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Pages tagged "ACL Tasmania"
Monthly Newsletter - July 2013
· July 18, 2013 10:00 AM
The ACL's latest monthly newsletter, which includes a column from ACL's Managing Director Lyle Shelton, is out now. This month's newsletter includes stories on a federal inquiry into slavery and people trafficking, IVF and euthanasia bills in South Australia, anti-discrimination and adoption laws in Tasmania, and a study into children of same-sex families. Click
to read the July newsletter.
In the media - a wrap up of the last week's commentary
· June 27, 2013 10:00 AM
In the last week, the ACL has been quoted in the media on issues such as amendments to anti-discrimination laws and adoption laws in Tasmania, and outdoor advertising. See below for links to mentions in the media.
On amendments to the Adoption Act in Tasmania:
The Mercury -
Vote on gay adoption
On proposed changes to anti-discrimination legislation in Tasmania:
ABC News -
Christian lobby calls for block on gender law change
Christian lobby call for block on gender law change
ACL's Queensland Director Wendy Francis was interviewed on 96five on Monday 24th June about outdoor advertising regulation.
Tas benches anti-discrimination laws but looks set to pass adoption laws
· June 27, 2013 10:00 AM
The Tasmanian Government has benched anti-discrimination legislation that would have had serious implications on religious freedom.
Proposed changes to the Anti-Discrimination Act 1988 were due to be debated in the Upper House on Wednesday but ACL understands the state government decided not to vote on the legislation when it realised it didn’t have the numbers for the legislation to pass.
The legislation would have greatly expanded the number of grounds where conduct which “offends, humiliates, intimidates, insults or ridicules” is prohibited. It would include race, age, sexual orientation, lawful sexual activity, gender, marital status, relationship status, pregnancy, breastfeeding, parental status, family responsibilities, disability, industrial activity, political belief or affiliation, political activity, religious belief or affiliation, religious activity, irrelevant criminal record, irrelevant medical record, and association with a person who has or is believed to have any of these attributes”.
A central point of contention for the government was that a majority of members supported faith-based schools receiving exceptions to anti-discrimination laws when enrolling students.
ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said in a
this week that such changes would threaten free speech and open dialogue, and increase unnecessary litigation. He says Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that ‘everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion’.
Meanwhile, ACL understands proposed changes to Tasmania’s adoption laws will be passed which will allow those registered with a significant relationship, including unmarried and same-sex couples, to adopt an unknown child.
This is a disappointing outcome and it seems previous laws regarding surrogacy and known adoptions for same-sex couples had set a precedent for members to also vote for this legislation.
MR: ACL urges Tasmanian Government to reject proposed changes to adoption laws
· June 26, 2013 10:00 AM
Wednesday, 26th June 2013
Amendments to adoption laws in Tasmania would deny children the right to be raised by a mother and a father, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
Proposed changes to the Adoption Act 1988 - likely to be debated in the upper house on Thursday - would allow those registered with a significant relationship, including unmarried and same-sex couples, to adopt an unknown child.
ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown has urged the government to reject the changes in order to protect the rights of vulnerable children.
“Children’s interests are best met, where possible, in the stability of a married relationship with the complementary love of a mum and dad,” he said.
“Every child should have the right to be raised by both a mother and a father – each parent differently and subsequently provide a diversity and balance in a child’s development,” he said.
Under current law, only heterosexual couples married for more than three years are eligible to adopt.
“Governments who are considering the ‘rights’ of same-sex couples wanting to adopt should first and foremost consider whether allowing them to do so will serve the best interests of children.
“A large number of heterosexual couples have waited years for the opportunity to adopt, so it is difficult to understand how placing an adopted child in a home where they will be denied the benefit of having a mother and a father could ever be in a child’s best interest,” Mr Brown said.
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Mark Brown on the Political Spot about Tas abortion bill
· June 18, 2013 10:00 AM
Mark Brown is the Tasmanian Director for the Australian Christian Lobby. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman, Mr Brown talks about the Tasmanian upper house's decision last week to send the Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill to committee for inquiry. Read related blog post about this
Tas abortion bill sent to committee
Tas Director Letter to Supporters - June 2013
· June 17, 2013 10:00 AM
The Tasmanian Director Mark Brown’s letter to supporters in the state is now available online.
The upper house elections in May saw three ‘conservatives’, relative to the other candidates, returned or elected. This is a wonderful result given the high profile and expensive national campaigns run by the left?leaning GetUp! organisation against some candidates not supportive of same?sex marriage legislation. Feedback was positive about ACL’s TasVotes website, which helped voters make an informed decision about the differences between candidate’s views on social reforms.
to continue reading.
MR: ACL urges Tasmania’s Legislative Council to reject radical abortion legislation
· June 11, 2013 10:00 AM
Tuesday, 11th June 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is urging Tasmania’s upper house members to reject the controversial Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill that would decriminalise abortion in the state.
ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown says the bill – likely to be debated in the upper house this week – has no mandate, and has significant implications for women’s health, for freedom of conscience, and free speech.
