Gender & Sexuality
Freedoms & Public Christianity
Sexualisation of Society
Poverty and Justice
Pray for Parliament
Pages tagged "parents"
ACL declines Kennett offer to replace PM at conference
· September 08, 2012 10:00 AM
For release: Saturday, September 8, 2012
The ACL has politely declined Beyondblue chairman Jeff Kennett’s offer to replace the Prime Minister at its National Conference.
Mr Wallace said Mr Kennett had also been the victim of aggressive gay activist bullying after he wrote a column in the Herald Sun saying: “
there is no substitute for parents of both genders
“Unlike Mr Kennett, who
funding was threatened
, ACL stands by its principles that kids should wherever possible have the opportunity to be raised by their biological mother and father,” Mr Wallace said.
“I’m not sure what purpose would be served in having Jeff Kennett speak. This is a man who compromised his principles in the face of the aggressive gay activist campaign against him,” Mr Wallace said.
“At ACL truth is not something to be compromised for political or financial favour.”
MR: Demonisation campaign against gay parenting study foiled as researcher cleared
· September 03, 2012 10:00 AM
For release: Monday, September 3, 2012
A campaign of demonisation by gay activists against a study critical of gay parenting has been exposed by the clearance of its author of claims his methodology was flawed.
The University of Texas said sociologist Dr Mark Regnerus had no case of “scientific misconduct” to answer.
Dr Regnerus had been the subject of a vitriolic campaign by activists since his
New Family Structures study
, published in the peer reviewed journal
Social Science Research
, found that there were disadvantages to children being raised by same-sex couples on 25 out of 40 measures. The study stated: “children appear most apt to succeed well as adults – on multiple counts and across a variety of domains – when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father”.
Activists disputed the validity of his study and called for an inquiry, after which the review panel said no investigation was warranted.
Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Jim Wallace said the clearing of Dr Regnerus was a win for academic freedom.
“Rather than involving ’scientific misconduct’, this study is one of the best ever done on same-sex parenting, using a large, national probability sampled population, acknowledged even by critics as the ‘gold standard for all social sciences’,” Mr Wallace said.
“This meant it was able to avoid some of the flaws in previous studies, such as self-selection and small sample sizes.”
In the same edition of
Social Science Research
, Loren Marks published
of previous studies, many of which have been used by organisations such as the American Psychological Association and the Australian Psychological Society to assert that studies do not find any difference between same-sex and opposite-sex parenting.
Mr Wallace said Marks and Regnerus had challenged the common assertion made by gay activists that children parented by same-sex couples did just as well as those raised by their intact biological parents.
Marks analysed 59 studies and found that every one had serious methodological flaws, and failed to use large, random, representative samples of children from same-sex households.
In light of the flaws in previous studies, Regnerus’ study is an important one in the debate about same-sex parenting and same-sex marriage.
Mr Wallace urged Federal MPs and Senators about to resume debate on the four bills in Parliament to redefine marriage to consider the research about same-sex parenting.
“Same-sex marriage implies a right to same-sex parenting but it is obvious from the research that this is a big social experiment that may not be in the best interests of children,” Mr Wallace said.
“The vitriolic attacks by same-sex activists and allegations of misconduct when Regnerus’ study did not agree with them have been proven to be without substance. The dismissal of the case against him is a victory for academic freedom.”
“Debate around this issue should likewise be conducted with respect for those who disagree with the political agenda of gay activists,” Mr Wallace said.
Mark Regnerus (2012), ‘How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study’,
Social Science Research
, 41 (2012) 752-770, 766.
MR: Tas surrogacy laws set up another stolen generation
· August 30, 2012 10:00 AM
Thursday, 30 August, 2012
Last night the upper house of the Tasmanian parliament passed surrogacy laws allowing singles, heterosexual and same-sex couples to have access to altruistic surrogacy.
ACL is disappointed to see the rights to children once again put second place to the desires of adults.
