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Freedom from Discrimination
Pages tagged "discrimination"
US Supreme Court to hear cases on gay marriage
· December 13, 2012 11:00 AM
Last week the US Supreme Court announced it would hear two cases next year relating to same-sex marriage.
The main case concerns the constitutionality of Proposition 8, a voter initiative in California that banned gay marriage. In June 2008, same-sex couples were granted a license to marry after a Californian Supreme Court ruled that they have a constitutional right to marry. This decision was overturned after more than one million signatures were received in a petition to see the fulfilment of Proposition 8.
The second case relates to entitlements - whether a couple is recognised when it comes to tax laws, health insurance and other federal benefits for spouses. The situation is different to here in Australia where laws were changed in 2008 to remove discrimination from same-sex couples when it came to tax, health, superannuation and other benefits.
The New York Times has advocated for same-sex marriage but a recent
published by the newspaper raises doubts about whether the time is right for such a case. The cases will be argued in March with a decision expected in June.
ACL's Chief-of-Staff Lyle Shelton was recently interviewed on the ACL's Political Spot radio program on the Supreme Court's decision to hear the cases on gay marriage. Listen to his thoughts
MR: ACL welcomes retention of protections for religious freedom anti-discrimination law shake-up
· November 20, 2012 11:00 AM
For release: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby has broadly welcomed the release of the exposure draft legislation to consolidate Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws.
Managing Director Jim Wallace said ACL was still to examine it in detail but was grateful the Government had honoured its commitment to retain protections for religious freedom.
Mr Wallace said ACL had some concern about the reversal of the onus of proof that it could create a vulnerability in terms of giving rise to vexatious complaints.
“This is something we will want to see properly investigated by the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee,” Mr Wallace said.
MR: Freedom of speech and freedom of religion threatened by Tasmanian anti-discrimination legislation
· November 14, 2012 11:00 AM
For release: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Freedom of speech and freedom of religion will be diminished in Tasmania if amendments to anti-discrimination legislation are passed by the Parliament, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
The Anti-Discrimination Amendment Bill 2012, which is being debated today, would threaten the ability of religious schools to maintain their ethos, ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said.
“In the same way political parties are able to positively discriminate in favour of people who share their ethos, religious schools should also have this right in order to preserve their distinctives,” Mr Brown said.
The proposed changes would deny schools the ability to select students according to the faith and values of students or their parents.
Schools could apply for an exception on a case-by-case basis but the requirements are onerous.
“The proposed changes to the Bill violate the rights of parents who want to educate their children a certain way, and the rights of those children who share their parents’ faith and values,” Mr Brown said.
“Article 18(4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) specifically protects the right of parents “to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions".
“Faith-based schools should have the right to determine their enrolments according to their mission and purpose. This is to ensure that the religious ethos and community culture of the school is maintained,” Mr Brown said.
“Instead of case-by-case exceptions, there should be a general exemption allowing schools to select students of the particular faith of the school.
“Just as single-sex schools will positively discriminate in selecting students of one sex, schools which are set up to serve a particular faith community must be allowed to uphold the purpose and intent of their schools by selecting students of a particular faith, should they choose to do so,” Mr Brown said.
The proposed legislation would also expand the prohibition of conduct which “offends, humiliates, intimidates, insults, or ridicules".
Mr Brown said such changes would threaten free speech and open dialogue and increase unnecessary litigation, concerns which are heightened by the experience with anti-vilification laws in Victoria.
“ACL certainly objects to behaviour that incites hatred or ridicules another but to open the prohibition of offence to things like religious or political belief or sexual orientation is a threat to freedom of speech. Who doesn’t get offended or insulted at times by others’ differences of opinion? This is part of living in a democracy,” Mr Brown said.
“Censoring free speech based on hurt feelings is to trivialise discrimination and is political correctness gone mad.”
Mark Brown on The Political Spot
· November 13, 2012 11:00 AM
Mark Brown is the Tasmanian Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. He spoke to Daniel Simon about proposed changes to Tasmania's anti-discrimination laws.
Tas Director Letter to Supporters - November 2012
· November 09, 2012 11:00 AM
The Tasmanian Director Mark Brown’s letter to supporters in the state is now available online.
In late September the Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2012 was defeated in the Tasmanian Legislative Council 8 votes to 6. This came soon after the defeats of bills to redefine marriage in the Federal Parliament. These were great wins for all of us who hold marriage dear.
to continue reading.
The Hon Robert McClelland's speech at the ACL National Conference 2012
· October 17, 2012 11:00 AM
The Hon Robert McClelland MP is the Labor Federal Member for Barton (NSW) and the former Attorney-General of Australia. He spoke at ACL's National Conference 2012 about the federal government's review of anti-discrimination law. Click
The Hon Robert McClelland on The Political Spot
· October 16, 2012 11:00 AM
Robert McClelland has been the Labor Member for Barton since 1996, and was Attorney-General of Australia from 2007 to 2011. He spoke at the Australian Christian Lobby's National Conference about the federal government's review of anti-discrimination law. Here are some highlights of his speech. Click
to listen to the whole speech.
Persecution of Christians: Dr Patrick Sookhdeo speaking at Barnabas Fund event in Sydney
· September 24, 2012 10:00 AM
Barnabas Fund warmly invites you to attend special 'Proclaim Freedom' events in Bankstown and Parramatta, where its International Director, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo will tackle the question:
"How can we remain silent while Christians are being persecuted?"
Barnabas Fund exists to provide practical aid for the Church where Christians face persecution, discrimination or disadvantage in various countries around the world.
We encourage you to support the work of the Fund by attending this event in light of the persecution Christians face daily around the world.
Details for the events are below.
Tuesday 16 October 2012
Revesby Presbyterian Church
55 Tower Street, Revesby NSW
Wednesday 17 October 2012
St. John's Cathedral Hall
195 Church Street, Parramatta NSW
Qld Director Letter to Supporters - September 2012
· September 14, 2012 10:00 AM
The Queensland Director, Wendy Francis, letter to supporters in the state is now available online.
On Saturday, 28th July our State conference saw around 200 people gathering in Brisbane to listen to, and to be inspired and challenged by, a range of speakers including Hon Fiona Simpson, researcher Mark McCrindle, Jim Wallace and Bravehearts Director, Hetty Johnston.
to read the rest of Wendy’s letter.
MR: Fourth gay marriage bill making a farce of Parliament
· August 24, 2012 10:00 AM
Friday, 24 August, 2012
The fourth same-sex marriage bill to be tabled is a farcical attempt by Green-Labor politicians to give false prominence to an issue they know doesn’t have Parliamentary support, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
The bill follows an identical private member’s bill by Labor’s Stephen Jones, and similar bills by Adam Bandt and Andrew Wilkie in the lower house, and a further bill by Greens’ Senator Sarah Hanson-Young in the Senate.
“The longer this drags on, the more farcical it becomes,” ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said today.
“What an insult to MPs that activist have loaded the Parliament with four bills, and that parliamentarians would become complicit in such an obvious waste of Parliamentary time.
“All this follows three Parliamentary inquiries in the past two years, none of which presented evidence of any discrimination against same-sex couples,” Mr Wallace said.
”Labor should think about the damage this is doing to their brand and put some distance between themselves and this shameful Greens-inspired activism,” Mr Wallace said.
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