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Pages tagged "media release"
MR: Marriage debate must go to the people (again)
· September 12, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Thursday 12th September 2013
A referendum of the Australian people should decide the future of marriage following a
that Kevin Rudd may introduce a private members' bill to redefine it in the new Parliament.
Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the issue of same-sex marriage achieved an incredibly high profile during the election campaign but proved not to be a vote winner for Mr Rudd and Labor.
“Any analysis of Saturday's election must take into account that this issue was front and centre of Labor's campaign but failed to attract votes amongst the broader Australian community,” Mr Shelton said.
bullying of Christian Pastor Matt Prater on Q&A
last week has caused many people to worry about freedom of speech and freedom of belief should the law on marriage be changed.
“There are many Australians who for reasons of conscience will always believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and will want to teach their children this,” Mr Shelton said.
“Mr Rudd's tone suggested that there was no place in Australia for these beliefs.”
Mr Shelton said it should not be up to politicians to change a law that would impact so heavily on freedom of speech, belief and religion.
“The far-reaching consequences of changing the definition of marriage mean a conscience vote of the Australian people, not politicians, is what is needed.”
Moves by the ACT and NSW parliaments to introduce same-sex marriage meant Australia risked having a hodgepodge of marriage laws when in reality the marriage power resided with the Commonwealth.
ACL's election panel webcast to 300 churches last week heard
former Attorney-General Robert McClelland and former deputy prime minister John Anderson
both call for a constitutional referendum to settle this matter (see from 40:53).
“I think the High Court will ultimately, if there is a change in the law, be required to determine what the constitutional founders meant when they included the marriage power in the constitution,” Mr McClelland said.
“I don't think that's a comfortable place for the High Court to be. I think if there is going to be any reform in this area, and I don't think there should be, but if there is it should be through the public debating it through the course of a referendum.”
Mr McClelland reminded the audience that his 2009 reforms to 85 laws meant there was no discrimination against same-sex couples.
Mr Anderson said he was “deeply troubled by the lack of civility” in the debate.
“I think this debate puts politicians under unbelievable pressure because the community is so polarised.
“I actually think this now needs to go to the people.”
Mr Anderson said a referendum should come with a “publicly funded, properly articulated yes and no case”.
He said there should also be an honest acknowledgement of what changing the law on marriage would mean for freedom of belief and the right to express that belief.
He also said the rights of children, wherever possible, to be raised by both their biological parents should be part of the debate.
MR: Senator Hanson-Young right to sue over photo-shopped image in Zoo Magazine
· September 12, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Friday 13th September 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby supports Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young’s legal action again Zoo Magazine for objectifying her.
ACL spokeswoman Wendy Francis said the magazine demeaned the Senator and by extension all women who were seeking to make a serious contribution to public debate.
“Zoo magazine, obviously short of ideas and creativity, simply decided they could separate the senator’s head from her body and replace her body with that of a bikini model,” Ms Francis said.
“Who gains from this? Zoo magazine must think they do.
“Who loses? Well, apart from the obvious victim of disrespect, Ms Hanson-Young, every other Australian woman, old and young alike, who aspire to be taken seriously in their chosen profession.
“Not only did the cut-and-paste photographic job demean Ms Hanson-Young, it also demeaned one of the most important issues facing our country.”
The article, titled "ZOO's Asylum Seeker Bikini Plan" was published in July 2012, a week after the Senator addressed the Senate regarding Australia's humanitarian intake of asylum-seekers.
But NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum does not agree, saying yesterday at the hearing into the matter that she did not believe the photo made the senator look incompetent or immature.
Justice McCallum, however, granted Senator Hanson-Young leave to argue her case in front of a jury. The case will be heard at a later date.
“I’m sure the jury will have no trouble seeing what Zoo Magazine is doing for the status of women through this sort of activity,” Ms Francis said.
MR: Same-sex marriage not a vote winner
· September 07, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Sunday 8th September 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby congratulates the Coalition on its election win and says it demonstrates that despite the incredibly high profile during the campaign of same-sex marriage, it was not a vote winner for Labor.
“It is clear that changing the definition of marriage is not something that defined the way Australians voted despite Labor’s high-profile campaigning on it and strong support for it in the media,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said.
“Australia has an opportunity now to move on from this debate but if same-sex marriage activists persist in the new Parliament, it should go back to the people again for the ultimate conscience vote in a referendum,” Mr Shelton said.
“Mr Rudd’s bullying of a Christian pastor on Q&A in the final week of the campaign made Australians feel uncomfortable with the consequences for freedom of speech and freedom of belief should the law on marriage be changed,” Mr Shelton said.
“It should not be up to politicians to decide to normalise this sort of treatment of fellow Australians who will always believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Mr Shelton said reforms in 2008 meant there was no discrimination against same-sex couples under Australian law and it was unnecessary to divide people in the way Mr Rudd did by changing the definition of marriage.
