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Pages tagged "children"
CEO of Barnardos Louise Voigt on the Political Spot about proposed changes to boost NSW adoptions
· November 12, 2013 11:00 AM
Louise Voigt is the CEO of Barnardos. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman she talks about proposed changes by NSW Families Minister Pru Goward to change the Care Act to boost the number of adoptions in Australia. Barnardos welcomes the changes.
MR: Defeat of same-sex marriage motion in Tas signals time to move on
· October 29, 2013 11:00 AM
For release: Tuesday 29th October 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has welcomed the defeat of a same-sex marriage motion in the Tasmanian Upper House this evening.
ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown says today’s decision by Legislative Council Members (MLCs) not to reconsider proposed same-sex marriage laws should send a clear message that it’s time to move on from this tiresome debate.
“This legislation was defeated in the parliament only last year. This debate has become wearisome. It is a low order priority for the majority of Australians and it is time to move on. There is no discrimination in Tasmanian law against same-sex couples – there is no need to redefine marriage.
“In the past 12 months same-sex marriage bills have been defeated in the federal House of Representatives, the Senate, the Tasmanian Parliament, and the South Australian Parliament. This was just another attempt to pass legislation by fatigue.
“Australia should have one law for marriage and it should be determined by the Federal Parliament. We only need look at recent events in the ACT to know that Tasmanian same-sex legislation would likely be challenged in the High Court if it were passed.
“It is not in Australia’s best interests to have a hodgepodge of marriage laws,” he said.
Mr Brown also said the failure of today’s motion was a win for families and the rights of children.
“Marriage between a man and a woman provides a natural, timeless and sustainable foundation for our society. It serves as the best, most stable environment where society can nurture and protect its next generation.
“Every child owes their existence to a mum and a dad and same-sex marriage would deny children the right to know their biological heritage,” he said.
NSW marriage supporters urged to contact MPs not to redefine marriage
· October 24, 2013 11:00 AM
On Wednesday, the
Sydney Morning Herald reported
that same-sex marriage legislation will be debated in the NSW parliament next week. This comes as the ACT passed laws this week allowing same-sex couples to marry.
It is important we persuade NSW parliamentarians to uphold the institution of marriage by voting against this bill. Even though the federal government has vowed to challenge state-based marriage laws in the High Court, we can't simply assume there will be a good result.
Therefore we need your support; we encourage you to email, write letters, and telephone your MPs. Encourage them to remember why marriage is important. It provides a natural, timeless, and sustainable foundation for children and our society.
You can send an email to members of the NSW parliament by following
. You will also find here some resources and points you can use to help you frame your correspondence.
If you've got an iPhone, you can do all of this as well using our new
. This app also allows you to call members of the NSW parliament on your mobile phone.
Thank you for your support. It really makes a difference.
MR: Pressure grows for ACT ‘marriage’ bill to go to committee
· October 21, 2013 11:00 AM
For release: Monday 21st October 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby renewed its call today for the ACT’s Marriage Equality Bill to be referred to a standing committee of the Assembly for greater scrutiny.
“Revelations this morning that even advocates of changing the definition of marriage have also identified serious legal problems with the bill mean it should not be rushed through tomorrow as planned,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said.
released legal advice
from lawyers Neville Rochow SC and Chris Brohier on Friday also detailing major concerns with the working of the bill.
“This bill has major consequences for people of conscience who will always believe and wish to teach their children something that will become contrary to ACT law,” Mr Shelton said.
“The legal confusion this bill creates for same-sex couples and people of conscience alike means this bill should not be rushed and it should be referred to a standing committee of the ACT Legislative Assembly,” Mr Shelton said.
Same-sex marriage: is it harmless?
· October 09, 2013 11:00 AM
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: IS IT HARMLESS?
by Patrick J. Byrne (re-published with the permission of the author)
, October 12, 2013.
Same-sex marriage fundamentally changes not only the legal definition of marriage, but all the social, educational, economic, legal and religious institutions that service and support marriage, family and children.
Yet, the lobby pushing for redefining marriage argues that same-sex marriage does no harm to anyone else, so it should be legalised.
In the Australian Capital Territory there is a same-sex marriage bill before the legislative assembly, and in New South Wales a similar bill is planned.
These bills are proceeding despite the federal parliament’s decisive vote last year against redefining marriage, and despite such legislation being inconsistent with the Commonwealth
: If marriage is redefined in law, it would be legal to teach same-sex marriage, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual issues in schools. In fact, the courts may invoke anti-discrimination law to force these issues into schools.
The Australian Education Union’s policy declares that “homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism and intersex need to be normalised” in education (AEU
Policy on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People
, 2006). 1.
