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Pages tagged "ACL Victoria"
Victoria: March for the Babies - 13th October 2012
· August 22, 2012 10:00 AM
March for the Babies is on Saturday 13 October 2012. The March is in response to the Abortion Law Reform Act passed in 2008 in Victoria, which makes abortion available for any reason up to birth. After that time a woman can obtain an abortion if two doctors agree – the reasons that can be used not only cover life and health issues – they include “social circumstances” as well.
The March commences at 1pm from Treasury Gardens and will feature an address from Lord Nicholas Windsor. The organizers are targeting an attendance of 20,000 to send a clear message to the Victorian Parliament that “we the people” demand right for the unborn child.
The March for the Babies Committee also invites anyone to attend its inaugural March for the Babies Oration Dinner with Lord Nicholas Windsor on the eve of the March, Friday 12
October 2012. The dinner commences at 7pm and will be held at the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins Grand Ballroom. Please visit the
for more details.
Vic director debates same-sex marriage at Monash University
· August 16, 2012 10:00 AM
ACL's Dan Flynn's speech begins at the 58 minute part in the above video.
[caption id="attachment_20626" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Negative Team - Photo Courtesy of Monash University"]
On Wednesday the 1st of August, the ACL’s Victorian State Director Dan Flynn participated in the Annual Monash University Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Public Debate to more than 150 people. The topic was on same-sex marriage.
Mr Flynn was on the negative team to answer the question “Should same-sex marriage be legalised?” He was joined by debater Gemma Buckley and Prof. Nicholas Tonti-Filippini of the
John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family.
The affirmative team consisting of Sue Pennicuik MLC, A/Professor Paula Gerber and Ms Madeline Schultz argued among other things that since 9 out of 192 countries having legalised same-sex marriage (SSM) Australia was “falling behind”. They further argued that SSM was a human right that should be afforded to gay couples.
Gemma Buckley, first negative, took the position that marriage would confer no benefits to gay couples and that there was no discrimination remaining against them.
Prof. Tonti-Filippini contended that marriage was a biological institution involving mutual and unilateral obligations of motherhood and fatherhood that have a biological origin.
He said that this process of redefinition of parenthood would be a cause of great injustice to children denying them the right to know, to have access to and be nurtured by their biological parents, especially fathers but also mothers.
“We are in danger of creating another stolen generation,” he told the audience.
[caption id="attachment_20627" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="ACL Vic Director Dan Flynn - Photo Courtesy of Monash University"]
Mr Flynn stated that the power of marriage comes from a tradition that emphasizes permanence through monogamy and commitment for life.
He contended that legalising SSM is likely to reduce the commitment to permanence in the institution because the male gay culture is not a monogamous culture and gay activists have contributed to a view of marriage that is not so much about “till death us do part” but for as long as both parties find satisfaction in it.
Mr Flynn went on to develop the “grand bargain”
(as coined by Prof. Robert George of Princeton University)
being offered by revisionists, namely:
“We will accept your redefinition of marriage. You will respect our right to act on our conscience without penalty...”
Mr Flynn said that this bargain will never be honoured by revisionists except in the short term for tactical reasons to achieve marriage redefinition.
After detailing curtailments on civil liberties and freedom of conscience that will flow from redefinition of marriage, Mr Flynn pointed out that support for SSM has fallen from 62% to 50% from February to May this year and that 73% of people believe children are best with their biological parents.
Mr Flynn said that discrimination was removed against same-sex couples when the government changed laws in 2008.
The debate was followed by extensive question and answer session.
When a member of the audience challenged the importance of biological parentage to a child, Mr Flynn said that Elton John thought it mattered when he said that his son Zachery “will be heartbroken when he finds out he hasn’t got a mother”.
Why the ACL is concerned about the Victorian Charter of Rights
· June 07, 2011 10:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby will be making a submission into the review of the Victorian Charter of Rights. The ACL was concerned about the introduction of the Charter four years ago. Here is a brief summary of why the ACL is concerned about a Charter of Rights and will be basing its submission on these points.
Charters of rights potentially transfer authority from parliamentarians to judges
Father Frank Brennan, Chair of National Human Rights Consultation:
“I think there is no doubt the bill of rights of any form does transfer some power from politicians to judges.”
Hon Anand Satyanand Governor-General of New Zealand regarding the NZ charter of rights:
“But in many cases, the Court has forced major changes in public policy.”
Policy decisions should be made by elected politicians who are accountable to the people.
