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Pages tagged "ACL Victoria"
Greens MP’s gay hate claims an outrageous slur against ACL
· November 05, 2010 11:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today rejected outright
claims by Victorian Greens MP Colleen Hartland
that the organisation has a “hatred of gays” as an outrageous slur designed to shut down debate on genuine issues of concern.
ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said the allegation made in today’s
was not only unfounded but also a serious attack on the ACL’s right to stand up for Judeo-Christian values.
“The ACL does not agree that the homosexual lifestyle should be actively promoted or that gay rights activists’ agendas should not be challenged where they conflict with community or children’s rights. You only need to consider the gay activists’ demand to be able to donate blood and for homosexual adoption as examples,” Mr Ward said.
“However for Ms Hartland to purposefully choose to smear our organisation by wrongly interpreting this position as involving a ‘hatred of gays’ is of great concern.
“The ACL believes that all people are of great worth and certainly does not have a hatred of gays. Indeed we have in the past been supportive of considered law changes aimed at ending unjustified discrimination against same-sex couples both at a State and Federal level.”
Mr Ward said that it is in some ways quite enlightening that Ms Hartland should choose to make such a blanket allegation at a time when some quarters are pushing to make it a crime to even express a view that a homosexual person might take offence to.
“It highlights the fact that freedom to express an opposing opinion is under increased attack in Victoria and that even some politicians are willing to falsely label organisations as acting out of hatred if it helps to shut down debate.”
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan 0408 875 979; Rob Ward on 0408 348 352
Daily Election Blog - Thurs Nov 4
· November 04, 2010 11:00 AM
Only 23 days to go, 15 candidate forums and lots to do!
Problems for both major parties today with the high profile gay
for Richmond pulling out and standing as an independent
upsetting parents by allegedly turning a school valedictory address into a political speech.
You will also note that all of the major and some minor parties have provided answers to our “21 questions”. They are really worth a read, you will find some surprises in what the Greens have to say as well as some magnificent “spin” in some of the answers across the board.
Sorting out reality from spin is getting harder, this is why the voting record on conscience votes helps shed some light on issues as well as do the responses from the parties. In fact to get a full picture you might like to go for the trifecta. Look at what the Government and Opposition say on the Make It Count videos, scan the responses on key issues in “Know What The Parties Think” and if there is one being held in your area, attend a Candidate Forum. You can check these out on the “Candidate Forum Events” button.
I look forward to posting a short update every day from now until Election Day.
Video urges voters to support life this Victorian election
· November 04, 2010 11:00 AM
With less than a month to go before the Victorian election, there are many potential issues to weigh up and party policies to consider to cast an informed vote. An excellent pre-election video posted on YouTube is asking people to seriously consider how the issue of abortion should form a key part of their deliberations on the suitability for election of the various candidates.
The video features extensive commentary from Peter Kavanagh MLC, DLP Member for Western Victoria on the tragedy of the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008, which allows a woman to terminate the life of her unborn child for any reason up until 24 weeks of pregnancy, and with the consent of two abortionists at any time after that, even until birth.
A special part of the video is comments from Melissa Ohden, a young American woman who lived to tell the story of her mother’s failed abortion attempt. She recently toured the country sharing her inspiring story with supporters of life in Australia, and explains why Victoria’s abortion law is one of the most extreme in the world.
to view the video.
Parties respond to ACL election questions
· November 04, 2010 11:00 AM
Both the Victorian Labor Government and the Liberal-Nationals Coalition will support the independence of faith-based schools to teach from a Christian perspective but neither party has agreed to amend abortion laws to ensure doctors with a conscientious objection aren’t compelled to refer women for abortions.
The Liberal-Nationals Coalition has committed to remove some aspects of Victoria’s equal opportunity laws which restrict religious freedom, while the Labor Party has put forward initiatives to help rehabilitate young offenders and prevent them from being exposed to prison culture where possible.
These are among the responses of political parties to 21 questions on topics ranging from child protection to euthanasia released by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today as part of the launch of its
voter education website. It includes responses from the ALP, the Liberal-Nationals Coalition, the Greens, DLP, Family First, and the CDP.
In the countdown to the Victorian election, the website will inform Christians throughout the State about the different political party standpoints on key issues they care about. It also includes a host of other election resources including a full list of how each MP and Upper House representative voted on conscience issues including abortion, surrogacy and equal opportunity legislation.
“The last term of Government has been a tumultuous time for many Christians as we battled a number of pieces of controversial legislation including the decriminalisation of abortion, same-sex surrogacy, and changes to equal opportunity laws which have created uncertainty for faith-based schools and service-providers who want to employ people who share their ethos,” ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said.
