GPS - Gap Week
Take the next step
Poverty and Justice
Youth and Education
Download the app
GPS - Gap Week
Take the next step
Pages tagged "best interests of the child"
MR: Greens’ intolerance on marriage a worry for supporters of kids’ rights
· September 21, 2011 10:00 AM
For release: Wednesday 21st September 2011
The Greens’ intolerance toward people who support marriage between a man and a woman is not only absurd but a worry for people who dissent to their views, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
The Tasmanian Greens claim today in Parliament that Liberal Leader Will Hodgman’s views supporting marriage are ‘bigoted’ is vitriolic and intolerant ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said.
“A disappointing factor of the marriage debate has been the serial demonisation of people who support marriage,” Mr Brown said.
“What have we come to where it is ‘bigoted’ and ‘shameful’ to support the idea of marriage remaining between a man and a woman?
“Many people support marriage because they believe being raised by parents of different genders, wherever possible, is in the best interests of a child. Surely this is not bigotry,” Mr Brown said.
“If the Greens had absolute political power, what would they do to ‘bigots’ who do not conform to their views? Would it become a crime to say that a child should have every opportunity to have a mum and a dad?”
Mr Brown said today’s debate on same-sex marriage was a typical misuse of the Parliament’s time by the Greens who don’t seem to care that marriage is a Commonwealth responsibility in their pursuit of radical social experiments.
It was disappointing that Tasmanian Labor was continuing to be led by the Greens on social policy, Mr Brown said.
He thanked the Liberals for having the courage to stand for marriage in the face of such intolerant opposition.
“Even though the next election is years away, I’m sure the Christian constituency will not forget how members voted today.”
Media Contact: Katherine Spackman on 0408 875 979 or Mark Brown on 0408 850 629
MR: Abusive language and cyberbullying inappropriate in debate about sexualisation of children through outdoor advertising
· June 01, 2011 10:00 AM
For release: June 1, 2011
The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed concern at the level of abuse one of its staff members has received from some homosexual activists following Adshel’s decision to remove sexualised advertisements from Brisbane bus shelters this week.
ACL Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said he was disappointed at the abuse levelled at ACL’s Queensland Director Wendy Francis, a long-time campaigner against the sexualisation of children through outdoor advertising.
“ACL’s activism in Queensland this week is part of a larger campaign to see all billboards G-Rated and Ms Francis recently appeared at a Senate Inquiry into outdoor advertising,” Mr Shelton said.
“ACL has been active in this debate for a long time and submitted to two Senate Inquiries in 2008 about advertising standards and the sexualisation of children in the contemporary media.
“Homosexual activists have launched Facebook campaigns
Wendy Francis is a homophobe
Homophobia - NOT HERE - Adshel Caves to Homophobic Pressure
and emailed abusive letters and phone calls to intimidate the ACL and Wendy out of the issue of sexualisation of children,” Mr Shelton said.
EDITOR : The above Facebook pages are also available
Via this link
“Let’s block her phone up with messages of sympathy that she’s such a hate filled bastard”
was one comment on Facebook.
You are DISGUSTING human being. How f** dare you complain about an ad that supports safe sex and the fight against aids...So get your head out of your a**, and respect people for who they are
, “ was one e-mail message, he said.
Mr Shelton said it was regrettable that some activists resorted to abusive language and cyber bullying of Ms Francis.
“This sort of intimidation is unacceptable,” Mr Shelton said.
ACL supported the then Rudd Government’s moves in 2008 to provide equality for same-sex couples under Commonwealth Law with the amendment of 85 pieces of legislation.
Sadly use of intimidating language is not limited to those attacking Ms Francis.
“It also follows inappropriate comments by New South Wales Senator Doug Cameron last month who compared supporters of traditional marriage to supporters of racist apartheid,” Mr Shelton said.
“Discussion about the sexualisation of children is a legitimate issue that is concerning many parents and this discussion should be allowed to take place in an environment of respect and civility,” Mr Shelton said.