In 2006, the NSW Attorney-General’s Department produced a
Learn to Include: Teachers Manual
for primary schools. It provides a range of resources for teaching about same-sex parents in primary schools.
Advisors for the project included the Lesbian Health Project Officer, ACON Western Sydney; NSW Anti-Homophobia Interagency; the Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood, University of Melbourne; Education & Health Promotion Programs, Unit Family Planning Association Health (NSW); NSW Anti-Homophobia Interagency; and the NSW Teachers’ Federation. 2.
After same-sex marriage was legalised in California USA, the
Fair Education Act 2011
was passed. It was co-sponsored by the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and Equality California.
This law requires the teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history in California schools. 3.
: Same-sex marriage will greatly affect future children, denying many their birth right to their true biological identity.
Not only will it result in more children being born of donor conception and surrogacy, but the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual (GLBT) lobby is campaigning to have the birth certificates of children adopted by same-sex couples to be changed to record the same-sex couple in place of the biological parents (“LGBT rights in Australia”,
Already, the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby offers online advice about lesbian parenting laws in NSW. It’s “Q&A” section answers the question, “How do I get a new birth certificate for my child with our names on it?” 5.
A Sydney district court ruled in 2011 that a man who acted as a sperm donor to a lesbian couple had “no contractual right” to be on the birth certificate of his biological daughter (Sydney
, August 18, 2011). 6.
The Australian Human Rights Commission has recommended — in the interest of same-sex parents — that birth certificates should be open to recording any of the “birth mother, birth father, lesbian co-mother or gay co-father” (
Australian Human Rights Commission, p.107). 7.
This stands in contrast to Article 7 of the
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
(1989), which says: “The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.” 8.
While the GLBT lobby wants to replace biological parents’ names on birth certificates with the names of same-sex partners (“psychological” parents), there have been three inquiries into the rights of donor-conceived children to know their “biological” origins. These inquires were by: the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs inquiry (2011), the Victorian Law Reform Commission (2012) and the NSW Legislative Assembly (2012). 9, 10, 11.
All three inquiries recommended that donor-conceived children should have a right to access their biological mother/father.
will also be affected by same-sex marriage, particularly those associated with wedding services — photographers, caterers, function hire places — and bed-and-breakfast accommodation. Same-sex marriage law greatly increases the reach of anti-discrimination law.
In the U.S. state of New Mexico, where same-sex marriage is legal, the state’s supreme court last month found photographer Elaine Huguenin guilty under the
New Mexico Human Rights Act
of refusing to provide her services to a lesbian couple’s wedding (
, August 22, 2013). 12.
Two weeks after legislators in the U.S. state of Oregon passed a same-sex marriage law, a local maker of old-fashioned wedding trolleys was forced to shut down his business after being hounded by the GLBT lobby for refusing to supply a lesbian wedding function, according to the
(December 25, 2012).
The paper noted, “Wedding vendors elsewhere who refused to accommodate same-sex couples have faced discrimination lawsuits — and lost.” 13.
In Europe, a draft piece of European Union law known as the
Equal Treatment Directive
will, if passed, drastically increase pressure on business, particularly in countries recognising same-sex marriage. It will force businesses to provide goods or services that contravene their consciences on threat of being hauled before the courts if they don’t. 14.
will gain only temporary exemptions from involvement in same-sex marriages, at best.
Less than two weeks after same-sex marriage was signed into UK law, a lawsuit was lunched against a Church of England parish for refusing a wedding ceremony for two gay men. 15.
Last year, over 30 GLBT and rights groups told an inquiry into proposed consolidation of Australia’s federal anti-discrimination acts that there should be no exemptions, or only minimal exemptions, for churches and schools (
, May 26, 2012). 16.
Furthermore, in 2012 six ALP senators presented a dissenting report against the Senate inquiry recommending a same-sex marriage bill. These included: Senators Mark Furner, Ursula Stephens, Helen Polley, Alex Gallacher, Catryna Bilyk, Mark Bishop, Glenn Sterle.
In commenting on the bill’s exemptions clauses for the churches, to ensure that “ministers of religion will not be compelled to solemnise same-sex marriages”, the six ALP senators said:
“While churches remain at the mercy of legislation for such protection, it does not guarantee this protection, as events in Denmark and Scotland in recent times have shown. Denmark has passed legislation to compel churches to officiate at same-sex ceremonies and Scotland is considering same-sex marriage with no church exemption.
“In addition to churches and ministers remaining at the mercy of the government of the day, church-run schools could be subject to anti-discrimination laws as to what they can teach on the subject of marriage.” 17
Patrick J. Byrne is national vice-president of the National Civic Council.