Despite the Greens championing of same-sex marriage, they had suffered a swing against them while a pro traditional marriage political party, Family First, looks to have picked up a Senate seat in South Australia.
Mr Shelton hoped Labor would realise the error of following Greens’ social policy and of having changed its party platform on marriage at its 2011 National Conference.
“There is an opportunity now for Labor to further distance itself from the Greens and move back to the sensible centre on social policy as part of its rebuilding process.”
MR: ACL urges Coalition to rethink ISP filtering
· September 06, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Friday 6th September 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby is urging the Coalition to rethink its opposition to internet filtering, Managing Director Lyle Shelton said.
“Initially we were heartened to hear that the Coalition had come to the position that only two months ago that British Prime Minister David Cameron had come to - that internet filtering was a necessary government intervention to protect children from exposure to pornography,” he said.
“For a fleeting moment last night it looked like the Coalition was in agreement with its colleagues in the UK.”
Mr Shelton said it ISP filtering is far too important an initiative to be turned into a political football.
“In criticising the Coalition’s back flip on ISP filtering, Labor has ignored its own culpability on the issue – only last year did the Labor government renege on its 2007 and 2010 election commitment to introduce mandatory filtering of illegal content such as rape porn and bestiality porn from overseas,” he said.
In July, the ACL welcomed news that British Prime Minister David Cameron would introduce mandatory internet filtering if ISP’s did not act to protect children.
“Extreme libertarian views within politics leave children exposed to harmful content. Filtering technology has been proven not to slow the internet and effective at providing better protection. A civil society should deploy it,” he said.
MR: Coalition pledge to cut aid deeply disappointing
· September 05, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Thursday 5th September 2013
The Coalition’s decision today to cut $4.7 billion from overseas aid is deeply disappointing, according to Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton.
“I think Australians are generally proud of the fact that we have been increasing our aid to the world’s poor in recent years,” Mr Shelton said.
“Under the Coalition’s plan, we’ll now build better roads for ourselves with money that could have helped keep kids alive in countries where sealed roads are a luxury,” Mr Shelton said.
“We all want to see Australia prosper but compared to many countries in our region we are rich and our aid budget is very modest compared to what we spend on ourselves,” Mr Shelton said.
Australia currently spends 0.37 per cent of Gross National Income on aid with Labor promising to get to 0.5pc by 2017-18 – still well short of the original Millennium Development Goal promise Australia made to reach 0.75pc by 2015.
Labor recently diverted some of the aid budget to fund asylum seeker costs, something the Coalition condemned at the time.
Christian churches and particularly young people through Micah Challenge have been at the forefront of campaigning to keep our national promise to the world’s poor.
“It is disappointing to see bi-partisanship on this now gone,” Mr Shelton said.
“Many Christians will feel let down by both major parties in the lead-up to this election.”
To see where the parties stand on aid and other policy issues go to
MR: New iPhone app takes activism to next level
· August 27, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Wednesday, 28th August 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby is pleased to launch an iPhone App that it hopes will revolutionise online political activism.
ACL’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the app has been six months in the making and will make it easier for people to get in touch with parliamentarians.
“Based on users’ data, the app identifies their local MP and how they can reach them,” he said.
ACL is putting the new App to good use this election, make the parties’ responses to its election questionnaire available through the App.
“In the lead up to the election this will be invaluable information people can view to help them cast an informed vote,” he said.
Other features of the App include:
The latest updates from ACL in your state and nationally.
ACL's weekly radio program, 'The Political Spot'.
Push notifications let you know about new campaigns. Know when to send an email or sign a petition.
An ability to share ACL campaigns through Facebook, Twitter and email.
“We’ve developed this App in response to changes in the way people interact and use mobile phones to read news, respond to issues and share information with others,” Mr Shelton said.
The ACL is in the process of developing an android version. The iPhone app can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple Store
MR: Voluntary euthanasia in Tas can never be safe: ACL
· August 22, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Thursday 22nd August 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has again rejected claims by proponents of voluntary euthanasia that the assisted dying model proposed for Tasmania would be safe.
A report is still to be publicised from a consultation paper released in February ahead of the likely introduction into state parliament of a Private Members’ Bill sponsored by Premier Lara Giddings and Greens leader Nick McKim.
ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said parliaments around Australia have knocked back legalised euthanasia in the last four years because of fears euthanasia could never be made safe for vulnerable, sick and elderly patients.
“The relatively short experience of legalised euthanasia in the Northern Territory found safeguards to be ineffectual,” Mr Brown said.