EDITOR : Related subjects
Outdoor advertisers continue to put sexual images in front of kids
Gays must curb vile vitriol
MR: Commercialising surrogacy commercialises children
· May 23, 2011 10:00 AM
For release: Monday May 23, 2011
The Australian Christian Lobby has rejected a call by an ACT fertility specialist to commercialise fertility treatments in the territory.
Commercialising surrogacy and egg donation would take advantage of vulnerable women and would also add to the increasing “genetic bewilderment” of donor-conceived children, thereby putting the rights of adults above the rights of the child.
ACT Director Nick Jensen said in response to comments by Doctor Stafford-Bell in
The Canberra Times
that the idea of commercialised surrogacy is one which is fraught with ethical, legal and medical complexities.
“It would not only create a situation where vulnerable young women could feel pressured to sell their eggs and wombs in order to the cover cost of living, but also fails to recognise the pain and hurt that would continue to be caused to donor-conceived children,” he said.
“We recognise the strong desire for people to have children if they are unable to for whatever reason, but this is not a good enough reason to commercialise it into an industry,” Mr Jensen said.
“Children are not pets to be bought and sold as part of a consumer culture, and the rights and desires of adults should not trump those of children.
“Calls to commercialise the reproductive industry do not take into account that procuring human beings is not a capitalist venture.
“The idea that a rich couple would be able to offer a poverty-stricken woman money to use her body as an incubator is not an ethical one. Even if the woman agrees we would be creating a society where money can even buy people, and equality is being removed.
“Fertility treatment has been a major breakthrough, but we should still keep at the forefront of these laws a child’s right to grow up with their natural mother and father if at all possible, as stated in article 7 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“We call on the ACT government as they consider legislation around reproductive technology to follow the recommendations given by the Senate on Donor Conception practices in Australia, which prohibits payments on sperm, oocyte and embryo donations, discourages overseas donations, and puts a prohibition on donor anonymity,” Mr Jensen said.
MR: SA Government should reject committee’s recommendations
· May 18, 2011 10:00 AM
For release: Wednesday May 18, 2011
The Australian Christian Lobby urges the South Australian Government not to endorse the Social Development Committee’s recommendations on same-sex parenting because it is not in the best interests of children.
ACL’s acting South Australian Director Rob Ward rejected the committee’s seven recommendations which would prevent children from having a mother and a father.
“The changes proposed to allow single and lesbian women access to assisted reproductive technology and to allow same-sex couples access to adoption and surrogacy would stop children at least beginning life with a mother and father,” he said.
“This should not be seen as a same-sex parenting issue but as being about children’s rights. All things being equal, children have the right to both a mother and a father.
“When it comes to assisted reproduction, children have a fundamental right to be born from natural human origins and, if at all possible, to know and be raised by their biological mother and father.
“Surrogacy is fraught with emotional, biological and legal complexities for children, as well as for women who carry someone else’s baby,” he said.
“Last week’s news about the mother of the first child under Queensland surrogacy law regretting giving up her baby should be a warning to politicians about the complexities.
“Just as the desire to nurture a child is entirely natural for a mother, so is the desire of a child to know his or her biological parents. In some cases this is clearly not possible, such as through death or desertion.
“But where it is possible to avoid the situation of a child growing up without a mother or father, the child’s rights should be considered as paramount and put before the rights of adults, regardless of their strong desire for children.”
The Australian Christian Lobby is opposed to surrogacy, IVF, and other methods used to allow single women or men and same-sex couples to obtain children, and opposes Medicare funding of such measures.
“ACL believes that every child has a natural right to know his or her mum and dad, and to be raised in a home with the complementary love, care and role-modelling of a mother and father,” Mr Ward said.
