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Pages tagged "The Australian"
ACL's Lyle Shelton writes in The Australian
· September 17, 2013 10:00 AM
The Australian Christian Lobby's Managing Director Lyle Shelton has written an opinion piece, first published in
No mandate for change.
Below is a copy of the opinion piece. You can also read it on The Australian website
No mandate for change
Tomorrow in Canberra nine people - eight Labor and one from the Greens - will set themselves up to decide marriage policy affecting the entire nation.
Capitalising on the normal disruption of a change of federal government, the ACT government will introduce a bill for same-sex marriage into the territory's 17-member assembly.
With no residency requirement, the Labor-Greens government is mischievously creating a problem for interstate people who will not be married when they cross back over the border.
The Liberals, sensibly, are not buying into it and will oppose the bill on constitutional grounds.
The commonwealth parliament has the power to override territory legislation and, because marriage is a federal responsibility, it should do this. It is not in Australia's interest to have a hodgepodge of marriage laws. It is concerning that same-sex marriage advocates say they would rather see an ACT law challenged in the High Court so that judges, not elected people, can settle the issue. Clearly, the strategy is legislation by fatigue and, if that doesn't work, bypass democracy and get it before judges.
The last thing Australia needs is US-style judicial decision-making on issues of social policy. The federal election and this week's descent into farce means there is now an opportunity to put the debate about changing the definition of marriage behind us and move on.
Kevin Rudd made gay marriage a signature campaign issue by promising to legislate within 100 days if re-elected. He pushed it all the way to election eve and the issue received prominent and overwhelmingly positive media coverage.
But the electorate was underwhelmed. Labor returned its lowest primary vote in 100 years and the party of same-sex marriage, the Greens, suffered a 3 per cent swing.
Where was the pink vote?
A poll commissioned by Australian Christian Lobby and conducted last week by JWS Research asked people to identify what issues were most important to them when they voted on September 7. The poll confirmed what parliamentarians in touch with their electorates have always said: same-sex marriage is a low-order issue outside a handful of inner-city seats.
The poll found that 13 per cent of voters rated it as a top-three issue. Just 4 per cent of Coalition voters thought it was important. Among Labor voters, 85 per cent don't think it is a high priority and 72 per cent of Greens voters are not energised by it.
But we already knew this.
In August last year, MPs reported back to parliament after surveying their electorates on the issue. Greens member for Melbourne Adam Bandt had a motion carried in the parliament requesting MPs to undertake this.
Of 30 who reported back, 24 revealed where their electorates stood. Six MPs claimed majority support for same-sex marriage but 18 said their constituents were opposed to change.
In the seat of Dawson, George Christensen reported opposition of 456 to 78; in O'Connor, member Tony Crook reported 523 to 115; in Deakin, Mike Symon reported 1015 to 65; in Blair, Shayne Neumann reported 580 to 115; in Cook, Scott Morrison reported 850 to 50; in the seat of Cowan, Luke Simpkins reported 903 to 103; and in Fowler member Chris Hayes said 90 per cent of his electorate supported marriage between a man and a woman. Bandt had kicked an own goal in demanding MPs survey their electorates.
Soon after, same-sex marriage bills were defeated in the House of Representatives and in the Senate by almost two to one.
Same-sex marriage advocates claim that since the election they have 50 confirmed supporters in the House of Representatives, an increase of eight on the previous parliament.
However, the chamber has 150 members and, despite the war of attrition being waged on MPs by the gay lobby, they remain well short of the numbers needed to change the Marriage Act.
Despite continually claiming Australians want it, same-sex marriage advocates oppose putting it to a referendum.
What is rarely talked about is that there is no discrimination in Australian law against same-sex couples. This was completely removed in 2008 under the attorney-general at the time, Robert McClelland. As he pointed out during ACL's pre-election webcast, the gay-marriage debate is not about discrimination, it is about definition, and regardless of who legislates the matter will end up in the High Court to decide what marriage meant in 1901.
"I don't think that's a comfortable place for the High Court to be," McClelland said.
It will take extraordinary judicial gymnastics to rule it is anything other than man-woman. There are bigger issues for organisations such as ACL to pursue with the new government, such as its election-eve cutting of $4.5 billion in overseas aid to people in extreme poverty.
Same-sex marriage is far from inevitable despite what the public is constantly told.
There is no mandate for change. It's time to move on.
Lyle Shelton is the managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby.