“A report into the practical outworking of the legislation revealed four of the seven people who made use of the Act ‘revealed prominent features of depression, highlighting its strong role in decision-making by those seeking euthanasia. Alarmingly, these patients went untreated by a system preoccupied with meeting the requirements of the Act’s schedules rather than delivering competent medical care to depressed patients’
“According to a Tasmanian Council of Social Services Report, elder abuse is already a growing social problem affecting an estimated 4,000 elderly Tasmanians every year.
“Even with the safeguards of doctor assessments and cooling off periods under the euthanasia legislation proposed, there is still the possibility of coercion,” he said.
Mr Brown also said legislators are not the only ones concerned about the proposed legislation.
“The Australian Medical Association (AMA) and a significant number of doctors oppose such legislation.
“Disability rights groups also have been known to be resistant to legalised euthanasia due to fear such laws would lead to increased pressure to end lives prematurely[i],” he said.
[i] Kissane DW (2002) Deadly days in Darwin, in K. Foley & H. Hendin (Eds.),
The Case Against Assisted Suicide
, pp. 192-209. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press
MR: ACL welcomes push by Melbourne City Council to ban sexualised advertising
· August 09, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Friday, 9th August 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has today welcomed the decision by the Melbourne City Council to push for the banning of ads that sexualise women.
ACL spokesperson Wendy Francis says the initiative is a much-needed step towards dealing with the objectification of women in outdoor advertising.
“ACL congratulates Lord Mayor Robert Doyle for his stand against offensive and sexist imagery in Melbourne’s public spaces.
“This sets an example for other city councils around Australia to crack-down on sexualised advertising that threatens our children’s innocence and promotes negative representations of women and girls,” Mrs Francis said.
Apart from advocating for a ban on advertising that sexualises and objectifies women, the Council will also encourage the community to report such material.
The plan also includes creating special safety zones for women in the inner city with CCTV surveillance, strong lighting and security patrols.
“It is encouraging also to see the Brisbane City Council this week pass new legislation around flashing billboards so they don’t cause distraction to drivers.
“We urge other city councils and state governments to follow suit; there is currently an inquiry into sexualised outdoor advertising in Queensland to provide greater regulation around this issue.
“These are the types of measures we need to ensure our public spaces are made safe for all, especially women and children,” Mrs Francis said.
MR: ACL urges vote for candidates who support man-woman marriage
· August 06, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Tuesday 6th August 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby will email 100,000 people the views of their local candidates on marriage in the lead-up to the election.
ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said he had emailed ALP and Coalition candidates and as many minor party candidates as possible seeking their views.
“We will be doing our best to let as many people as possible know where their local candidate stands.
“We will be urging people to vote for a candidate, regardless of party affiliation, who will support upholding the definition of marriage,” Mr Shelton said.
“Changing marriage does not have to be inevitable and the election is an opportunity for people to make their views known in the privacy of the polling booth.”
In the past 11 months, same-sex marriage bills had been defeated in the Federal, Tasmanian and South Australian parliaments.
Mr Shelton said the Australian Christian Lobby supported the Rudd Government’s removal in 2008 of invidious discrimination against same-sex couples and was pleased two parliamentary inquiries found there was no practical discrimination in Australian law against same-sex couples.
“There is no reason to change the definition of marriage," he said.
“Changing the definition of marriage means we are saying as a society that marriage between a man and a woman is no longer an ideal nor an essential building block for raising children to know the love and nurture of their biological parents.
“This is a radical change in our social norms and one that should not be undertaken lightly.
“Equal love might be fine for adults but changing the Marriage Act has ramifications far beyond same-sex couples.
"The perceived benefit in redefining marriage doesn't outweigh the impact it will have on society's understanding, value and role we place on man-woman marriage," he said.
MR: ACT Govt should leave marriage to federal jurisdiction
· July 29, 2013 10:00 AM
For release: Monday 29th July 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby is urging the ACT Labor-Greens government to leave marriage laws to the federal jurisdiction and avoid an ad hoc approach to Australia’s marriage laws.
ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said reports that Attorney-General Simon Corbell is planning on introducing legislation for “same-sex” marriage in the ACT Assembly would create inconsistent marriage laws, given the federal parliament and two state parliaments recently rejected same-sex marriage bills.
“It makes no sense for the ACT, a small legislature without the checks and balances of state parliaments, to be legislating on something as radical as changing the definition of marriage,” Mr Shelton said.
“There should at least be a public inquiry with the ability for residents to make submissions and give evidence.
“The ethics of denying children the right to a mother or father should also be part of the debate,” he said.
“Any unilateral move by the ACT is likely to end up in the High Court. Rather than having judges decide this important social issue, it should be put to the Australian people in a referendum,” Mr Shelton said.
“Last week’s NSW committee inquiry report made it clear that any state based law on redefining marriage could be subject to a High Court Challenge,” he said.
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