“The Victoria Votes website gives an account on how Victorian politicians voted on these bills and asks political parties about their policies on these and a range of other moral and social justice issues for the time ahead.
“Questions such as the ones on abortion are particularly pertinent when you consider that even though both sides of Parliament had a free conscience vote on abortion law changes, Victorian doctors are being denied the right to be true to their conscience on this issue.”
Mr Ward said that the aim of the website is to assist Christians to make a wise and informed vote at the upcoming election after accurately weighing up the different party policies and views on issues of concern to them.
“This is one of the most comprehensive voter information resources for Christians ever seen in Victoria and we hope it will be a valuable source of assistance as people consider their votes. Information about the website will be provided to all major denominations and to thousands of churches throughout the State.”
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan 0408 875 979; Rob Ward on 0408 348 352.
Vic Govt challenged to fund lobbying to advance children’s interests and religious freedom
· October 27, 2010 11:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today challenged the Victorian Government to fund more effective representation of key concerns in the State such as the best interests of children and religious freedom – two issues important to all Victorians.
The call comes on the back of the Victorian Government’s weekend announcement that it will provide $400,000 to fund and recognise a peak gay lobby group as part of a package of measures obviously aimed at winning the gay vote.
“If the Government has this kind of money to allocate to lobbying, then why aren’t they offering the same largesse and favourable treatment to what I would argue are far more pressing issues in our State – issues which affect far more people but are largely going unaddressed?” ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said today.
“There is plenty of evidence to show that a distressing number of children are being neglected and abused or are bearing the brunt of poverty in our society. Children are also suffering from increased incidence of family breakdown and the effects of the sexualisation of children in the media environment.
“Where is the Government funding to enable the Christian constituency and relevant not-for-profit groups to more effectively lobby to see these issues addressed?” Mr Ward asked.
“In terms of religious freedom, concerns have even been raised internationally about Victoria’s threat to this basic freedom, such as through its anti-vilification laws. The Christian constituency would also greatly welcome moves by the Government to fund and give an ear to representation on these concerns.”
Mr Ward said that the lead up to the Victorian election was a perfect time for the Government to give greater priority to these pressing needs and to show that it is looking to govern for all Victorians rather than just trying to win over a few gay voters.
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan 0408 875 979
Victorian Government sells out on children’s rights for gay vote
· October 25, 2010 11:00 AM
The Victorian Government is planning to sell out the best interests of children as part of a
package of measures
to win the gay vote, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said today.
ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said Victorian Labor’s blatant attempt to chase the gay vote by proposing to give them same-sex adoption and a package of other inducements makes a mockery of any claims that changes to adoption laws would only be made if they are better for children.
“The best interests of children are meant to be paramount in adoption laws but here we have the Government indicating it is willing to look at changing these laws solely to appease gay voters,” Mr Ward said.
“With large numbers of heterosexual couples waiting years to adopt a child it is difficult to understand how placing an adopted child in a home where they will be denied the benefit of having both a mother and a father could ever be construed as putting a child’s best interests first.”
Mr Ward said Victorian Labor should be looking to govern for all Victorians and it is alarming to see the party cynically chasing the gay vote, perhaps as a way to counter-act the increased popularity of The Greens.
“It is also a major concern that the Government may be looking to withhold funding from faith-based community welfare organisations which, for instance, might prefer not to employ people whose lifestyle choices might not accord with their religious beliefs,” Mr Ward said. “Rather than genuinely partnering with these organisations – which play such a significant role in Victoria – the Government appears to be trying to impose its own ‘diversity’ regime on them by using funding as the lever.”
Mr Ward said there is also concern that the Government is proposing to give special rights to gay lobby groups to influence government policies, even though they represent only around two per cent of the population.
“One has to question why the Government would discriminate against other lobby groups by choosing to give $400,000 to an already articulate and well-financed gay lobby. In terms of buying votes this is taking pork-barrelling to a new low.”
In terms of the $100,000 over four years to be committed to addressing homophobic harassment, Mr Ward said: “All violence is wrong but I am unaware of any evidence of an epidemic of homophobic violence in Victoria. If such a thing is taking place than a mere $25,000 each year to address it is tokenistic.”
Mr Ward urged the Victorian Government to consider the interests of all Victorians – and particularly children – in the lead-up to the election and to resist pressure to try to outbid The Greens in efforts to secure the small gay vote.