AWW magazine shows same-sex and single Australians looking overseas to have children
· July 29, 2013 10:00 AM
An article in the latest edition of the Australian Women’s Weekly magazine has highlighted the advancements in fertility science allowing single and same-sex couples to have children, and their willingness to venture overseas to do so.
The article –
One father, two eggs, two wombs
– tells the story of a gay man in Perth who travelled to India in search of donors and surrogates to carry two babies to full-term pregnancy. After paying for two eggs from an Indian donor, and paying another two Indian women to be their surrogates, he had two baby girls, “twiblings” as they were labelled in the article.
The egg donor was paid $500. Each of the surrogates was paid $6000, and was required to stay at the clinic throughout the process, even though both women were married and had other children of their own. Both women also received an extra $1000 for "enduring a caesarean".
When the staff at the clinic overseeing this process knew the father hoped his children would be born on the same day, they induced the second woman after the first went into labour.
This story is one of many which should cause society to question a practice which denies children the right to be raised by their mother and father . Aside from taking advantage of vulnerable women in a poor country like India, this practice also removes from these children the right to know their biological heritage.
In this case, the donor mother already has a child, which means the girls would be denied the knowledge of their half sibling and possibly others in the future. Despite giving them Indian middle names, the article states “the prospect of the twiblings meeting the three women who brought them into this world is unlikely”.
The best interests of children are being lost and ignored under such circumstances. Children have a fundamental right to be born from natural origins which is acknowledged by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that a child shall have, ‘as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents’.
Will we need to nationally apologise to this generation of children in 20 years’ time for doing nothing to protect their rights, but instead pursuing the desires of their ‘parent/s’?
The media has the ability to bring to light the situations that place children in a vulnerable state.
Earlier this year, columnist for The Australian newspaper Angela Shanahan wrote about the former Prime Minister’s apology to victims of forced adoption. The article explores the hypocrisy between the formal apology and same-sex and single surrogacy. Read this article
Nick Cater on the Political Spot about his book ""The Lucky Culture And The Rise of Australia's Ruling Class""
· June 25, 2013 10:00 AM
Nick Cater is a senior editorial executive at The Australian who has just written a book
called "The Lucky Culture And The Rise of Australia's Ruling Class". In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he talks about the book. The interview is 10 minutes long.
Will we apologise to children removed from surrogate mothers?
· March 27, 2013 11:00 AM
Columnist for The Australian newspaper Angela Shanahan, has written about the Prime Minister's apology last week to victims of forced adoption.
explores the hypocrisy between the formal apology and same-sex and single surrogacy.
Below is an excerpt of the piece:
Many of us were appalled by the sheer hypocrisy generated by that irksome modern phenomenon, the institutional apology. Generally, I don't believe in mass apologies; they have taken the place of personal moral culpability and cheapened contrition, even when an institutional policy needs to be abrogated.
Instead today's mass apologies use the sheer intimidatory power of political correctness as a way of forcing a single view. And that politically correct view allows no nuance. Witness what happened to Tony Abbott because the nuances of his speech were not "right".
MR: Preparations underway to publically fund abortion drug RU486
· February 01, 2013 11:00 AM
For release: Friday, February 1, 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has called on the government not to subsidise the chemical abortion drug RU486.
It was confirmed this week that a meeting of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Commission in March would determine whether to publically fund RU486. This would make the drug available for around $12, much less than the current cost of $300.
The drug was approved in 2006, and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) last year approved the importation of the drug by MS Health, a subsidiary of Marie Stopes International, the group now pushing for public funding.
ACL’s spokesperson Wendy Francis is concerned that the government is ignoring the rights of the unborn, as well as the mental health consequences of abortion for women.
“RU 486 is just another way of aborting babies. Ms Plibersek’s comments welcoming public funding and a wider availability of this abortion-inducing drug are deeply concerning,” Ms Francis said.
“Last year, Ms Plibersek made a speech at an event held by the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development, a group holding extreme views about aborting the disabled to save money from the disability services budget,” Ms Francis said.
Not only is the ACL opposed to RU486 because it destroys an innocent life, it is also opposed on the grounds of its potential harm to women.
“Studies into the effects of the abortion pill show that it is a more dangerous option than a surgical abortion. Let’s not forget that in 2010, a Melbourne woman tragically died after taking RU486,” Ms Francis said.
In 2011, The Australian newspaper published an article focused on a study confirming the harmful effects of the drug. In addition, the TGA said in response to Senate Estimates questions that there had been over 800 “adverse events” since the approval of the drug, including nearly 600 which required surgery to remove the poisoned embryo after the drug had failed to induce a miscarriage.
