ACL in the news

Latest federal push for same-sex 'marriage'


Patrick J. Byrne - News Weekly



New South Wales libertarian Senator David Leyonhjelm was poised to introduce a federal bill to change the Commonwealth Marriage Act, as this issue of News Weekly was going to press last week. According to The Australian (November 25, 2014), the bill would replace “husband and wife” with the words “two people” in the Marriage Act, leaving marriage open to any two people regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.




Abortion

Abortion reversal procedures come under fire, but is there any harm?


Inquisitr



Abortion reversal is a new procedure developed by a Catholic, Pro-Life doctor, who wanted to give women the option to prevent their abortions from happening after the procedure is already underway. Dr. George Delgado developed it as an option for the small group of women, who immediately regret their decisions after making them, and yes, as you might expect, it’s causing controversy within the medical community.




Children & Family

Paid parental leave: Tony Abbott succumbs to pressure over scheme to get legislation through Senate


ABC



The Prime Minister has succumbed to pressure over his paid parental leave scheme, with more concessions to be made to the unpopular plan.




Australia's first minister for equality to reform gay adoption laws

Farrah Tomazin - The Age



Gay couples will be allowed to adopt children in Victoria and religious organisations will find it harder to discriminate against employees based on their sexuality, under changes to be made by Australia's first minister for equality.




Australia needs to 'get real' about domestic violence, says Quentin Bryce

Judith Ireland - SMH



"I know I'm probably shouting at you," Quentin Bryce says, almost apologetically. "I feel so strongly about it. And so determined." The former governor-general is not shouting – can you ever imagine it? – but her usually melodious tones have a steely edge. She is speaking about domestic violence, which she describes as "the most grave human rights issue in the world".




Classification

Gamers retaliate: activists barraged with rape, mutilation and death threats after Grand Theft Auto win


Melinda Tankard Reist blog



How pro GTAV gamers cyber mobs try to shut us down.




Grand Theft Auto: lesson learned the hard way

Brendan Keogh - ABC



Gamers are angry that Target Australia and K-Mart have taken Grand Theft Auto V off the shelves following a petition. But the petition signers are right. There is no denying the deeply rooted misogyny and sexism of the series.




Drugs & Alcohol

Controversy over e-cigarettes and 'vaping' heats up


Megan Howe - The Saturday Paper



There’s no smoke but plenty of fire in the debate over e-cigarettes and tobacco control.




Police sniffer dogs nab dozens with drugs at Stereosonic music festival

Chloe Booker - The Age



Police have caught more than 120 people with drugs at Melbourne music festival Stereosonic. Revelers were greeted with sniffer dogs as they entered the Melbourne Showgrounds. Most of those detected were found with ecstasy.




Drugs, family dysfunction and the burden of responsibility

The Australian



A box of tissues slides back and forth across the ­laminated table top as grandparents weep in a therapeutic hour spent swapping stories of children harmed by parents too high on drugs or bent on scoring to care for their progeny.




Australian cop’s daughter Kalynda Davis and Peter Gardner may face firing squad in China for alleged crime

News Corp



Up to nine Australians now face the prospect of being executed by firing squads in China prisons for drug offences, following the arrests of Sydneysiders Kalynda Davis, 22, and Peter Gardner, 25 in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou.




Euthanasia

Why not pay commercial providers to assist suicides?


Michael Cook - Mercator Net



Assisted suicide is an idea which keeps evolving in unpredictable ways. Who could have foreseen the development of groups of non-doctors which help hundreds of people to die in Switzerland? They are non-profits and charge only for membership and handling fees. But what if companies saw a commercial opportunity in the market for ending one’s life?




Health

Social media 'glorifies and normalises suicidal behaviours' in young people and teenagers, a recent study shows


Daily Mail



A review into social media and its role in children's suicides 'glorifies and normalises suicidal behaviours' a recent study has shown.




Overseas Aid

UK: Christian Aid hails Parliamentary success for UK Aid Bill


Anglican News



Christian Aid is delighted that a new law to ensure the UK spends 0.7 per cent of its national income on aid has been passed by the House of Commons and will now go to the House of Lords for further debate. More than 140 MPs from many different political parties came to the Commons to support the 0.7 Bill, which was voted through by 146 votes to five.




Politics

New poll: Voters reject Tony Abbott's 'year of achievement'


Mark Kenny - The Age



Bill Shorten has leapt ahead of Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister and is now regarded by voters as stronger, more trustworthy and more competent, according to the December Fairfax Ipsos poll. The result is another body-blow to a demoralised Coalition government, which is enduring its toughest period since taking office in September 2013.




Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Christian children sold as sex slaves for as little as $40 in Islamic State slave markets


Catholic Online



Christian women and children are being bought and sold as slaves, typically for sex, but also for labor in the Islamic State. Meanwhile, men and boys are forced to convert to Islam or are put to death according to mounting evidence collected from the region.




Refugees

Jobs agency helps newly arrived refugees, migrants get off welfare


Alison McClymont and Elise Worthington - ABC



The million dollar view at Cafe Sydney is a long way from war-ravaged Liberia. Brother and sister Lawrence and Windy Gtbusseh fled the Liberian civil war in the 1990s. Both have now just graduated from a hospitality course in western Sydney.




Religious Freedom & Persecution

It's genocide, pray for your brothers and sisters: Archbishop Anthony Fisher


Robert Hiini - Catholic Weekly



Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP issued a spiritual call-to-arms this morning, decrying the “religious cleansing” and “genocide” being perpetrated against Christians in the Middle East and calling on Catholics to pray for their “persecuted brothers and sisters”.




Trade, blasphemy and safe havens

Babette Francis - Online Opinion



It is not only in the Middle East and in areas under the control of ISIS that Christians and other minorities are suffering persecution. Pakistan, our friendly cricket-playing Commonwealth country is a major offender.




Christian convert imprisoned and tortured in Egypt vows to 'starve himself to death'

Samuel Smith - Christian Post



The Christian convert who made history by becoming the first person in Egypt's history to attempt to legally change his religious affiliation on his government identification from Islam to Christianity, has "vowed to starve himself to death" in response to his "illegal" imprisonment, his attorney said.




Sexualisation of Society

Porn and domestic violence: NSW Police says respect for women from young men crucial


Emma Partridge - SMH



Pornography is fuelling an increase in the number of young people committing acts of domestic violence, one of the state's top cops says. NSW Police assistant commissioner Mark Murdoch said teaching young men how to respect women was a critical "battle front" in the fight against domestic abuse.