“There is no mandate for decriminalising abortion in Tasmania as law changes in 2001 put to rest concerns regarding criminal prosecutions against women or doctors and there have been no such prosecutions since,” he said.
“There are also no significant accessibility issues that would justify decriminalisation when four abortion clinics around the state perform the bulk of abortions and without waiting lists or the need for referrals[i],” he said.
Mr. Brown said under the proposed changes women with unplanned pregnancies will be prevented from making an informed decision.
"The bill essentially opens the door for abortion on demand. Under the proposed laws the currently mandated doctor assessments and referrals to counselling will be removed for those women seeking abortions before 16 weeks gestation. These encompass over 95 per cent of all abortions," he said.
"How can less information result in better decision making? Such a critical choice made on behalf of an unborn child requires women who find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy to be supported and supplied with all possible options and potential outcomes. This is especially important at a time when they are particularly vulnerable," he said.
“Beyond this, the bill violates the fundamental right of freedom of conscience by forcing conscientious objectors - whether doctors or counsellors - to comply with a practice they cannot support,” he said.“Those who wish to exercise their right to respectful protest will also face prison sentences if the legislation is passed.”
ACL has recently presented these concerns in a letter to the Legislative Council and says community concern about the extreme nature of the bill has been ignored from the beginning of the consultation period.
“Despite a very short community consultation period, 2000 submissions were received. It was found that 87 per cent of respondents were opposed to abortion," he said.
Mr Brown said a
in February of 300 respondents, aged 16-49 shows Tasmanians are opposed (73%) to late-term abortions (after 20 weeks), when the child has mild disabilities (59%), for the purposes of sex selection (92%), when continuing a pregnancy would cause financial hardship (66%), affect the mother’s career (79%), or when parents feel they have enough children. (63%).
“ACL encourages Legislative Councillors to consider the sentiments of the community before they vote on this controversial law,” he said.
“It is the duty of legislators to protect freedom of conscience and free speech, and to protect the vulnerable by providing help for those women to make a truly informed decision about the welfare of their children,” Mr Brown said.
In April, ACL presented a submission to the Information Paper relating to the bill. Click
to read the submission.
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1 See article in the Sunday Tasmanian on April 21st where Dr Paul Hyland, a local gynaecologist who performs abortions Said around 1000 abortions (up to 14 weeks gestation) are conducted per year (approximately 20 per week) through his clinics in Hobart and Launceston. A second group, Fertility Control Clinic operates a clinic in Moonah (using fly in doctors). A clinic of unspecified affiliation operates out of Burnie. Dr Hyland estimates the total number of abortions performed in Tasmania at between 1200 and 1500 per year. Note: 95% of all abortions in Australia are performed before 13 weeks gestation (Information Paper P 15).
Tas petition to have abortion bill thrown out
· May 30, 2013 10:00 AM
[caption id="attachment_23590" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="Mark Brown"]
A new abortion petition (this is the third one) is underway aimed at the Legislative Council. The petition seeks to have the Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill 2013 thrown out in its entirety. The
closes on the 23rd June. The previous two petitions were focused on the lower house where the bill narrowly passed last month with a few minor amendments. More information about the bill is available at Make a Stand.
A paper version is also available
. If you are a Tasmanian resident, could you please:
Print further versions of the paper petition and make them available for signing after Sunday services. These will need to be compiled and mailed to the address at the bottom of the form before the 19th June. Alternatively you could set up a computer or two after church for people to sign online. People should only sign one or the other.
Encourage your congregation to be contacting upper house members to advise them of their opinions on this legislation. Details on how to do this are available at
Make a Stand
Make a point of praying for our 15 upper house members as they contemplate their response to this and other pieces of legislation to be debated in the Legislative Council this year.
I realise some may feel fatigued at the continued need for action on this and other causes. With such relentless opposition our response, both in prayer and practical action, needs also to be one of continued perseverance, especially with so much at stake.
Thanks for your important contribution in standing for the rights of the unborn.
Speeches at ACL Tasmania Conference 2013
· May 23, 2013 10:00 AM
On Friday 14 May, ACL Tasmania supporters gathered in Launceston for the 2013 state conference, which addressed the issue, 'What should we expect from our leaders'?
Audio of the three speeches from the night is available via the links below:
Jim Wallace AM
Time to act on pokie machine reform: ACL
· May 22, 2013 10:00 AM
Wednesday 22nd May, 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby has backed calls for the Tasmanian Government to introduce $1 bet limit on pokie machines in the state.
ACL’s Tasmanian State Director Mark Brown said problem gambling is an issue that affects many Tasmanian families.
“The 2011 Social and Economic Impact Study of Gambling in Tasmania found that nearly 50 per cent of all electronic gaming machine takings are from problem gamblers or moderate risk gamblers,” he said.
“Of course there will be a cost to the bottom line when the government pockets $100 million in taxes from the industry. Economics, however, should be a secondary consideration to the social toll incurred on the community.
“The Government needs to plot a road map to weaning itself off poker machine revenue,” Mr Brown said.
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