Parliament is the right forum for policy debate because it is representative and democratic.
Judges are unelected and work within a closed forum with limited opportunity for debate.
Charters of rights politicise the judiciary and undermine parliamentary sovereignty
Judicial independence is dependent upon the appointment of judges based on their competency in the law not their ideological sympathy with the government of the day.
The enlarged role in public policy determination that a charter of rights provides judges makes ideological appointments more of an imperative for governments.
The role of parliament is to enact legislation and the role of the judiciary is to interpret that legislation, but a charter of rights blurs this separation of powers.
The Charter empowers judges to declare laws ‘incompatible’ via their own interpretation of human rights.
A charter lists abstract rights leading to uncertainty and inconsistency, as legislation no longer has final authority and is subject to a Court’s opinion on whether it is rights-compatible.
Charters of rights undermine important freedoms, as the Victorian experience attests
Within months of the enactment of the Victorian charter, the Government initiated an inquiry to test against the new charter, essential freedoms, enumerated as ‘exemptions’ in the Equal Opportunity Act that allow faith-based organisations to employ like-minded staff.
An ‘Options Paper’, written by a prominent legal expert, argued that religious freedom only applied to ‘core’ or ‘private’ aspects of faith, contrary to international human rights instruments
– of course, Christian faith has never been a purely private matter but is manifested in many public ways.
The new Victorian Equal Opportunity Act only allows Christian schools and service-providers to discriminate in favour of hiring like-minded staff ‘when conformity with the doctrines, beliefs or principles of the religion is
an inherent requirement of the particular position
The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission says that
will determine a position’s inherent requirements, not the employing organisation,
stripping Christian bodies of this right.
Despite the charter, the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 obliges Victorian doctors with a conscientious objection to abortion to refer a patient to an abortion-provider, in conflict with their right (under ICCPR Article 18) to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Charters of rights encourages rights assertion rather than rights protection
A charter of rights empowers activists to bypass democratic processes and public opinion by an appeal to ‘human rights’ in the courts.
The concept of human rights has been politicised, and opponents of core Christian values are using human rights language and legislation to agitate for damaging social reforms – a ‘right to die’, a ‘right to abortion’, a ‘right to same-sex marriage’ etc.
Brennan, F. (2008, December 11). Quoted in ‘Brennan considers the balance of human rights’. ABC,
Speech by the Hon Anand Satyanand on the History and Role of the Court of Appeal, Government House Wellington, 15 Feb 2008.
See Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
S. 82(3)(a) and s. 83(3)(a) of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010
(2009, September 27), ‘Church can reject gays, single mums’,
MR: Legal brothels using trafficked women is further proof of failed policy
· March 31, 2011 11:00 AM
For release: 31
[caption id="attachment_5859" align="alignright" width="283" caption="The story reported in The Age"]
The Australian Christian Lobby said a
in today’s Melbourne Age revealing
human trafficking in legal brothels, is further proofthat attempts to make prostitution safe through regulation have failed.
ACL’s human trafficking spokeswoman Michelle Pearse said she is not surprised by the news that underage women are working in Victoria and that the licensed industry is being investigated as part of a human trafficking inquiry.
It comes as a Parliamentary inquiry is underway in the ACT following the tragic death of a 17-year-old girl of a drug overdose in a legal brothel.
“The British Government’s 2004 Home Office Report into prostitution
criticised Victoria’s legalisation of the sex trade when it said that Australian licensing schemes ‘have failed to deliver the safe working environment that they set out to achieve’,” she said.
“It’s clear that legalising brothels does not make prostitution safer because prostitution in itself is harmful to women. The best alternative is to support prostituted women to leave the exploitative trade and to tackle the demand – the men who purchase prostituted women,” she said.
“This is not a new idea, in fact overseas in Iceland, Norway, Sweden and South Korea, the governments have introduced a model that criminalises the purchase of sex – because it sees it as a human rights issue.
“The scheme has been very successful and in Sweden, for example, the Swedish police said last year in the report
Prohibition of the purchase of sexual services
that the ban on the purchase of sexual services acts as a barrier to human traffickers and procurers who are considering establishing themselves in Sweden,” Ms Pearse said.
“It’s clear that this law has affected the demand for prostituted women and therefore the amount of women trafficked into the country. It’s the only model that lessens the amount of women exploited in prostitution,” she said.
The Australian Christian Lobby is calling for the Victorian and other State and Territory Governments to fix the broken system and to criminalise the purchase of sex everywhere so that men cannot legally exploit women.