New book documents extent of crisis affecting Australia's children
· May 16, 2011 10:00 AM
ACL editor and former Compassion CEO Paul O’Rourke paints a grim and sobering picture of the crisis affecting Australia’s children in a provocative new book,
Why Satan Hates Our Kids
Endorsed by ACL, church leaders and child advocates including Darlene Zschech, who wrote the foreword, the journalist and long-time child advocate lifts the lid on the spiritual and physical attacks on our children, and exhorts the Church to wake up, stand up and act in the best interests of children.
“Australian children are not doing so well . . . record numbers of abortions, children in out-of-home care and reports of abuse and neglect reflect the crisis affecting children of the ‘lucky country’,’’ he said.
“Recent high profile stories on abused children, including a father dropping his terrified four-year-old daughter from the top of Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge, and a seven-year-old girl starving to death in a seaside town north of Newcastle are shocking, but not uncommon in 21st century Australia.
“In March this year, police broke the world’s largest internet paedophile ring, arresting hundreds of people, including Australians, and rescuing the child victims of this sickening trade.
“And yet child abuse rated 13th in Australian Childhood Foundation surveys of Australians, behind petrol prices, interest rates and road tolls.’’
Paul outlines the theology of children, details the ways children are under attack, and lists the major political parties’ policies on children and family, together with specific action individuals and churches can take in defending the voiceless.
“It’s time for the Church to recognise the scale of the disaster affecting our children and take action, individually and corporately,’’ Paul said.
“Abortion, poverty, abuse and neglect, the sexualisation of society and family breakdown have a disastrous impact on children, many of whom rate family conflict as their greatest concern, and the cause of their growing self-hatred and depression.
“We are increasingly hypocritical and contradictory in our attitudes to children. We marvel at life-saving surgery performed on babies in the womb, and our ability to save premature babies, but also demand the right to abort children any time from conception to full term.
“We have reduced children to a commodity that can be discarded or made-to-order for artificial family constructs where children will be raised without access to their biological parents.’’
Why Satan Hates Our Kids
is available through ACL for $26 (GST and postage inclusive) per copy. Each sale supports the work of ACL. To purchase your copy please contact the ACL National Office on (02) 6259 0431.
About the author
Paul O’Rourke was CEO of child development and child advocacy ministry Compassion Australia for nine years until June 2010 when he left to pursue advocacy for Australian children, including writing
Why Satan Hates Our Kids
, and project managing ACL’s Best Interests of the Child campaign.
Paul also edits ACL’s public policy magazine
While at Compassion, Paul completed a Master’s Degree in Holistic Child Development developed by Compassion and taught through Malaysian Baptist Theological Seminary. He also completed theological studies through his home church, C3 Church Victory, School of Ministry.
Before Compassion, Paul spent 17 years in print journalism as a reporter, editor and managing editor, including as editor-in-chief of the
He is married to Janine, his best friend and wife of 29 years. They have three adult children and three grandchildren.
Paul is on the governing board of C3 Victory in Newcastle and writes and speaks widely on children's issues.
Fatherless-by-design homes on the rise in Victoria
· March 18, 2011 11:00 AM
There has been a significant increase in the number of women using IVF and other assisted reproduction procedures in recent months, according to a
media report today
. This is because the law in Victoria has allowed for Medicare rebates for women who are not infertile to use such procedures since January 2010.
The report reveals that almost 500 single women and lesbians used IVF and other fertility treatments in Victoria last year. ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace is quoted as saying he was “opposed to single and lesbian women having equal access to taxpayer funds for IVF”, but much more can be said on the matter.
A child’s need to know his or her genetic heritage is basic to his or her human nature. The Australian Senate acknowledged this in its
inquiry into donor conception practices
, recommending that donor anonymity be prohibited so that children can access information about their biological parents. Children have a fundamental right to be born from natural human origins and, if at all possible, to know and be raised by their biological mother and father.
Just as the desire to nurture a child is entirely natural for a mother, so is the desire of a child to know his or her biological parents. In some cases this is clearly not possible, such as through death or desertion. But where it is possible to avoid the situation of a child growing up in a fatherless or motherless home, the child’s rights should be considered as paramount and put before the rights of adults, regardless of their strong desire for children.
