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

Shaw may back Labor on adoption bill

Henrietta Cook - The Age

Independent MP Geoff Shaw appears likely to use his balance-of-power position to support Labor changes to the Adoption Act. The controversial Frankston MP launched a blistering attack on the media in State Parliament on Thursday afternoon, and accused them of printing garbage. The MP raised concerns about provisions in the Bill that would fine mothers and fathers more than more than $8000 if they breached a contact statement, which allows adopted children regular contact with their biological parents.

Falling fertility rate poses problems, author says

Tonika Reed - BP News

Benches built to push couples to sit closer together, special holidays and monetary incentives are all ways other countries have tried to boost fertility rates, author and demographer Jonathan Last told a Washington audience recently. "The sexual revolution plays an enormous role on fertility." –- Jonathan LastThe "bad news," said Last, is there are few examples of effective public policy to nudge fertility rates upward. Other countries that have tried to do so failed, the author of "What to Expect When No One's Expecting" said during an April 3 lecture at the Family Research Council.

Drugs & Alcohol

Court reduces jail sentence over neurosurgeon Suresh Nair's cocaine-fuelled sex sessions

Amy Dale - The Daily Telegraph

A neurosurgeon who embarked on cocaine-fuelled sex sessions with escorts has won a reduction in his sentence, with a court agreeing one of the women willingly took the drug which killed her. Suresh Nair, who pleaded guilty in late 2010 to manslaughter and supplying cocaine, has had a two year and three month jail term for supplying cocaine to escort Victoria McIntyre slashed to six months. The decision means he will now be eligible for parole a year earlier than originally ordered by the Sydney District Court.

Drinkers unaware of risks: study


Australians have a worrying lack of awareness of the risks of drinking alcohol, public health advocates say. A link to alcohol can be shown in one in five cases of breast cancer and one in 20 cases of other cancers, according to the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE). But a recent poll shows more than half of Australians believe there is no relationship between alcohol and cancer and many continue to drink at risky levels.


Controls are needed to prevent a generation of problem gamblers

Richard Di Natale - SMH

As the number of betting ads and the turnover in online gambling soars, it's time we act. A big concern is the blurring of lines between the bookies and the commentary team, the most obvious example being Tom Waterhouse's integration into the Channel Nine NRL commentary team. My bill to introduce restrictions on the promotion of betting odds during sports broadcasts and programs such as The Footy Show has certainly evoked some passionate responses. There was the usual rant from those ideologues at the Institute of Public Affairs who believe that a modest proposal to restrict gambling advertising to children is the domain of “censors, wowsers and reactionaries”


NZ gay marriage law sparks debate in Qld

Nine MSN

A Queensland gay support group believes same-sex marriage will become law in Australia in the next decade, but a Christian lobby warns the issue is a vote changer in the state. New Zealand became the 13th country to legalise gay marriage on Wednesday, sparking more debate on the issue across the Tasman.

O'Farrell comes out for same-sex marriage

Sean Nicholls - Sydney Morning Herald

Barry O'Farrell has declared his strong support for legalising same-sex marriage in Australia and challenged the federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, to allow a conscience vote on the issue. In the first public comments confirming his support a day after the New Zealand parliament voted to change its national laws, the Premier said same-sex marriage was ''about family''. While his preference was for the Federal Parliament to change the Marriage Act, if a parliamentary inquiry in NSW found the state could act alone, he would vote for legislation that might be introduced.

Gillard, Abbott unmoved by NZ gay marriage vote


Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she won't be moved from her stance against gay marriage despite New Zealand passing legislation allowing same sex couples to tie the knot. Asked by a member of the public at a community cabinet in Melbourne on Wednesday night why Australia lagged behind New Zealand in legalising gay marriage, Ms Gillard said she would not be changing her mind on the issue.

The debate that wasn’t: New Zealand’s rushed marriage revolution

Carolyn Moynihan - Mercator Net

Last night (April 17) 77 people changed the institution of marriage in New Zealand from a conjugal union with the potential for generating children and providing them with the nurture of their own mother and father into “a union of 2 people regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity” with the potential for systematically depriving children of their mother or father, or both. All in the name of “love”. Starting in August.

NZ's same-sex marriage go-ahead puts our leaders to shame

Steve Dow - SMH

In the New Zealand Parliament, they were singing. Yes, singing in celebration of the vote to legalise same-sex marriage. A century-old Maori love song, no less. Can you picture anything like that happening in Canberra? My boyfriend of 14 years and I sat on the couch with our dog Oscar in our apartment on Wednesday night and watched the news.


MP Craig Thomson fights to stop civil action laid by Fair Work Australia

Emily Portelli - Herald Sun

Embattled MP Craig Thomson is continuing his fight to stop civil action laid by Fair Work Australia while he battles 154 criminal charges over similar claims that he spent union funds on prostitutes. Both cases running simultaneously could prejudice the former Labor MP's case and cause a miscarriage of justice, his barrister Jim Pearce told the Federal Court today. Mr Thomson, who now sits as an independent in the federal Parliament, faces fines of up to $450,000 and compensation payments after the workplace watchdog filed civil proceedings in October last year.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Indifference to the fate of Middle East Christians has ancient roots

Lars Brownworth - Mercator Net

In 2010 an al-Qaeda front group attacked one of Baghdad's main cathedrals during Sunday mass. More than 50 people were slaughtered. The militants had a clear and simple explanation for this atrocity: "All Christian centres, organisations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for the muhajideen wherever they can reach them. We will open upon them the doors of destruction and rivers of blood." In this environment, it’s no wonder that Christianity is dying in the land of its birth. What’s more puzzling is why the Western world couldn’t care less.


'It's sort of in the blood': Thatcher granddaughter captivates at funeral


She may be only 19-years-old, but Baroness Thatcher's granddaughter captivated mourners on Wednesday as she delivered a flawless reading at the former prime minister's funeral. Amanda Thatcher, a US college student, appeared unfazed as she gave a lesson from Ephesians which called on the righteous to "put on the whole armour of God". Her deeply felt delivery put her firmly on the world stage before a global television audience of millions.

Judges review speech limits on homosexuality


The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco tomorrow will hear oral arguments in a case challenging California’s ban on therapies for “gay” young people who want to be heterosexual. Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, will represent children, their parents and counselors in Pickup v. Brown. The case is a response to SB 1172, which bans any counseling to minors seeking to diminish or eliminate unwanted same-sexual attractions, behavior or identity.