Weekend Wrap for 15 August 2021

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 15 August 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

Almost nine in 10 Australians over 50 support voluntary assisted dying for people with terminal illnesses, and two-thirds continued to support VAD even if a person’s illness wasn’t terminal, a new survey finds. (The Australian)

Former English teacher Steph Lentz has gone public about being fired from Sydney's Covenant Christian School for being gay. “This discrimination is being funded by the taxpayer in the 21st century when broader society has said ‘this is not acceptable’." (The Age)

In a case that reveals that existing anti-discrimination laws do not offer any protection to LGBTQI+ people who work in religious schools, Covenant Christian School located on Sydney’s north shore sacked teacher Steph Lentz after she came out as lesbian. (Star Observer)

Equality advocates have welcomed Greens support for amending existing workplace discrimination laws to provide equal protection for trans, gender diverse and intersex Australians, but are unhappy neither major party has endorsed the reform. (Out in Perth)

just.equal Australia has welcomed support from Shadow Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones for counting LGBTIQA+ people in the Census. (Out in Perth)

Same-sex parents have been left distressed after being asked for details about their children’s mother and father in the census. (SMH)

The Pentecostal church run by controversial former tennis champion Margaret Court, Victory Life Centre, received more than $280,000 in jobkeeper in the three months to the end of June last year, even though its revenue ultimately barely decreased. (The Guardian)

Around the Country

Commentary and Analysis

Paul Monk, a fellow of the Rationalist Society of Australia, comments on the labelling of the RSA and other groups involved in the Census21 campaign as “militant atheist” organisations with “an irrational hatred of religion” because they urged nonbelievers to tick “no religion” in the census. (The Australian)

Conservative Christian voices weren’t ignored in SA’s euthanasia breakthrough, there was just no capitulation to them this time, writes Laine Anderson. (The Advertiser)

The staff writers at the Catholic Leader urge Catholics to indicate so on the census and criticise the secular campaign to respond based on current religious practice. (Catholic Leader)

Two researchers at Griffith University comment on the decision by assistant treasurer Michael Sukkar not to include questions about LGBTI Australians in the census and the potential detrimental effects this could have on the LGBTI community. (The Conversation)

The Catholic Leader comments on a bill introduced by George Christiansen which would use federal constitutional power to override the states on late-term abortion cases in which babies survive. (Catholic Leader)

The ACL indicated its strong support for the George Christiansen 'children born alive' private members bill. (ACL)

Dr Megan Best, Associate Professor of Bioethics at the University of Notre Dame Australia, writes that "in the absence of an ethical vaccine (one that does not involve fetal cell lines at all), Australian Christians are encouraged to accept vaccination on grounds of loving their neighbour, and contributing to the public good." (Sydney Anglicans)

Events and Advisories

That's it for another week!

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