Australian Education Union Policy on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People,
As adopted at the 2006 Annual Federal Conference.
2. Learn to Include Teachers Manual: Learn to Include Educational Series Teaching and Learning about Diverse Families in a Primary School Setting, Editor: Vicki Harding, NSW Attorney General’s Department. 2006.
3. FAIR Education Act: LGBTQ-Inclusive Lessons and Activities, gsaNetwork.
4. LGBTI Rights/Same-Sex Relationship Recognition Summary Table, LGBT rights in Australia, Wikipedia, as of September 23, 2013.
5. Lesbian Parenting Laws in NSW, Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (NSW).
6. Donor is young girl’s dad no more as lesbian wins court battle,
The Daily Telegraph
(Sydney), August 18, 2011.
Australian Human Rights Commission, pg. 107.
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Donor Conception Practices in Australia
, Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs inquiry 2011.
Inquiry in Access of Donor-Conceived People into Information about Donors,
Victorian Law Reform Commission, 2012.
The inclusion of donor details on the register of birth
. NSW Legislative Assembly Inquiry, 2012.
12. Ted Olson, “NM Supreme Court: Photographers can’t refuse gay weddings”,
, August 22, 2013.
13. Opposed to same-sex marriage, company ends wedding business,
The Baltimore Sun,
December 25, 2012.
14. "European Faith Made Private",
15. ‘I am still not getting what I want’: Gay couple suing church for refusing ‘wedding’, LifeSite News, August 2, 2013.
16. Push for new laws to attack churches, schools, by Patrick J. Byrne,
May 26, 2012
17. Dissenting report by individual Labor senators, Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010, June 6, 2012.
MR: Legal advice shows ACT 9 have overstepped the mark
· October 05, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Saturday 5th October 2013
Advice from the commonwealth Solicitor-General that the nine people in the ACT Legislative Assembly trying to redefine marriage for the nation have overstepped the mark should bring the debate to an end.
Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton said if
a report in today’s Weekend Australian
of legal advice to the Abbott Government is correct, then it was time to move on.
“This issue has had more than a fair go. There have been multiple Parliamentary inquiries and unsuccessful votes in federal and state Parliaments. An election was fought in part on Kevin Rudd’s pledge to legislate within 100 days,” Mr Shelton said.
“Labor’s worst primary vote in 100 years and the loss of 600,000 votes to the party of same-sex marriage, the Greens, demonstrates that voters are underwhelmed by this issue.
“Discrimination against same-sex couples in Australian law has long been removed and that is supported by the Australian people including Christian groups like ACL. There is no need to open up vulnerabilities to freedom of speech, freedom of belief and social justice for children by changing the definition of marriage.”
Mr Shelton urged the Government and the Parliament as a whole to take whatever action was necessary to protect the Commonwealth’s constitutional jurisdiction over marriage.
“I think the Australian people are becoming tired of the same-sex marriage lobbyists’ attempts to bring about legislation by fatigue. If they wish to persist with their campaign, they should put it to a referendum of the Australian people.
“Because of the consequences for freedom of speech, belief and the rights of children, all Australians should have a say if marriage is to be changed,” Mr Shelton said.
“There are more important issues facing the nation, such as the Government’s proposed cuts to overseas aid of $4.5 billion which was to go to our neighbours in extreme poverty.”
MR: Changing marriage not a priority for Tasmanians – it’s time to move on
· October 04, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Friday 4th October 2013
Tasmanian MLCs' should reject Independent MLC Ruth Forrest’s latest attempt to legislate a new definition of marriage, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
“Yet again we are seeing legislation by fatigue. People are sick and tired of this debate and keen to move on,” ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said.
“There is no new information from New South Wales – the legal advice remains the same. It is likely that any attempt to usurp Commonwealth power over marriage will end up being tested in the High Court,” Mr Brown said.
“Tasmania has an economy in dire straits and yet some of our politicians are more interested in a third go at euthanasia, a second go at same-sex marriage and a draconian abortion bill.
“The priorities are all wrong.
“Kevin Rudd just tried to fight a federal election with a promise to legislate same-sex marriage within 100 days and recorded the lowest Labor vote in 100 years.
“The party of same-sex marriage, the Greens, lost 600,000 votes,” Mr Brown said
Polling commissioned by ACL and conducted by JWS Research immediately after the September 7 election found that same-sex marriage was a low order issue with voters.
Just 13 per cent of voters rated it as a top three issue with just four per cent of Coalition voters putting in the top three. A staggering 72 per cent of Greens voters were not energised by same-sex marriage.
“In the past 12 months same-sex marriage bills have been defeated in the federal House of Representatives, the Senate, the Tasmanian Parliament and the South Australian Parliament. Voters on September 7 were underwhelmed by the issue.
