in the history of the Australian Armoured Corps, who is now participating in field training in the Northern Territory.












Gay advocates want to shutter Christian bakery that refused to make wedding cake for lesbians

Leonardo Blair - Christian Post





Months after facing a media storm for their refusal to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding due to their Christian faith, husband and wife owners of the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham, Ore., are now facing new attacks from gay advocates whom they say are determined to run them out of business.














Charles Sturt Council to keep God in pledge

Ken McGregor - Weekly Times





Charles Sturt councillors will continue to refer to the "Almighty Father" during their opening pledge at meetings. The council voted on Monday, May 27, against a proposal by Cr Doriana Coppola to remove the prayer from the pledge, which has sparked hot debate and a series of petitions to elected members over the past five months.