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Pages tagged "Bill Shorten"
What really happened when Parliament met yesterday
· June 02, 2015 10:00 AM
Dozens of ACL supporters and I were in the public gallery of Parliament House yesterday to hear Bill Shorten attempt to abolish gender in marriage.
We were also there to pray. And we fervently mouthed the Lord's Prayer with the Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop, and the government quorum.
After an hour or so of mundane parliamentary committee reporting to a mostly empty chamber, Bill Shorten and 30 or so of his MPs wandered in and took their seats.
"Our laws should tell our children what we believe," Mr Shorten declared.
That is very true but do we really want them to believe children have no right to know who their biological parents are?
Mr Shorten's bill abolishes the words 'man and woman', 'husband and wife' and replaces them with 'two people'.
The trouble is for a child conceived through assisted reproductive technology, this wording replaces their natural mother or father with a complete stranger.
Marriage is of course a compound right to form a family.
As the Sydney Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher wrote, not every marriage produces children but every child has a mother and a father.
Do we really think Australia's ban on commercial surrogacy can be sustained if marriage equality for two men is legislated?
Do we really think it is ok to deliberately sever the primal bond between mother and baby, father and child?
Should we be commercialising carrier wombs and women's egg donation? Should we leave a surrogate mother with milk in her breasts but her baby in the arms of two men?
Should we never enact a Senate committee recommendation to ban sperm donor anonymity?
If we do not allow all of these things, 'marriage equality' is meaningless.
After a week of frenzied media reporting and politicking in the wake of the Irish referendum, the definition of marriage was under attack like it had never been before.
Many politicians have changed sides.
Yet few people have thought of the consequences.
After Mr Shorten's speech, the debate on his bill was adjourned. It won't go to the vote.
However, work will begin on a bi-partisan bill that can be 'owned' by the parliament.
This will most likely be debated and voted on in the second half of this year.
This is not a time for silence. We have a few weeks and months to raise our voices.
More than 20,000 of you have emailed your local MP. Thanks. Thanks to those who have phoned their offices or visited. Please keep this up.
Please go to acl.org.au and download
, our new resource about marriage and public policy.
Share it with your friends; get the conversation about marriage and the rights of kids happening.
Most importantly, please pray for our nation.
This is a seminal time.
MP’s shouldn’t ‘own’ abolition of a child’s right to know their mum or dad
· May 31, 2015 10:00 AM
Parliamentarians planning to ‘own’ Bill Shorten’s same-sex marriage bill need to explain how they would protect the rights of children to know their biological parents.
In abolishing “man and woman” in the Marriage Act, Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton said parliamentarians risked legislating one of the greatest injustices against the rights of children in modern times.
“Redefining marriage would redefine family. Mr Shorten hasn’t thought through how exactly two men or two women acquire a baby.
“By definition, same-sex parenting means intentionally removing a child from their mum or dad.
“For a child, the wording of Bill Shorten’s same-sex marriage bill matters. Replacing ‘man and woman’ with ‘two people’ means replacing a child’s mum or dad with someone else.
“Abolishing the terms ‘husband and wife’, ‘man and woman’ has consequences for the human rights of children.”
Mr Shelton said there were no safeguards in Mr Shorten’s bill to ensure a child would always have the right to know her or his biological parents.
“Will parliamentarians ensure that a child’s birth certificate tells the truth about that child’s parentage?
“Parliamentarians wishing to ‘own’ Mr Shorten’s bill should also explain whether or not they support Australia’s current prohibition on commercial surrogacy.
“A Senate committee inquiring into donor conceptions practices in Australia unanimously supported a ban on sperm donor anonymity. Could this recommendation ever be enacted if same-sex marriage is legislated?
“The rights that flow from ‘marriage equality’ cannot be realised without unfettered access to assisted reproductive technology.
“This requires severing the primal bond between a child and its parents and depriving the child of knowledge of its biological parent for life.
“I would urge parliamentarians to think through these important ethical issues before they decide whether or not to ‘own’ a bill which abolishes ‘man and woman’ in the Marriage Act.”
Bill Shorten’s marriage bill demonstrates risks of redefining marriage
· May 29, 2015 10:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby today said the release of Bill Shorten’s same-sex marriage bill highlighted the very real risks posed by redefining marriage.
ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said Mr Shorten’s plan to redefine marriage posed a serious risk to freedom of conscience, the rights of children and people who conscientiously object to the idea of same-sex marriage.
“This is a bill that will divide Australians,” Mr Shelton said. “It will not bring about equality for anyone.
“Mr Shorten hasn’t thought this through. He hasn’t done the necessary work to provide protections for children and people who disagree with same-sex marriage.
“Where are the protections for Australians working as service providers in the wedding industry who disagree with same-sex marriage? Will they be subjected to the same vilification and harassment and legal punishment we have seen in other countries?”
Mr Shelton said Mr Shorten had failed to consider the implications redefining marriage would have for children’s rights.