“The ACL holds the view that the law should dissuade adults from entering into surrogacy arrangements because it is a practice fraught with legal and emotional complexities for all parties,” said ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown.
“The Bill passed last night denies a child’s fundamental right to at least begin life with a mother and father by allowing singles and same-sex couples to access surrogacy.”
“Are we in 20 years going to see another apology made, as in the case of forced adoptions, to children who may be deprived of, or in some cases even knowing, a mother or father?”
“Having learned nothing from the past, we are setting up another stolen generation of kids denied their biological mother or father,” Mr Brown said.
The UN Declaration on the Rights of a Child states that the child:
...shall, wherever possible, grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his parents, a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother
“Wherever possible, our government should be affirming this, and in the best interests of children, give them the right to at least begin life with their natural mother and father.”
“It is disappointing to see the Parliament ignore the vast body of evidence of harm caused to children brought about through donor conception who are denied their biological heritage.”
The danger of Savulescu's genetic screening argument
· August 29, 2012 10:00 AM
Wednesday, 29 August, 2012
Last week, well-known philosopher and bioethicist Julian Savulescu caused a stir in the United Kingdom when he suggested that we have a “moral obligation” to create so-called designer babies using genetic screening. According to Savulescu – who made his comments in the latest edition of Reader’s Digest - doing so would cause children to grow up “ethically better.” He also believes that giving parents the opportunity to screen out personality flaws would produce offspring less likely to harm themselves and others.
Aside from the basic moral and ethical dilemmas this logic presents – the human desire to play ‘god’, for instance – the consequences of a genetically modified society would be disastrous.
There are a number of critical problems in Savulescu’s thinking:
Savulescu contradicts himself; on the one hand, he describes genetic screening as a “moral obligation” for our society whilst on the other, he advocates for it to be voluntary. In his article, he states that it would be different to the eugenics movements the Nazis use because the nature of it would be voluntary.
system Savulescu suggests is a problem in itself. Allowing a system of voluntary genetic modification creates a future divided society and the prospect of a new and more serious form of segregation based on genotype. Not only would it discourage a person to be themselves, it would deflate the idea of being a unique individual. It would cause a significant rift between those who can afford genetic modification and those who cannot. If society embraces the choice for genetic screening, it will normalise the process. This would mean that should parents decide not to comply, they would be regarded as ‘abnormal,’ and will thus result in a dreadful cultural norm.
He states that by screening in and screening out certain genes in the embryos, it should be possible to influence how a child turns out. The process of genetic screening as identified by Savulescu has no influence on how a child turns out. Rather, it discards the embryos that we do not like and keeps the ones we do. In an interview with the Australian Christian Lobby, Dr Greg Pike, a bioethicist from Southern Cross Bioethics Institute, said that there is one fundamental problem underlying Savulescu’s thinking: genes are influential in determining physical traits such as eye colour, but it is extremely difficult to connect a person’s genes to behaviours such as violence.
It is significant to also note that although Savulescu has stated he opposes legalising infanticide – killing a baby within one year of birth – he defended a controversial article published earlier in the year by two of his colleagues in the
Journal of Medical Ethics
(he is the editor of the publication) which contended that newborn babies are not “actual persons” and parents should have the right to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born. Peter Singer, a renowned ethicist and philosopher, holds similar beliefs. He argues that persons with very severe disabilities have a lesser right to life and believes that because of this, parents should be able to choose before or after birth whether they want their child to live or die.
It is important to question where this agenda and type of thinking is headed. If genetically modifying unborn children becomes the norm in society, we are essentially allowing ourselves to tamper with what is inherently natural. We are cleaning up the human gene pool of all the ‘bad stuff,’ making judgements on whom we want around and who we would rather be rid of. This mentality goes against the very core moral conscience of humanity. If we are allowing our medical professionals to tamper with human life, to abort our unborn children, or kill them even when they are born, what is next? Will we allow doctors to kill any person, young or old, with a disability, and then get punished for it if we do not comply? We cannot allow such dangerous thinking to remain uncontested and take root in society’s moral and ethical behaviour patterns.