“Surely it is time to move on.”
Mr Brown said if Ms Forrest wanted same-sex marriage she should explain why it would then be ok for some children to be removed through Assisted Reproductive Technology from their biological parents.
“This is the real social justice issue of this debate – the right of children to know and be loved wherever possibly by their natural parents. This is denied them through same-sex marriage.
“There is no discrimination against same-sex couples under Tasmanian or Commonwealth law but same-sex marriage will entrench inequality for children.
“It further normalises fatherless and motherless children. How can this be in children's best interest?
“The marriage debate is about redefining an institution which has deep significance for a lot of Australians from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.”
Mr Brown said some politicians seemed focussed on introducing as much radical social policy as they could before the March 2014 election.
MR: Labor should appeal to the mainstream on marriage
· October 02, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Wednesday October 2nd 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby said it would be a mistake for the Labor Party to lock its MPs into supporting same-sex marriage when voters are looking to both sides of politics to move on from the issue.
“The elevation of this issue again in the Labor leadership contest is unhelpful if the party wishes to appeal to a broad cross-section of the Australian community,” according to ACL managing director Lyle Shelton.
Mr Shelton said many Christians resonated with the policies of the Labor Party but calls to have a binding vote on same-sex marriage would be a turnoff for many Christians and Labor voters.
“Labor’s 2014 National Conference should really be focussing on how the party can better appeal to the centre on social policy, including how best to promote policy which supports, wherever possible, a mother and father for children,” he said.
“This issue has had a fair go over the past three years. It would be damaging for to Labor continue to tie itself to this agenda.”
Mr Shelton said 84 laws were changed in 2008 that removed discrimination from same-sex couples.
“After two parliamentary inquiries found no discrimination in Australian law against same-sex couples and several votes rejecting changing the definition of marriage, it is time to move on,” he said.
“We’ve just had an election fought in part on this issue and the result was the worst Labor vote in 100 years.
“The party of same-sex marriage, the Greens, lost 600,000 votes in a 3 per cent swing against them,” he said.
Mr Shelton said polling commissioned by ACL and conducted by JWS Research immediately after the September 7 election showed same-sex marriage is a low order issue with voters.
“Just 15 per cent of Labor voters said it was a top three issue influencing their vote while just four per cent of Coalition voters rated it as important,” he said.
“Seventy-two per cent of Greens voters are not energised by the issue.
“It is important that Labor maintains its ability to appeal to a broad range of people in the community,” he said.
Collective Shout's Melinda Liszewski on the Political Spot about France's new law banning beauty pageants for children
· September 24, 2013 10:00 AM
Melinda Liszewski is a spokeswoman from Collective Shout. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman she talks about a new law that has passed in the French Senate which bans beauty pageants for those under 16 years of age.
Parents alarmed by push to end TV restrictions
· September 18, 2013 10:00 AM
A media release by FamilyVoice Australia last week highlights parents' concerns about a push to end TV restrictions. Below is a copy of the release.
Parents alarmed by push to end TV restrictions
“Angry parents are telling us how strongly they oppose the new push by commercial TV stations to allow adult programs to be broadcast day and night, abolishing current time zones,” FamilyVoice Research Officer Ros Phillips said today.
“SA Attorney-General John Rau has spoken for many when he said
he would be appalled
if his children were exposed to material that displayed violence and blurred the lines with soft-core pornography. He pointed out that it is unrealistic to expect parents to monitor every single program their kids watch on TV, particularly during school holidays.”
Mrs Phillips said a petition begun less than 24 hours ago,
urging Communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull to keep TV clean for kids
, already has 140 signatures and counting.
Ruth Morrison of Launceston said: “I have sons, aged 7 and 4. It would be very unhelpful for our family to have to deal with this change, and unhelpful to the healthy development of my sons.”
Ros Phillips said an increasing number of children are growing up in homes where parents are physically or mentally absent. These parents are unlikely to use parental locks or direct children to ABC channels.
“Free TV is really saying that because children can now watch potentially harmful material on mobile phones and other devices, they should be able to watch it on TV,” Ros Phillips said. “Hello?? We need to provide protection for children on the other outlets as well!”
Ros Phillips said that over the years, Free TV has been steadily watering down the TV Code of Practice. The G time zones after school and daytime on weekends have already been abolished. Content guidelines have been progressively made more vague and less enforceable,” Mrs Phillips said. “The new proposal is yet another backward step.
“It’s hugely worrying because kids as young as 11 are already accessing pornography,” she said. “The
60 per cent rise
in ‘serious incidents of a sexual nature’ in SA schools over the past three years should be a wakeup call.”
, 12 SEPTEMBER 2013
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