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MR: ACL concerned for rights of parents under new Tasmanian relationships and sexuality education strategy
· October 03, 2012 10:00 AM
Wednesday, 3 October 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed concern about the rights of parents after the release of a new relationships and sexuality education strategy by the Tasmanian state Education Department includes teaching homosexuality to children.
Although the curriculum will not be mandatory for schools to take, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex issues would be covered in the teaching plans.
ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said parents should have the right to determine how their children were taught about issues of sexuality, including homosexuality.
“It is important that parents have forewarning about the material that will be taught and a choice in what their children are being taught. Parents should have the right to know about and opt their children out of these classes should their school adopt this new program," Mr Brown said.
Studies show that many adolescents go through a period of confusion about their sexuality but this does not mean they are homosexual and many go on to lead a heterosexual lifestyle.
Data from the National Health and Social Life Survey shows that three quarters of boys who think they are gay turn away naturally from a same-sex identity between the ages of around 16 to 25.
Mr Brown also said that teaching homosexuality to children as normative is not the way to combat the issue of bullying in schools.
“Bullying is a phenomenon that needs to be eliminated in all of its various manifestations.”
Mr Brown said ACL was concerned that this was being used as part of the gay lobby’s political push for same-sex marriage.
“This parental right to choice about what their children are taught is clearly something that is at risk if gay marriage created the legal and cultural cement under which it cannot be challenged.
“This has been clearly indicated by cases in the US,” Mr Brown said.
ACL's submission to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry on sexting
· August 29, 2012 10:00 AM
On 27 August 2012, Victorian Director Dan Flynn presented the submission of the Australian Christian Lobby to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into sexting. Click
to read the submission.
Sexting refers to the increasing practice among young people of taking indecent pictures of themselves and transmitting them to another on smartphones and computers. Significant harm may follow,including harrassment and bullying-particularly when images are forwarded to others.
ACL pointed out that once the image is taken and forwarded the creator has no control over the use that the image will be put to. The dangers of sexting include permanent damage to the subject's digital footprint. Incidents of harassment related suicides resulting from sexting were referred to and recommended that priority should be given to education programs in schools that alert students to the harmful effects.
ACL supports legislative amendment that would currently see young people naively sexting facing charges of creating child pornograhy with potential terms of imprisonment and registration on the Sex Offenders Register for 8+ years, charged with a more suitable offence, in appropriate cases.
However ACL does not support the decriminalising of sexting. Mr Flynn said that decriminalisation would send a message that it is now "ok " to sext and would result in an increase in this dangerous practice.
ACL also submitted that any new legislation must ensure that genuinely predatory adults are placed on a Sex Offender Register when guilty of producing or transmitting child pornography.
The submission called on the Victorian Government to request the Federal Government to implement its promised mandatory Internet filter of "Refused Classification" material-a practical measure to reduce the "sexualisation of culture" and protect children.
The Victorian Law Reform Committee will report to the Parliament later this year.
to read the transcript.
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