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

Out of fashion: once more with Passion

Cosima Marriner, Tim Connell - SMH

Brinessa Martin might have just given birth to her 12th child, Passion, but she is part of an ever-shrinking demographic crowd. Less than 2 per cent of Australian women have six or more children. Next year, the number of couple families without children will overtake couple families with children, according to Bureau of Statistics projections (just over 40 per cent won't have children, while just under 40 per cent will). The proportion of single parent families is expected to stay static about 17 per cent.

Empty adoptions' apology is based on half-truths

Brendan O'Reilly - On Line Opinion

With the political shenanigans over the federal Labor leadership overshadowing other news, I wonder how many people have bothered to read details of the National Apology for Forced Adoptions passed "on behalf of the Australian people"? The apology had the support of both sides of Parliament, followed related apologies by some state governments, and was broadly praised in the media. Official apologies have become fashionable these days. The Catholic Church had previously apologised for "past adoption practices", and the Rudd Government had earlier apologised to both the Stolen Generations and to British child migrants.


Vic teachers to strike in Premiers seat


The Victorian teachers' union has committed to another round of industrial action including rolling stoppages in its dispute with the state government. Premier Denis Napthine announced last week the government would back down from its previous insistence that performance pay must be part of any deal. Despite the concession, Australian Education Union (AEU) and government negotiators are yet to reach an agreement and were still in talks on Monday.

Teaching degrees to fail test on quality

Justine Ferrari - The Australian

About a fifth of the 400 teaching degrees offered by universities around the nation will struggle to meet standards required for accreditation by the national teaching institute, and half of those courses are expected to close. The chairman of the Australian Institute for Teaching School Leadership, Tony Mackay, yesterday said the new national standards for accrediting teaching courses would result in a shake-out of the programs offered by almost 50 higher education institutions.


Department merge puts Nishi lease under cloud

Ross Peake - The Canberra Times

The Government is merging the majority of functions of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency with the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. Ms Gillard said the new ministerial changes, and particularly the merging of departments announced on Monday, would not result in a reduction in public service numbers. “These changes in and of themselves are not impactful on the total number of public servants,” the Prime Minister said.


Euthanasia- Yes or No?


With the proposed introduction of a Private Member's Bill by NSW Green's MP Cate Faehrmann expected later this year, the issue of euthanasia is back on the public agenda. Tim spoke to Cate about the Bill and also spoke to Lyle Shelton, chief of staff at the Australia Christian Lobby, who opposes legalisation in Australia.


Q. and A.: A Decisive Moment on Gay Marriage

Adam Liptak - NYTimes

The US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear an hourlong argument on Tuesday morning over the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Here is a look at the background of the case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144; the issues it raises; the lawyers who will argue it; and the possible outcomes.

US Court has options on gay marriage

Mark Sherman - Associated Press

The Supreme Court can choose from a wide array of outcomes in ruling on California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The federal law, known by the shorthand DOMA, defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman and therefore keeps legally married gay Americans from collecting a range of federal benefits that generally are available to married people. The cases will be argued Tuesday and Wednesday, March 26 and 27; rulings are not likely before late June.

Even before legalisation, a backlash against gay marriage


Those who predict that there will be no backlash if same-sex marriage is legalised may need to reconsider. Some American law professors have predicted that if the United States Supreme Court rules that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage (often called "gay marriage"), such a decision is unlikely to spark a political backlash. Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Harvard Law Professor Michael Klarman concludes: The likeliest scenario, in the event of a pro-equality ruling, is immediate, strident criticism from some quarters, followed by same-sex couples marrying in states where they previously could not. Very little will change in the day-to-day lives of opponents, and the issue will quickly fade in significance.

This conservative politician doesn't think Americans support gay marriage as much as polls say they do

Christine Salek - Policy Mic

Gary Bauer, an evangelical leader and a president of a conservative organization, claimed "the polls are skewed" when presented with data that support for same-sex marriage is on the rise. Bauer appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace and insisted that there was a simple explanation for one in seven adults changing their mind and supporting same-sex marriage, contributing to the new figures. "A lot of people are changing their mind because there's been a full-court blitz by the popular culture, by elites, by all kinds of folks to intimidate and to cower people and to no longer defend marriage as being between a man and a woman," he said.


Labor staring at landslide defeat: Newspoll

Dennis Shanahan - The Australian

Julia Gillard's personal standing has crashed to a 19-month low and Tony Abbott is clearly back in front as the nation's preferred prime minister after Labor's "appalling" two weeks of political and policy failure. Labor's primary vote has slumped five points to a disastrous 30 per cent after a fortnight ending with an aborted leadership spill and mass cabinet resignations, with one in two voters now siding with the Coalition.

Lawyers called in for Libs senate battle

Noel Towell and Lisa Cox - The Canberra Times

Both sides in the Canberra Liberals' bitter Senate pre-selection dispute have called in lawyers ahead of Wednesday's vital party vote. The party's ruling Management Committee, dominated by supporters of Zed Seselja, have hired two senior Sydney barristers to provide an opinion that the former party leader's preselection win over incumbent Gary Humphries cannot be legally challenged. But Senator Humphries says that he has his own legal advice telling him that there is nothing to prevent the challenge from going ahead.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Why the game’s up for Sweden's sex trade

The Independent - Joan Smith

Sweden's innovative sex-trade laws criminalise clients, not prostitutes. The result: a 70 per cent drop in business. Joan Smith jumps in a squad car with local police to find out how it works – and whether Britain could follow suit.

There's nothing glamorous about this sex industry

Amy Bainbridge - ABC

A few weeks ago, one of the Sunday newspaper magazines devoted its entire issue to sex. It was in a Fifty Shades of Grey theme. There was a profile on Richard Pratt's former mistress and her business achievements. There were scantily clad women who might have been teenagers wearing racy bondage-themed outfits with thigh-high lace up boots. There was article after article about sex, being sexy and feeling sexual.


Two dead after capsize off Christmas Island

Jonathan Swan - SMH

Two asylum seekers are believed to have drowned and two others are critically injured after a boat capsized off the coast of Christmas Island on Monday morning. About 95 people were recovered from the water, an Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokeswoman said. The administrator of Christmas Island, Jon Stanhope, told Fairfax Media the search and rescue was still underway.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Tortured American pastor: 'I did not recognize myself'

Mohabat News

American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran, has been able to get a letter to his family. According to CBN News, the letter is written in the margins of newspaper scraps, and tells of abuse and torture. He said he did not recognize himself after being beaten. He also expressed concern for his wife and children back in the United States.


Corporate ethics do matter

John Durie - The Australian

Global regulators think business isn't fulfilling its side of the bargain, business is worried regulators have gone too far - the result is the regulatory recovery from the global financial crisis is a work in progress. If the regulators don't think industry has done its bit, then HSBC Australia chairman Graham Bradley vehemently disagrees given his organisation has increased its compliance staff from 120 to 1000 people with an annual cost of some $300 million.

Indonesia denies mutilation in circumcision traditions

France 24

In Aceh province, Indonesia's Islamic stronghold where partial sharia law is implemented, people are so indoctrinated into the practice that opting out is considered immoral, rights activists say. "Almost every girl in Aceh is circumcised. Parents see it as a religious obligation and turn a deaf ear to any opposing view and look down on those who don't circumcise their children," provincial National Commission on Violence Against Women official Azriana said. Despite the UN resolution, the custom still has deep meaning for Indonesian Muslims and will likely remain, officials say.