Weekend Wrap for 12 September 2021

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 12 September 2021, where you can catch up on the latest secular-related news from around the country.

Don’t forget that the Weekend Wrap, which aims to help secular-minded Australians keep abreast of the latest news on current issues, is also published on our Facebook page!

At the National Level

The Jehovah’s Witnesses will join the national redress scheme for child sexual abuse survivors almost ten months after the Morrison government threatened the organisation with stripping its charity status. (ABC News)

Perth legal academic Lorraine Finlay has been named as the newest appointee to the Australian Human Rights Commission, but LGBTIQA+ rights advocates have expressed concern over her selection, citing Commissioner Finlay’s "previous attacks on existing LGBTIQ+ discrimination protections in the name of ‘religious freedom'." (Out in Perth)

The Australian Christian Lobby received $138,000 from the government’s JobKeeper scheme despite their income increasing during the period the support funds were on offer. (Out in Perth)

The inclusion of the power of employers to punish people who make potentially offensive religious statements outside work hours is emerging as a deal-breaker for supporting the Religious Discrimination Bill for some Christian conservatives. (The Australian; Paywalled)

The second convocation of the Australasian Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (ACCCR), a collaboration of 19 member groups across Australia seeking Church reform, has covered discussion of the "deep desire among Australian Catholics for a fresh vision and new directions." (Pearls and irritations)

After Victoria became the first state to agree to a ban on the public display of the swastika and other Nazi symbols, Jewish representatives are now calling for a nationwide ban. (Australian Jewish News)

Around the Country

WA: The state government is set to consider law reform stripping religious schools of their right to sack — or refuse to employ — gay or non-religious staff. (The West Australian; Paywalled)

QLD: Landmark voluntary assisted dying laws are on the brink of being passed in Queensland despite a significant number of MPs remaining undecided about whether to support the significant legislation. The Sunday Mail has revealed the full list of MPs and their voting intentions. (Courier Mail)

QLD: Annastacia Palaszczuk has left the door open for changes to Queensland’s euthanasia legislation in the face of a campaign from ­religious hospitals to be exempt. (The Australian; Paywalled)

QLD: Brisbane's Vietnamese Catholic community is petitioning their local member, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, to reject "dangerous" euthanasia laws. (The Catholic Leader)

NSW: Religious leaders pushing for an exemption to NSW's proposed 'vaccine passport' on the grounds no one should be turned away from church. (SMH)

NSW: New South Wales Attorney-General, Mark Speakman, announced plans on Tuesday for a religious discrimination bill, bringing the state in line with anti-discrimination protections in most other Australian states and territories.  (Star Observer)

NSW: The anti-transgender education bill proposed by One Nation’s Mark Latham and endorsed by NSW Parliament has been condemned as a war on trans and gender diverse young people. (CityHub News)

NSW: The ACL have welcomed a report on the Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020, prepared by a cross-party Legislative Council committee and released on 6 September 2021, indicating that 55% of public respondents supported the Bill in some form. (ACL)

NSW: The NSW Teachers Federation has condemned One Nation’s "war on trans and gender-diverse students expressed in a biased and misleading report of a NSW parliamentary committee written by One Nation MP Mark Latham." (NSW Teachers Federation)

QLD: A gay Brisbane pastor has spoken out against the Morrison Government’s controversial Religious Discrimination Bill. (Q News)

WA: The upper house of the Western Australian parliament appears set to continue with the recital of a prayer in parliament despite a committee spending the past three months considering ways to modernise proceedings. (Rationalist Society of Australia)

VIC: Police officers surrounded a synagogue in Melbourne’s east this week after dozens of worshippers were filmed entering in an apparent breach of lockdown restrictions. (The Australian; Paywalled)

NSW: NSW Labor has proposed a law similar to Victoria's swastika ban, with the display of Nazi symbols to attract jail time. (The Age)

NSW: An extraordinary advertisement in last weekend's Herald effectively accused NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman of a cover-up while proclaiming the innocence of the head of the NSW Coptic Orthodox Church, Bishop Daniel, who is the subject of a major fraud investigation. (SMH)

TASMore than sixty people from LGBTIQA+ and allied groups gathered in Hobart to defend the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Act from attacks by the Australian Christian Lobby, while the ACL was conducting a meeting as part of a national tour. (Out in Perth)

NSW: Fred Nile, the leader of the Christian Democrat Party and an NSW upper house MP, has dis-endorsed Lyle Shelton as his successor, leading him to announce that he will "complete [his] democratically elected term as a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) of NSW until the next State Election in 2023." (Eternity News)

Commentary and Analysis

Events and Advisories

That's it for another week!

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