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Pages tagged "ACL Tasmania"
MR: Greens fail to respond to questionnaire as ACL urges informed vote for values
· May 04, 2011 10:00 AM
For release: Wednesday 4 May, 2011
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has posted answers given by Legislative Council candidates to a series of questions recently put to them.
ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown says there have been a range of responses to the eight questions posed to candidates in the three contested divisions. The questions cover a wide range of issues: euthanasia, same-sex marriage, religious freedom and surrogacy along with child protection, gambling, prostitution and homelessness.
“Obviously we could not ask all the questions we would have liked but those posed do give a good indication to voters about where candidates stand on issues that have potential to impact society as a whole,” Mr Brown said.
“We have deliberately targeted issues facing Tasmania in 2011, the most current being that of surrogacy which is due to be debated in the upper house at the end of this month.
“It is good to see some candidates committing themselves to putting children’s rights ahead of adult’s wishes by agreeing to allow children born through surrogacy to begin life with both a mum and dad.”
Mr Brown said some candidates are still yet to respond and that Greens candidates had declined to answer the questionnaire. Anyone interested in viewing the candidate responses can do so through the
which will continue to be updated leading up to Saturday’s elections.
Mr Brown encouraged voters to support candidates who were prepared to put kids’ rights to a mum and dad first.
He also urged voters to use the website to cast an informed vote for the upper house in Saturday’s election.
Tas upper house candidates respond to ACL questionnaire
· May 01, 2011 10:00 AM
On Saturday, May 7 2011, voters in the Tasmanian upper house electorates of Derwent, Launceston and Rumney will go to the polls to elect their representatives for the next six years.
The ACL sent a short questionnaire to each candidate contesting the three seats seeking their personal responses to a range of issues of interest to the Christian constituency ranging from gambling and homelessness, through to religious freedom and the rights of the child.
The candidate’s responses to ACL’s questionnaire are available via the links below. Please note this page will be progressively updated as candidates return their responses to ACL.
Phillip Bingley, Greens – declined to respond to ACL questionnaire
Jenny Branch, Independent
Deirdre Flint, Independent
Penelope Ann, Greens – declined to respond to ACL questionnaire
Cate Clark, Independent
John M Forster, Independent
Paul Mason, Independent
Tony Mulder, Independent
– Ruth Forrest will be declared elected on Saturday, May 7 in an uncontested ballot for this seat.
MR Surrogacy debate is not a platform for abusive language
· April 06, 2011 10:00 AM
For release: Wednesday 6
The Australian Christian Lobby said it was not acceptable for the debate around surrogacy to invoke abusive language by groups such as the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group.
Tasmanian State Director Mark Brown said the gay lobby group’s comments to those who opposed surrogacy for same-sex couples as “pure and unadulterated, homophobic prejudice” sought to intimidate people out of voicing their concerns for children.
“While the Australian Christian Lobby believes surrogacy for same-sex couples and singles is wrong, because it denies the child to start life with a mother and father, the comments aimed at those who opposed altruistic surrogacy for same-sex couples, in this case the Liberal party, were out of line,” he said.
“There has to be room in our public discourse for those who believe in marriage and family to have the freedom to speak and contribute without immediately being intimidated by abusive language.
“Nobody can enter this debate from a perspective of marriage and family without being hit over the head with abusive language and this is totally inappropriate.
“Not even the Prime Minister has been immune from accusations of homophobia when Liberal MP and gay rights advocate Warren Entsch rejected her speech criticising the Greens for not sharing the values of average Australians when it comes to family. Mr Entsch reportedly said it would leave her open to the suspicion she was homophobic.
“There has to be room in our public discourse for those who believe in marriage and family to have the freedom to speak and contribute without immediately being intimidated by abusive language,” he said.
MR: Tasmanian surrogacy bill forgets child’s rights
· April 06, 2011 10:00 AM
For release: Wednesday 6
The Australian Christian Lobby today called on Tasmanian politicians to amend the Surrogacy Bill 2011 to ensure that a child’s right to at least begin life with a mother and father is upheld.
ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said the Attorney General David Bartlett comments the legislation was about removing discrimination and allowing surrogacy for all people, regardless of their marital status or sexual orientation, elevated the rights of the adults above the rights of the child.
“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.
Mr Brown said it was vital that the Government consider the best interests of children and to separate the bill into two issues: heterosexual surrogacy and homosexual and single parent surrogacy.