The Australian Christian Lobby is opposed to surrogacy, IVF, and other methods used to allow single women or men and same-sex couples to obtain children, and opposes Medicare funding of such measures. ACL believes that a child has a natural right to know his or her mum and dad, and to be raised in a home with the complementary love, care and role-modelling of a mother and father.
Media Release:Surrogacy Bill tramples rights of the child
· March 16, 2011 11:00 AM
16th March 2011
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said the Tasmanian Government’s Surrogacy Bill, tabled yesterday, tramples the rights of the child to at least begin life with a mother and father.
Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said Tasmania should not go down the same path as other states in allowing two men, two women and even single people to acquire a baby through surrogacy – thereby depriving the children of the complementary love and care of a mother and a father.
“This bill is fraught with emotional, biological and legal complexities for children, as well as for women who carry someone else’s baby,” he said.
Mr Brown said the Surrogacy Bill did not reflect the recommendations handed down in last month’s federal Senate report into donor conception practices – which is intricately linked to the surrogacy issues.
“Last month’s report into donor conception practices made 31 recommendations including that Tasmania should introduce legislation to regulate donor conception and that there be a national register of donors for the child to know information about their biological parent. However, the bill has largely ignored these child-friendly recommendations of the Senate,” he said.
“If the Government does decide to proceed with changing the laws we would urge all political parties to allow their members a conscience vote on the issue.”
Mr Brown said it was vital that the Government consider the best interests of children and, if they go ahead with legalising surrogacy, to separate the bill into two issues: heterosexual surrogacy and homosexual and single parent surrogacy.
“While we understand the heart-felt desire of adults to have children, we should not be placing those desires above the rights of a child to have both a mother and a father. Children are not commodities and their interests should always come before the desires of adults,” Mr Brown said.
“Clearly it is not in the best interests of children for the State to allow them to be conceived through assisted reproductive technology and then placed in an unnatural family construct that denies them a mother or a father.”
Vic Govt challenged to fund lobbying to advance children’s interests and religious freedom
· October 27, 2010 11:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today challenged the Victorian Government to fund more effective representation of key concerns in the State such as the best interests of children and religious freedom – two issues important to all Victorians.
The call comes on the back of the Victorian Government’s weekend announcement that it will provide $400,000 to fund and recognise a peak gay lobby group as part of a package of measures obviously aimed at winning the gay vote.
“If the Government has this kind of money to allocate to lobbying, then why aren’t they offering the same largesse and favourable treatment to what I would argue are far more pressing issues in our State – issues which affect far more people but are largely going unaddressed?” ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said today.
“There is plenty of evidence to show that a distressing number of children are being neglected and abused or are bearing the brunt of poverty in our society. Children are also suffering from increased incidence of family breakdown and the effects of the sexualisation of children in the media environment.
“Where is the Government funding to enable the Christian constituency and relevant not-for-profit groups to more effectively lobby to see these issues addressed?” Mr Ward asked.
“In terms of religious freedom, concerns have even been raised internationally about Victoria’s threat to this basic freedom, such as through its anti-vilification laws. The Christian constituency would also greatly welcome moves by the Government to fund and give an ear to representation on these concerns.”
Mr Ward said that the lead up to the Victorian election was a perfect time for the Government to give greater priority to these pressing needs and to show that it is looking to govern for all Victorians rather than just trying to win over a few gay voters.
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan 0408 875 979
Victorian Government sells out on children’s rights for gay vote
· October 25, 2010 11:00 AM
The Victorian Government is planning to sell out the best interests of children as part of a
package of measures
to win the gay vote, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said today.
ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said Victorian Labor’s blatant attempt to chase the gay vote by proposing to give them same-sex adoption and a package of other inducements makes a mockery of any claims that changes to adoption laws would only be made if they are better for children.
