Welcome to another year as together we seek to make a positive difference in our nation.
It is only mid-January but already those seeking - wittingly or unwittingly - to take away the rights of children, free speech and freedom of religion are hard at work.
A Senate Select Committee was formed late last year to resurrect the same-sex marriage debate in the Federal Parliament.
Many of the same senators who blocked the people’s vote on same-sex marriage - the pathway the Turnbull Government promised to resolving the issue – are now behind yet another Senate inquiry into a draft bill to change the Marriage Act.
ACL along with other groups seeking to preserve marriage and freedom were busy over the break writing detailed submissions to the inquiry the committee is running.
We had to call staff off holidays to meet the deadline and I’m grateful for their commitment.
Thanks to all of you who responded to our call to act before last Friday’s deadline.
The Committee is likely to hold public hearings soon with a report due on February 13.
This latest move by the proponents of change is part of their tactic to cause the Turnbull Government to break its election promise to let the people vote on the future of marriage.
Instead, they want the Parliament to tell us what marriage is.
I’ve lost count of the number of Senate and House of Representative inquiries into redefining marriage that have been held over the past seven years. I doubt there are any other public policy issues that have used up so much of Parliament’s time.
The repeated failure of the Parliament to accept redefining marriage led to the then Abbott Government proposing a plebiscite, something Malcolm Turnbull pledged to keep when he became Prime Minister and after winning last year’s election is now policy endorsed by the people.
It is important that we work together to hold the Government to its promise and there are certainly no signs that it is about to walk away from it, despite the desperate efforts of those who do not trust the Australian people to have a voice.
They have learned nothing from the two big political earthquakes of 2016 – Brexit and Trump.
A long-planned visit to the US for meetings in Washington DC and Arizona will coincide with the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States.
While not the purpose for my trip, I have been invited to attend one of the inauguration balls on Thursday night at which Mr Trump or his Vice-President Mike Pence may make an appearance.
And on Friday, it will be a privilege to be amongst the crowd in the Washington Mall in front of the US Capital Building during this historic event.
ACL has previously expressed reservations about Mr Trump and time will tell as to whether he will be a worthy President.
However, he has pledged to end the war on religious freedom and to defund Planned Parenthood because of its role in selling baby parts to research companies.
There is no doubt that his election was a reaction by people against agendas such as the transgender agenda which wants parents to believe that their children’s gender is fluid.
While Christians detested Mr Trump’s morals (along with Hillary Clinton’s protection of Bill Clinton’s abuse of women), it seems many reluctantly voted for him out of concern for the LGBT-led assault on freedom of speech and religion that America is witnessing.
We have the opportunity here to benefit from a global US-led push-back against many anti-freedom and anti-family agendas.
There is an opportunity to push-back against stifling political correctness which has been locking us into silence in the face of lies being put forward in public policy.
Finally, thanks to those who expressed concern and offered prayers for us in the wake of the December 21 bombing of our Canberra office.
We remain perplexed at the ACT Police’s hasty ruling that there was no political, religious or ideological motivation to the bombing.
We are continuing to seek answers.
Please pray for the alleged bomber, who sustained serious injuries. Please also pray that all that needs to come to light will come to light.
Thanks again for your support. We look forward to a great year promoting values and virtues for a more just and compassionate nation.