“There needs to be consistency in surrogacy legislation – if it's going to be considered, all children who are produced through surrogacy should have the rights to begin with a mother and father,” he 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.
Mr Brown said surrogacy was a very sensitive issue but those supporting the rights of a child to a mother and father should be free to advocate this without fear of intimidation and accusations of bigotry.
Media Release: Tasmanian Parliament should focus on running the state, not wasting time revisiting Greens’ social agendas
· March 07, 2011 11:00 AM
For release: 7th of March, 2011
With Parliament resuming tomorrow, the Australian Christian Lobby has called on Parliamentarians not to waste valuable time on Greens’ inspired radical social legislation such as euthanasia which has already been considered and rejected.
ACL’s Tasmanian State Director Mark Brown said there were important issues facing the State and legislators should not be distracted revisiting issues many of them had already spent days working on in Parliamentary inquiries and debate in the house.
“Days of parliamentary time have already been used debating euthanasia legislation which was rejected by the Tasmania Parliament as recently as November 2009 by 15 votes to nine,” he said.
“Euthanasia and assisted suicide advocate Dr Phillip Nitschke is presumptuously planning for a euthanasia clinic in anticipation for legislation to be passed this year.
“Legalising voluntary euthanasia is the intentional taking of innocent human life, which is contrary to the intent of the law to protect human life.
“Safeguards against abuse in euthanasia law have proven inadequate in protecting the lives of vulnerable elderly and sick patients who are made to feel a burden by such laws.
“It is not clear what new information the Greens can offer to allay the well-documented problems around designing euthanasia laws that don’t result in the abuse of vulnerable people or the de-funding of palliative care services,” he said.
Mr Brown was also concerned about proposed surrogacy legislation which would allow singles and same-sex couples to commission babies through surrogacy, deliberately denying a child the right to a mother or father.
The Parliament also looks set to revisit brothel laws but both Labor and Liberal had agreed to investigate the Swedish model which penalises the purchaser of a woman’s body.
“With recent debate again on the size of parliament, resources could be better utilised focussing on issues that have wider public outcomes.
“Our politicians need to focus on making sure the economy is running strongly, overhauling our broken child protection system and reducing hospital waiting times,” Mr Brown said.
Media Contact: Katherine Spackman on 0408 875 979.
Tas Liberals oppose charter of rights
· January 28, 2011 11:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby welcomes yesterday’s announcement by the Tasmanian Liberals not to support a Charter of Humans Rights and Responsibilities in Tasmania.
ACL is urging new Premier Lara Giddings drop the policy and learn from mistakes made overseas.
The ACL is opposed to a Charter of Rights because it hands unprecedented power to unelected judges over moral and social policy.
The ACL is concerned that minority-interest groups would achieve its self-serving goals not readily achievable through the democratic process.
For example, in Canada under its charter of rights, judges ruled that tobacco advertising is a form of free speech and overturned laws that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.
The Greens also used Victoria’s charter of rights to attack the freedom of churches and Christian schools to employ staff who reflect a Christian ethos.
ACL believes the best way to protect human rights is through legislation which is debated in parliament. ACL successfully proved this point when it campaigned against a federal Charter of Rights last year.
New Tasmanian premier behind laws of concern to Christians
· January 27, 2011 11:00 AM
Tasmania’s new Premier Lara Giddings is the architect of a raft of proposed law changes of concern to Christians.
As Attorney General, she flagged surrogacy for same-sex couples, euthanasia, a charter of rights and legal brothels for Parliamentary debate this year.
Given these are also supported by the Greens, which share Government with Labor in Tasmania, ACL will be working hard to activate Christians to the injustices that stem from these agendas to children and other vulnerable members of society.
Ms Giddings replaces David Bartlett who stepped down to spend more time with his family.
ACL was disappointed last year when then Mr Barlett went back on his word and formed the minority government with the Greens after the March 2010 election. He had said on the
: “Because a back room deal with the Greens is a deal with the devil, and I'm am - am not going to sell my soul for the sake of remaining in power.”
During ACL’s Make It Count forum before the 2010 election, Mr Bartlett had made a commitment to further examine the Swedish model for criminalising men for purchasing sex, rather than legalising brothels. The ACL hopes Ms Giddings will honour this commitment.
Adult desires could trump kids’ rights in Tasmanian surrogacy push
· December 08, 2010 11:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today urged the Tasmanian Government not to go down the same path as Victoria and Queensland 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.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said surrogacy was fraught with emotional, biological and legal complexities for children, as well as for women who carry someone else’s baby.