“Women facing unwanted pregnancies should be offered real support – not a chemical which is harmful both to them and their unborn child,” Ms Francis said.
MR: ACL misrepresented in NFP reform article
· January 14, 2013 11:00 AM
For release: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby said this morning it has been misrepresented in today’s article in
Support grows for tax reform in not-for-profits
Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby Jim Wallace said, “ACL reiterated that while we understand the position of the Community Council for Australia that fringe benefits tax concessions have greatest benefit for the higher paid employees in charities, we believe that current FBT concessions for religious practitioners should remain.”
Mr Wallace continued, “With regards to churches, it is only 'religious practitioners' who are able to benefit from FBT concessions, and not other employees like the rest of the sector. These workers are generally not paid anywhere nearly as well as equivalents in the broader not-for-profit sector, and therefore the view of the Community Council does not apply to the great majority of churches.
“Importantly, the 2010 Productivity Commission report, ‘Contribution of the Not-For-Profit Sector’, did not recommend any changes to the current FBT arrangements for religious practitioners, but it did highlight concerns in other areas of the sector which clearly the Community Council was referring to,” said Mr Wallace.
“ACL further pointed out that any changes to the tax treatment of churches and charities must acknowledge the diverse nature of the sector and particularly the effect on the charitable activities of smaller churches and organisations caused by any increased administrative overheads,” said Mr Wallace.
“Therefore, ACL believes churches should be given the choice of opting into DGR or retaining their basic religious charity status with only income tax exemption, but fewer overheads.
“This is a complex issue, and what applies to one part of the sector does not necessarily apply to the other. These nuances need to be recognised,” Mr Wallace concluded.
Videos of speeches at ACL National Conference now available online
· December 19, 2012 11:00 AM
ACL's 2012 National Conference took place in Canberra from 5 - 6 October, and explored the issue of
Religious Freedom in a Secular Democracy.
Speakers included Shadow Families Minister Kevin Andrews, former attorney-general Robert McClelland, political editor of
newspaper Dennis Shanahan and Vice-Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University Professor Greg Craven.
Speeches from a few of the conference speakers are now available to watch online. You can visit the
ACL Vimeo site
to access these. Alternatively, click on the videos below.
Shadow Families Minister Kevin Andrews spoke about his new book,
Maybe I Do,
and declared that the marriage debate was settled in Parliament well into the future.
Hon Kevin Andrews MP - ACL National Conference 2012
Australian Christian Lobby
Professor Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, gave an historical and cultural understanding of the challenge of freedom of religion in a secular democracy.
Professor Greg Craven - ACL National Conference 2012
Australian Christian Lobby
The Hon Robert McClelland, Federal Member for Barton (NSW) and the former Attorney-General of Australia, spoke about the federal government's review of anti-discrimination law.
Hon Robert McClelland MP
Australian Christian Lobby
ACL's Managing Director Jim Wallace spoke about the persecution of Christians around the world and the important need for the Church to become active voices for religious freedom in our society.
Jim Wallace AM - ACL National Conference 2012
Australian Christian Lobby
Prof Greg Craven: 'Remember, politicians are people too'
· December 16, 2012 11:00 AM
As we wrap up this political year we are probably at best deflated by the manner in which politics has been conducted in 2012 and at worst, and perhaps more likely, infuriated and disappointed. The savage attacks on individuals on both sides of the parliament and issues in the public domain seems to have reached a new level inflamed by the anonymity of social media.
Keynote speaker at this year’s ACL National Conference Professor Greg Craven gave words to this widely held frustration as few could in his recent
article in The Australian,
and I think we would all agree with his concluding remark “I just want this to stop.”
Tolerance, private education and The Greens
· November 12, 2012 11:00 AM
Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne made some interesting comments this week on the Greens' policies regarding private education.
He said that the Greens "maintained a bias against private education" and that "the idea of churches and charities educating children offends them. They want them educated by the state so they can control what they are taught."
To read The Australian's article on this issue, click
Also, The Spectator last month published an article by Rod Liddle, which examined the intolerance and hypocrisy shown by The Green Party in the UK.
He outlined the situation with Greens councillor Christina Summers, who was expelled by her party "because she could not bring herself, as a Christian, to support a motion demanding that the government change the marriage laws so that gay people could get married..."
to read Mr Liddle's article.
Dennis Shanahan's speech at the ACL National Conference 2012
· October 23, 2012 11:00 AM
Dennis Shanahan is a journalist and the political editor at The Australian. He spoke at the ACL National Conference 2012 about religious freedom in a secular democracy from a media perspective. Click
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