“Community safety will only be achieved when the Government recognises that prostitution is exploitation and seeks the safety of those in prostitution as well as the wider community,” Ms Pearse said.
Katherine Spackman on 0408 875 979
ACL supports retention of Easter Sunday “no shopping” tradition
· March 21, 2011 11:00 AM
For release: Monday 21st March 2011
The Australian Christian Lobby is calling on the Victorian Government to reconsider its proposal for trading on Easter Sunday when a bill to usher in the change is debated in Parliament later this week.
Victorian State Director Rob Ward said the ACL supported the retention of the general ban on shops trading on Easter Sunday in Victoria.
“Easter Sunday is an important tradition valued by society and should not be competed with by shopping. Sixty-four per cent of Australians identify themselves as Christians and Easter Sunday is an important religious event that Christians remember,” he said.
Mr Ward said the Shop Trading Reform Amendment (Easter Sunday) Bill will do away with almost all restrictions on trading on Easter Sunday.
“Victoria has just 3.5 days out of 365 where trading is not permitted. For the other 361.5 days, shops can trade 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” he said.
The Bill was passed in the Legislative Assembly along party lines, but the ACL now calls on all parties to reconsider this important issue in light of its impact on families and people of faith.
“There is no evidence of a major community push to have even more hours to spend their money, so why the urgency for change?” Mr Ward said.
“The Bill impacts on freedom of religion (as accepted by the Government in its introduction of the Bill) because it reduces the ability of people to practice their faith,” he said.
“While there are some limits under various awards that require employers to cater for employees’ religious practices, there is no doubt that pressure will be placed on Christians who would normally worship on this most important day in the Christian calendar.
“If other places around the world can set aside this day without suffering economic fallout, so can Victoria,” he said.
Media Contact: Katherine Spackman on 0408 875 979.
Vic election rewards principled leadership, rejects Green social agenda
· November 29, 2010 11:00 AM
massive swing towards the Liberal/National Coalition
in Saturday’s Victorian election spells out a message to both major parties that they should resist dancing to the Greens’ tune and instead lead from a position of principle, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said today.
“The courageous and principled decision by Ted Baillieu to put the Greens last on preferences was endorsed by voters in Victoria who were not prepared to endorse them as a ‘third force’ in politics,” ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said.
“Taking a leadership position on principle, rather than blindly following spin doctors and focus groups was rewarded by Victorians. This was not a swing based solely on a weary electorate’s desire for a change after 11 years - it was a warning to all politicians that voters want to avoid the Greens’ social extremism.
“They are looking for Governments that will respond to the real concerns of the people not simply look for ways to cling to power,” he said.
Mr Ward said that some commentators have rightly remarked on the broad sweep of controversial legislation pursued in recent years by the Victorian Government – something which has been of deep concern to Christians.
“The message here is for Labor to regroup and return to its roots and support families, not to perform social engineering through legislation,” Mr Ward said.
Mr Ward congratulated the Coalition on their win, and reminded them of their commitments to overturn recent changes to Equal Opportunity legislation that impact negatively on religious freedom.
“The poor showing of the Greens will hopefully put an end to the unwanted push for euthanasia, gay marriage and other types of social engineering promoted by activists, but not even on the agenda for most voters. Labor needs to hear the voters and seek to move away from the radical left of politics.”
Christian Lobby calls on Labor to commit to “No Deal” with Greens
· November 23, 2010 11:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today called on Premier John Brumby to assure Victorians that he would not enter into a deal with the radical Greens to secure a hold on government in the event of a hung Parliament after Saturday’s Victorian election.
“In just a few sitting weeks with the Greens having just one Lower House seat in the Federal Parliament we have seen a complete misappropriation of both parliamentary time and the legislative programme on their minority and extreme agenda,” ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said.
“Again in Tasmania, with the Greens supporting Labor in a minority government, we see Labor being pulled far to the left. Here in Victoria, voters - especially the Christian constituency - need to know that Victorian Labor will not follow the same dangerous path.”
Mr Ward called on the Labor Party to: “Commit now, publicly and clearly, that they will not allow themselves to fall prey to the temptation to hang on to power via a deal with the Greens”.
“Legalising euthanasia, economic policies that could cost jobs, cutting funding for non-government schools, and abolishing exceptions under Equal Opportunity legislation for religious organisations are amongst the radical policies that Labor would have to accommodate if they got into bed with the Greens,” Mr Ward said.