“We urge Tasmanians to put forward their concerns on this issue and for the Tasmanian Government to ensure that they engage in genuine consultation rather than treating the legalisation of surrogacy as a fait accompli,” Mr Wallace 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 Wallace said it was vital that the Government consider the best interests of children and, if they go ahead with legalising surrogacy, to restrict it to infertile heterosexual couples and to ensure that significant safeguards are in place.
These include ensuring surrogacy only occurs within the context of a committed relationship between a man and a woman and only when there is a genetic link between the arranged parents and the child.
“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 Wallace 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.”
Concern that real solutions to combat child prostitution will be swept under the carpet
· October 18, 2010 11:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today voiced concerns that genuine solutions to stop child prostitution in Tasmania would be ‘swept under the carpet’ following the
not to re-appoint Paul Mason as Children’s Commissioner when his term expires this Friday.
ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said that Mr Mason had made a number of worthwhile recommendations which put the welfare of vulnerable children above bureaucracy and vested interests in response to the appalling case of a 12-year-old girl being prostituted to more than 100 men.
“Among other things, Mr Mason has been one of the few people to rightly identify the need to consider criminalising the purchase of sex – as occurs in Sweden – in his report dealing with the state’s failure to protect the 12-year-old girl.
“Where does the Government’s decision to replace Mr Mason leave this and other recommendations? Does it clear the way for the Government to deliver a more muted response once public interest dies down?”
Mr Brown said that ACL was concerned by reports that Premier David Bartlett personally supported legalising brothels, which is at odds with Mr Mason’s recommendation and Mr Bartlett’s pre-election commitment to examine the Swedish approach to prostitution reform.
“It is pleasing that the Tasmanian Government has committed to a thorough review of the Sex Industry Offenses Act 2005, but we urge the Premier and his Government to look beyond the failed approach of regulated prostitution in several other States,” Mr Brown said.
“Experiences in other States clearly show that legalising brothels does not stop child prostitution – but just increases demand for women and girls.
“By contrast under the Swedish model of prostitution control - which treats prostitution as a form of abuse against women and prosecutes the purchaser of sex – men who purchased sex with a 12-year-old would not be able to walk free.”
Mr Brown said there has been a strong push from some quarters to legalise the sex industry but law-makers needed to consider the credible researched evidence about the real harm this causes on a far greater scale.
“One has to question whether the Government is falling in with a Greens’ agenda to legalise the sex industry despite the ramifications,” Mr Brown said. “Recent cases in Canberra and Sydney have highlighted that a legalised sex industry fails to protect minors from exploitation. This is not the answer and, as Mr Mason has recommended, we need to be considering more effective legislative change.”
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979
Child Commissioner recommends prohibiting purchase of sex
· October 07, 2010 11:00 AM
The long-awaited report into the shocking case of a 12 year old Tasmanian girl, who fell through the cracks of the state’s child protection services and was prostituted to more than 100 men, was yesterday made public by the state’s Commissioner for Children, Paul Mason.
The report not only detailed the failures of state authorities to protect the vulnerable child, but came with the welcome recommendation that “the Government review the
Sex Industry Offences Act 2005
and in doing so actively consider the option of prohibiting the purchase of sexual services other than for certified medical reasons and actively consider the contribution of any amendment to the safety and sexualisation of children”.
Whilst the case itself is horrific, this recommendation provides some positive impetus to tackle the associated issues of prostitution and the sexualisation of society. It is a strong platform for the Tasmanian Government to explore the Swedish model of prostitution control, which treats prostitution as a form of abuse against women and prosecutes the purchaser of sex.
Under such a law, men who purchased sex with a 12 year old would not be able to walk free as the Tasmanian men did in this case because ignorance of the age of the prostitute would no longer be an excuse.
The recommendation is particularly timely, with the Government due to review and amend the
Sex Industry Offences Act
. The Act, which was originally meant to liberalise prostitution in Tasmania, ended up tightening prostitution laws in the state after the intervention of ACL to bring the voice of former prostitutes into the debate.
ACL is pleased to see that in its response to the Children’s Commissioner’s report, the Government has accepted the relevant recommendation, “noting there are wide-ranging community views on the issue”. It says that “A discussion paper on further law reform in this area will be released shortly”. A genuine exploration of the Swedish system should now definitely form part of the process.
The report of the Commissioner for Children can be found
, whilst the Government’s official response is also available for download
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