Patrick Secker delivers speech supporting marriage
· August 22, 2012 10:00 AM
Parliamentary debate on the marriage amendment bill began on Monday night in the House of Representatives. Liberal MP Patrick Secker was among five Members who spoke, of which three spoke against any amendment to the current definition of marriage in the
Mr Secker, the Member for the South Australian seat of Barker, said he believes that "marriage should be between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others."
He also spoke of the importance of politicians keeping their election promises, referring to the Labor Party's promise to retain the current definition of marriage.
Citing the situation in the US state of Massachusetts, where parents have lost the right to withdraw their primary school children from classes which teach same-sex marriage, Mr Secker also expressed great concern about what effect a change to the
might have on the rights of parents in Australia.
To read Mr Secker's speech, click
. To read all five speeches given on Monday night, click
and read from page 108.
Vic director debates same-sex marriage at Monash University
· August 16, 2012 10:00 AM
ACL's Dan Flynn's speech begins at the 58 minute part in the above video.
[caption id="attachment_20626" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Negative Team - Photo Courtesy of Monash University"]
On Wednesday the 1st of August, the ACL’s Victorian State Director Dan Flynn participated in the Annual Monash University Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Public Debate to more than 150 people. The topic was on same-sex marriage.
Mr Flynn was on the negative team to answer the question “Should same-sex marriage be legalised?” He was joined by debater Gemma Buckley and Prof. Nicholas Tonti-Filippini of the
John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family.
The affirmative team consisting of Sue Pennicuik MLC, A/Professor Paula Gerber and Ms Madeline Schultz argued among other things that since 9 out of 192 countries having legalised same-sex marriage (SSM) Australia was “falling behind”. They further argued that SSM was a human right that should be afforded to gay couples.
Gemma Buckley, first negative, took the position that marriage would confer no benefits to gay couples and that there was no discrimination remaining against them.
Prof. Tonti-Filippini contended that marriage was a biological institution involving mutual and unilateral obligations of motherhood and fatherhood that have a biological origin.
He said that this process of redefinition of parenthood would be a cause of great injustice to children denying them the right to know, to have access to and be nurtured by their biological parents, especially fathers but also mothers.
“We are in danger of creating another stolen generation,” he told the audience.
[caption id="attachment_20627" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="ACL Vic Director Dan Flynn - Photo Courtesy of Monash University"]
Mr Flynn stated that the power of marriage comes from a tradition that emphasizes permanence through monogamy and commitment for life.
He contended that legalising SSM is likely to reduce the commitment to permanence in the institution because the male gay culture is not a monogamous culture and gay activists have contributed to a view of marriage that is not so much about “till death us do part” but for as long as both parties find satisfaction in it.
Mr Flynn went on to develop the “grand bargain”
(as coined by Prof. Robert George of Princeton University)
being offered by revisionists, namely:
“We will accept your redefinition of marriage. You will respect our right to act on our conscience without penalty...”
Mr Flynn said that this bargain will never be honoured by revisionists except in the short term for tactical reasons to achieve marriage redefinition.
After detailing curtailments on civil liberties and freedom of conscience that will flow from redefinition of marriage, Mr Flynn pointed out that support for SSM has fallen from 62% to 50% from February to May this year and that 73% of people believe children are best with their biological parents.
Mr Flynn said that discrimination was removed against same-sex couples when the government changed laws in 2008.
The debate was followed by extensive question and answer session.
When a member of the audience challenged the importance of biological parentage to a child, Mr Flynn said that Elton John thought it mattered when he said that his son Zachery “will be heartbroken when he finds out he hasn’t got a mother”.
Sign in with Facebook
Sign in with Twitter
Sign in with Email
Optional email code
Get instant access to news about political issues facing christians