“Given the recent legislative agenda pursued in Victoria, including the Abortion Law Reform Act, unhelpful Equal Opportunity changes, laws allowing IVF for homosexual couples and new promises to ‘review’ gay adoption, Victorians generally and Christians in particular need to know now, before the 27th November, if Labor will take a principled stand.
“The Liberals have done the right thing by preferencing the Greens last, what will Labor do? Will they allow another political situation where the Greens’ minority agendas are permitted to destabilise government and the legislative process? We deserve an answer.”
ACL congratulates Victorian Liberals for putting Greens last
· November 15, 2010 11:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today congratulated the Victorian Liberals and Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu in particular for deciding to
preference the Greens last
in every seat in the upcoming State election.
ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said the decision will help Victoria avoid an unstable election outcome where the State is held hostage to the Greens’ radical social and economic agendas.
“The Liberals decision not to preference the Greens in any seat is good news for Victorians, as it means the Greens will be less likely to gain power through an alliance with either major party – thereby achieving disproportionate leverage for their extreme social and economic policies,” Mr Ward said.
“We only have to look at the current Federal Parliament, where the problem is not just the nature of the radical social and economic policies, but the inordinate waste of parliamentary time that concessions to the Greens for debating their agendas inevitably entails, particularly when it involves conscience votes. Victorians are better served with a Parliament concentrating on real issues,” he said.
“We congratulate Mr Baillieu for sticking to his principles and choosing to take what some people might see as a politically disadvantageous position.”
Mr Ward also noted that both major parties had rather oddly decided to preference the Australian Sex Party in the Northern Metropolitan region.
“Our preference has always been that parties should relegate this porn-promoting party to last position,” he said.
Mr Ward expressed the hope the number crunchers had not mistakenly handed a seat to another radical group while focussing attention on not preferencing the Greens.
Victorian Liberals confirm opposition to gay marriage and gay adoption
· November 11, 2010 11:00 AM
Victorian Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu has confirmed to the ACL that he and his party are opposed to same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption.
Following an article (offline) in yesterday’s
entitled ‘Baillieu Warms to Gay Marriage Bill, Brumby passes’, ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward sought clarification on the Opposition’s position and was assured by Mr Baillieu that the Liberal Party has not changed its position on gay marriage, which is really a Federal issue anyway. The Victorian Government is also opposed to gay marriage. Please click
to read Rob Ward’s blog comment on the issue.
In the lead up to the Victorian election on November 27, Rob is writing a daily election blog on the
website. Reading it is a good way to keep abreast of some of the breaking election issues.
The website also contains a host of other election resources - including the responses of political parties to 21 key questions - and is a great source of information for Christians looking to make an informed vote at the upcoming election.
Prior to the election, ACL is also running a number of Candidate Forum Events, mainly in marginal seats, to give Christians the opportunity to meet and question the people who are seeking their vote. If there is a forum in your electorate, we strongly encourage you to attend. Please go to
to find out details of the forums and to make use of all the other election material.
(Almost) Daily Election Blog - Tues Nov 10
· November 09, 2010 11:00 AM
The first ACL Candidates forum for this election was held last night, it was attended by a small but interested crowd drawn from local churches in the electorate of Hastings, south east of Melbourne.
All four candidates made their case for the Christian vote, while at the same time sharing something of their personal journey. It was remarked last night that those in the audience possibly had a better knowledge and insight into the candidates than the average voter!
Issues raised by the audience included questions about local issues such as development of industry in Westernport, law and order and a bitumen plant at Crib Point. More broadly questions arose about abortion (more on that later), a lack of respect for authority, employment opportunities, gay marriage, global warming, planning overrides by the government and heroin injecting rooms.
With Liberal (sitting Member Neale Burgess), ALP (Steve Hosking), Greens (Catherine Manning), and DLP (Rob Jones) seated comfortably behind tables, these issues were discussed in an enthusiastic and respectful atmosphere. When controversial issues were opened up, this is where the differences became clearer. Greens supported the current abortion law while wishing for fewer abortions, the ALP supported the party line but admitted to being personally conflicted on the issue. Both the Liberal and DLP opposed the law as it allows for no freedom of conscience for doctors, abortion at any time during pregnancy and no protection for women.
Gay (same-sex) marriages again proved to be a point of difference with only the Green candidate supporting a change in this law.
Three more forums this week, Wednesday in Frankston, Thursday in Bayswater and Mordialloc electorates. Ten more next week! Click on the “
Candidate Forum Events
” button for full details.
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