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan 0408 875 979
March for the Babies - setting the record straight
· October 12, 2010 11:00 AM
[caption id="attachment_3449" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Some of the 5000-strong crowd. Photo by Samuel Rebbechi."]
Last Saturday more than 5000 people turned out for the second annual March for the Babies to commemorate the second anniversary of the passing of Victoria's abortion laws which allow abortion up until birth for any reason. In response to the apparent media 'blackout', ACL’s Victorian Director Rob Ward penned an article for the internet journal
“Just because abortion is controversial and divisive, doesn’t mean journalistic standards should not apply”, Rob writes. Click
to read the full article.
VCAT ruling says some rights more equal than others
· October 11, 2010 11:00 AM
For release: October 11, 2010
VCAT ruling says some rights more equal than others
The recent ruling of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to fine a youth camp owned by a Christian organisation for seeking to operate in accordance with its religious creed and ethos sets a dangerous precedent for religious freedom in the state, the Australian Christian Lobby’s Victorian Director, Rob Ward, said today.
“The decision of VCAT to fine Christian Youth Camps Limited, established and owned by the Christian Brethren, for refusing to accommodate Cobaw Community Health Service's Way Out project, which supports same-sex-attracted young people in rural areas, was a clear case of rights ideology triumphing over common sense.
“Although the State has a legitimate obligation to protect its citizens’ right to equality and freedom from unreasonable discrimination, it is equally obliged to protect the rights of religious believers to live in accordance with their genuinely held religious beliefs, as individuals and in community.
“Section 14 of
Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
states that, ‘Every person has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief, including the freedom to demonstrate his or her religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching, either individually or as part of a community, in public or in private’.
“It would appear that VCAT has overlooked the Government’s own directive to protect religious freedom in order to elevate equal opportunity to the top of the human rights pile”, Mr Ward said.
ACL has been particularly vocal in its opposition to both the Human Rights Act and the winding back of exemptions in Equal Opportunity Law for religious believers and faith communities because of fears their fundamental rights would be crushed by a minority rights agenda.
“This ruling demonstrates that our warnings about the growing intervention of human rights law have come to pass. There is now a dangerous hierarchy of rights, which not only tramples the rights of religious believers and their communities, but creates needless conflict between people from diverse social groups, beliefs and backgrounds.”
Mr Ward said that the Government and its human rights bureaucracy must do more to assure religious believers and faith organisations that it takes seriously their fundamental human rights to live and operate in accordance with genuinely held beliefs.
Mr Ward questioned the rationale of the VCAT ruling that Christian Youth Camps ‘are not entitled to impose their beliefs on others in a manner that denies them [Way Out] the enjoyment of their right to equality and freedom from discrimination’.
“It could equally be argued that the Way Out project is not entitled to impose its beliefs on others in a manner that denies them the enjoyment of their right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief.”
Contact: Rob Ward 0408 348 352
Victorian Director’s letter to Supporters – September 2010
· September 09, 2010 10:00 AM
Victorian Director Rob Ward’s letter to supporters in the State is available online.
The last Victorian letter in July posed the question “when will the Federal Election be held?’ Now as I write this letter, the election has been held and a minority Gillard Government is in place following weeks of negotiations with Independents. With a Government at last in place the work of the ACL will come into even sharper focus.
to read the rest of Rob’s letter.
Welcome to Victoria Votes
· May 20, 2010 10:00 AM
Who do I vote for? How do I make my vote count for Christian values? This is what many are asking with just weeks until polling day.
For the past 10 years, ACL has worked hard to ensure Christians know as much as possible about the Parties and Candidates standing in elections.
In a non-party partisan way (but critical where necessary), we have sought to help Christians cast an informed vote for those who best support Christian values.
We are pleased to be taking this service to new levels in the 2010 Victorian Election.
We contacted all the Parties contesting the election with 21 questions of key concern to Christians.
All of the well-known Parties have promised to respond, along with some of the less well known.
We will be posting their answers on the
site and hope you might take some time between now and November 27
to consider their responses. For busy people who don’t have time to go through 21 questions and answers, we have an easy link to “Touchstone Issues”.
This site contains information about ACL’s local Candidate Forums and we are in the process of up-loading short video messages from participating Candidates.
If your local candidate has not submitted a video, you might like to ask them to consider this.
also contains information on conscience votes held in the Victorian Parliament.
It is important to know where your candidate stands on protecting human life at its most vulnerable.
We’ll be seeking to update this blog daily (after 28
October) with comment on the remainder of the campaign as it affects Christians.
ACL State Director - Victoria
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