Gender & Sexuality
Freedoms & Public Christianity
Sexualisation of Society
Poverty and Justice
Pages tagged "rights"
Questioning the Charter of Rights
· June 14, 2010 10:00 AM
Why Christians should question the 'Australian Bill of Rights'... with our ACL Director, Jim Wallace
Rushed laws to give rights body draconian powers
· March 22, 2010 11:00 AM
For release: March 22, 2010
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today expressed alarm at the prospect of laws being rushed through the Victorian Parliament which would give unprecedented powers to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission to launch investigations without the pretext of even a single complaint.
ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said stakeholders were given only a short time to comment on the complex Equal Opportunity Bill 2010 despite its huge implications for civil liberties and religious freedom.
“The Government’s intention to arm the Goliath-like and largely unaccountable Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission with powers to launch discrimination investigations at whim shows it has learnt nothing from the costly and protracted ‘two Dannies’ case which arose after the Commission sent people to a seminar to be offended,” Mr Ward said.
“The proposed extension of powers to enable the Commission to investigate possible discrimination without even a single complaint being lodged is both excessive and unwarranted. It could see an ideologically-motivated Commission forcing small businesses, religious organisations and other employers to do battle with them over problems that don’t even exist.”
Mr Ward said that after examining the legislation, the ACL is also concerned that it imposes on religious bodies and religious schools an ‘inherent requirements’ test whereby the organisation is only able to insist on employing people who share its beliefs and values if it can prove that this is “an inherent requirement of the particular position”. Media comments by Rob Hulls and Helen Szoke make it clear that this clause will be interpreted in a way which would restrict religious
“We welcome the retention of exceptions from discrimination laws for religious bodies and schools in the new bill but are concerned about the ‘inherent requirements’ provision which will lead to uncertainty for religious organisations in their employment processes,” he said.
“Ironically, no such test applies for political parties wanting to employ people. It seems that the Labor Party will be free to employ a receptionist who they insist be a member of the Party and discriminate against anyone who is not, while a Christian school may not have the same freedom to employ a receptionist who is a Christian – complete freedom for political parties but not for Christian schools?”
Mr Ward urged all parliamentarians to take a close look at the bill and to
eliminate provisions which would give unnecessary and excessive power to the Commission, and to also remove the bill’s ‘inherent requirements’ test.
“This complex and far-reaching bill goes too far, imposes too much, and is being rushed through Parliament without meaningful consideration,” he said.
Media Contact: Rob Ward on 0408 348 352 or Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979.
ACL urges Labor not to trample children’s rights
· February 10, 2010 11:00 AM
For release: February 10, 2010
With debate about to start today on the Surrogacy Bill 2009, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has written to all Queensland Labor and Independent MPs urging them to do what is right and delay and split the bill so that surrogacy for single adults and same-sex couples is considered separately.
“It is wrong, and an act of little less than deceit, that the Bligh Government is making the pretence of this being a conscience vote, while refusing to split the government bill to allow any real choice on whether to support heterosexual altruistic surrogacy without supporting surrogacy for homosexuals and singles,” ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace wrote in the letter to Labor MPs.
Mr Wallace today said that he had written the letters to ensure that Labor and Independent MPs understood the gravity of concern about the surrogacy legislation and carefully weighed up their position.
“We are so concerned that the best interests of the child are being overridden by this legislation that we will be carefully monitoring how individual MPs vote on the surrogacy bill and considering our political response in the context of the next election,” he said.
Below is the full text of Mr Wallace’s letter:
”I am writing this urgent letter in the hope that you will honour the fundamental right of children in Queensland to at least begin life with the complementary love and care of a mother and a father.
It is a reality in this world that there are things that are right and things that are wrong. What your government is proposing is very wrong.
It is wrong to the point of being a breach of your most sacred duty, demanded by both convention and international law, that you only ever act in the best interests of the child in public policy.
It is wrong that the timing of this bill being tabled and voted on was contrived so that the great majority of constituents with genuine concerns about this legislation were unable to discuss them with their elected representative because they were on holidays.
It is wrong, and an act of little less than deceit, that the Bligh Government is making the pretence of this being a conscience vote, while refusing to split the government bill to allow any real choice on whether to support heterosexual altruistic surrogacy without supporting surrogacy for homosexuals and singles. You well know that the Opposition Bill does not give your people a real choice given the onventions on party loyalty on Opposition bills.
It is wrong, that this is being done as a matter of ideology against the majority opinion of Queenslanders, and instead is a response to the political demands of the gay and lesbian rights lobby which cannot even claim to represent the majority of the homosexual community, itself only around 2% of the population.
It is wrong that through this bill, children and their inalienable right to a father and mother will become another casualty in the relentless push by this unrepresentative political movement to “normalise” their relationships, which clearly are not normal as the inability to procreate naturally proves.
It is wrong to add to this offence against children, by including the fabrication of “birth” certificates to exclude a child’s biological parents by this legislation.
It is wrong that voting for the whole bill has been presented as necessary to avoid seeing desperate couples go to jail, when the deterrents for breaking the law could easily have been framed so as to avoid this happening, perhaps by focussing on fines for the provider of the service.
But it is entirely right, even at this late stage, for you to let the Premier know that you are not happy with the choice before you and demand that further consideration of this Bill be delayed until it can be split and offer real choice.
I pray that you will decide to do what is right.”
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979.
21,000 people urge parliament to say ‘no’ to charter of rights
· November 25, 2009 11:00 AM
For release: November 25, 2009
A massive petition endorsed by over 21,000 people opposed to a charter of rights will today be tabled in the Senate.
The petition, organised by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) and to be tabled by Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis, is one of the biggest in the life of the current parliament. It calls on the Parliament to reject the proposed charter of rights or to ensure that it is not enacted without first holding a referendum.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said the widespread support for the petition from denominations and churches across Australia should send a clear message to the parliament that people are very concerned about the prospect of a charter or its equivalent being implemented.
“Christians care deeply about protecting the human rights of the most vulnerable but they are aware that the proposed charter of rights would do little to benefit human rights, but much to undermine some basic freedoms Christians take for granted,” he said.
“These instruments also inevitably reflect someone’s ideology, usually not reflective of the well-being of the most vulnerable.
“Here in Australia, both the ACT and Victorian charter of rights explicitly exclude the right to life of a child before birth – despite the fact that the right to life is the most inalienable of rights.
“It is a bit difficult to convince Christians that there are no dangers to freedom of religion when Victorians have just fought a 21-month battle to retain the right to employ Christians in Christian schools and churches because of a challenge under the Victorian charter,” Mr Wallace said.
The wording of the petition is as follows: “We the undersigned are opposed to a Charter of Rights which would allow judges to determine if laws are incompatible with human rights. We support the protection of human rights, especially those of the most vulnerable in our society, but we wish to see elected representatives of the people, not unelected judges, remain responsible for the protection of human rights. We note that this system has already made Australia one of the freest countries in the world with a human rights record the envy of people all over the world. We call upon the Australian Parliament to: a. reject a Charter of Rights or b. not enact a Charter without a referendum.”
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979.
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