“Redefining marriage means redefining family. Mr Shorten clearly hasn’t thought about how two men would acquire a baby. If Australia redefines marriage there will be an increased demand for surrogacy and a push to legalise commercial surrogacy. It’s not possible to provide the benefits of marriage equality without legalised surrogacy and access to anonymous sperm donors.”
Shorten fails to consider the consequences of changing marriage
· May 26, 2015 10:00 AM
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s same-sex marriage bill fails to consider the consequences of changing the definition of marriage in law, according the Australian Christian Lobby.
“It is disappointing that Australia’s alternative prime minister is legislating a family structure which requires a child to miss out on their mum or dad.
“Many Australians are watching with great concern as florists, photographers and cake makers in other countries are being legally punished simply because they prefer not to participate in a same-sex wedding.
“I wonder if Mr Shorten has considered the consequences of changing the definition of marriage,” Mr Shelton said.
“We urge parliamentarians to vote against the bill.”
On Tuesday, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek announced they will introduce a bill to redefine marriage into the House of Representatives on Monday.
Politics spills from church to the hill as PM hangs on
· February 10, 2015 11:00 AM
Before the Liberal Party's leadership spill motion, the Parliamentary year began in church yesterday.
Both Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten attended the ecumenical service at Canberra's Kingston Baptist.
Many of their members and senators were there as well. Christ was honoured and prayers were prayed to mark the start of the Parliament year.
Salvation Army Major Dr Kelvin Alley preached on David of the Bible, emphasising his courage, wisdom and grace.
With church at 7:30am and Mr Abbott's party room spill meeting set for 9am, Major Alley referenced the challenging political year ahead and encouraged parliamentarians to draw strength from the Lord in the same way David did.
After church, Mr Shorten and wife Chloe lingered at the back to greet the congregation on their way out.
From church it was straight to the party room in nearby Parliament House for Mr Abbott who survived the move against his leadership.
He is now on notice to improve his and the government's performance.
Failure will almost certainly bring on another spill.
It seems nothing has been learned from the recent political past. Two Labor prime ministerial coups ended badly.
So it is incomprehensible that the Liberal Party is tearing itself apart in the same way.
Sadly politics is full of ego, self-interest and arrogance and this trumps logic almost every time.
Our last three Prime Ministers - Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott have faced leadership coups in their first term of office.
All leaders have their foibles, but it seems like an anti-leadership disease has afflicted our body politic.
Very little slack is cut.
Now part of this is self-inflicted because too many political leaders, Mr Abbott included, are too quick to break their word fuelling the public's fires of disillusionment.
We now see wildly violent election swings such as that in Queensland a little over a week ago.
Parliamentarians who elect their party leader and therefore the Prime Minister seem to be just as fickle as the electorate.
There is a crisis of trust in our system. The nation is the loser.
Politics is very much a reflection of who we are as a community. After all, we elected our parliamentarians.
Both we and our parliamentarians need the courage, wisdom and grace of David of the Bible. We constantly need reminding that God is God and we are not.
A church service to open the Parliamentary year is a great way to do this.
Why we invited Bill Shorten to our National Conference
· October 30, 2014 11:00 AM
I’m grateful to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for speaking at our national conference at the weekend.
Enormous pressure was put on him to stay away, such is the antipathy to free speech of many of those seeking to redefine marriage.
When this failed, a vicious social media campaign was organised to have the venue, the Hyatt Hotel, cancel our conference.
Thankfully Hyatt staff acted professionally and did a great job assisting us with what became our best conference yet.
Mr Shorten showed courage to stare down the vitriol.
His speech, however, raised eyebrows.
His characterisation of Christians as people who invoke God and Bible to attack blended families and demonise people for who they love was wide of the mark.
The debate about changing the definition of marriage has certainly been robust at times, but I have never heard anyone from our side use this kind of language. ACL certainly has not.
I was able to politely tell Mr Shorten this during the Q&A session.
The disappointing thing is that mainstream media lapped up his comments with very little reporting on the social media hate campaign against ACL and the Hyatt Hotel.
The ANU’s John Warhurst commented yesterday in the Sydney Morning Herald that “the free speech credentials of the marriage-quality lobby” had been “threatened” by the actions of those seeking to shut down our conference.
After years of difficult struggle in this debate, I’m glad this is finally coming to light.
These tactics have successfully scared many Christians, and even leaders, away from participating in the public discourse on marriage.
Mr Warhurst also commented that: “ACL is now established in the top echelon of lobbying groups”.
This may be overstating things but we give God glory nonetheless and we thank you, our supporters, for helping us to achieve a measure of political effectiveness.
ACL does not agree with every political leader it engages. But it is vital we engage, especially those who aspire to lead at the highest levels, as Mr Shorten does.
Apart from our disagreement on marriage, Mr Shorten was warm and genuine. I believe he has the best interests of our nation at heart. We look forward to continuing engagement.
Church service to mark the Commencement of the Parliamentary Year
· February 11, 2014 11:00 AM
A church service has been held to mark the commencement of the 2014 Parliamentary Year. ACL's Katherine Spackman went along to the church service in Canberra which was attended by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten. She has produced a 10 minute radio package of the service.
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