“The best interests of children are meant to be paramount in adoption laws but here we have the Government indicating it is willing to look at changing these laws solely to appease gay voters,” Mr Ward said.
“With large numbers of heterosexual couples waiting years to adopt a child it is difficult to understand how placing an adopted child in a home where they will be denied the benefit of having both a mother and a father could ever be construed as putting a child’s best interests first.”
Mr Ward said Victorian Labor should be looking to govern for all Victorians and it is alarming to see the party cynically chasing the gay vote, perhaps as a way to counter-act the increased popularity of The Greens.
“It is also a major concern that the Government may be looking to withhold funding from faith-based community welfare organisations which, for instance, might prefer not to employ people whose lifestyle choices might not accord with their religious beliefs,” Mr Ward said. “Rather than genuinely partnering with these organisations – which play such a significant role in Victoria – the Government appears to be trying to impose its own ‘diversity’ regime on them by using funding as the lever.”
Mr Ward said there is also concern that the Government is proposing to give special rights to gay lobby groups to influence government policies, even though they represent only around two per cent of the population.
“One has to question why the Government would discriminate against other lobby groups by choosing to give $400,000 to an already articulate and well-financed gay lobby. In terms of buying votes this is taking pork-barrelling to a new low.”
In terms of the $100,000 over four years to be committed to addressing homophobic harassment, Mr Ward said: “All violence is wrong but I am unaware of any evidence of an epidemic of homophobic violence in Victoria. If such a thing is taking place than a mere $25,000 each year to address it is tokenistic.”
Mr Ward urged the Victorian Government to consider the interests of all Victorians – and particularly children – in the lead-up to the election and to resist pressure to try to outbid The Greens in efforts to secure the small gay vote.
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan 0408 875 979
Abortion trial exposes lack of support for pregnant women
· October 08, 2010 11:00 AM
For release: October 8, 2010
Abortion trial exposes lack of support for pregnant women
The compassionate policy response to the circumstances of the Tegan Leach case is to provide greater social support for pregnant women and their unborn children, not remove from law the remaining protections for unborn babies, ACL’s spokesperson on women’s issues, Michelle Pearse said today.
The upcoming trial in Cairns of Ms Leach and her boyfriend Sergie Brennan, who imported the abortifacient RU486 and misoprostol with the alleged purpose of procuring an abortion, is tragically being leveraged by vocal abortion activists to legislate abortion on demand, to the detriment of both women and their children.
“Decriminalising open slather abortion in the same way as Victoria and the ACT not only creates an injustice for unborn children, who would have no legal protection, but is a simplistic response to a much more complex issue,” Ms Pearse said.
“Instead of further entrenching abortion as the most socially-accepted response to an unexpected pregnancy, the State should do more to promote real pregnancy choices for women by providing education about other options and offering comprehensive counselling services.
“We know that the majority of abortions carried out in Australia are because of ‘psychosocial’ reasons, or in other words, ‘I wasn't ready for a child’, which was Ms Leach’s reported reason.”
Abortion activists’ insistence that abortion access be completely unfettered even for an inconvenient pregnancy means that alternatives to abortion are rarely considered, Ms Pearse said.
“Most women are stronger than abortion activists would have them believe.
“There is considerable potential for law makers and GPs, and for society more generally, to provide women with a more positive and affirming message that they have both the financial and social support to proceed with a pregnancy even when facing difficult personal circumstances.”
Mrs Pearse said even those Australians who considered themselves to be pro-choice believed that the estimated 100,000 abortions performed in Australia each year was too high a number, and more could be done to reduce the figure.
Reports from Victoria
that there has been
a six-fold increase in the number of late term abortions
performed at a Melbourne hospital since the decriminalisation of abortion in that state in 2008 is something I’m sure no one wants to see replicated in other states.”
Media Contact: Michelle Pearse 0400 869 107 or Lyle Shelton 0448 602 878
Sign in with Facebook
Sign in with Twitter
Sign in with Email
Optional email code
Get instant access to news about political issues facing christians