Weekend Wrap for 17 April 2022

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 17 April 2022, where you can catch up on the latest secular-related news from around the country.

Do you have any news items, campaigns, petitions, webinars or other event notices that could be added to our weekly Wrap? Let us know at wrap@nsl.org.au.

At the National Level

Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, says he agrees with a newly announced Liberal candidate who has been lobbying to stop transgender women from competing in women's sport. Mr Morrison has endorsed Ms Deves' campaign. And said he "welcomed" Katherine's selection. (11 Apr 2022)
Read more at ABC News

Scott Morrison must not use trans people as “political pawns” or as a “dog-whistle to the ultraconservatives” during the election campaign, independent MPs and candidates running against moderate Liberals have said. (12 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

The parents behind a 20,000-strong petition calling for changes to the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) to include secular youth workers want the major parties to commit to removing religious-based discrimination in the program this election. (12 Apr 2022)
Read more at the RSA

Anna Brown, the CEO of Equality Australia, has warned political parties not to take LGBTIQ+ voters for granted. Brown said the constant debate over the lives of LGBTI people was making them sceptical of political parties' motives and it was time for politicians to stop using the queer communities as a “political football”. (12 Apr 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

Christian lobby groups are pressing both major parties to recommit to the unamended religious discrimination bill as Labor guarantees to extend the National School Chaplaincy Program with a secular choice for schools. (13 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

The Australian Muslim Advocacy Network has stated that a new piece of national security legislation which enhances the ability of foreign-focused intelligence agencies to spy on domestic targets while reducing the need for oversight, will disproportionately target Australian Muslims. (13 Apr 2022)
Read more at Sydney Criminal Lawyers

Greens Leader Adam Bandt says Prime Minister Scott Morrison is putting lives at risk, by agreeing with the Liberal candidate for Warringah, who lobbied to stop transgender women from competing in women's sport. Mr Morrison's pick for the eastern Sydney suburbs federal seat of Warringah, Katherine Deves, apologised after she described transgender children as "surgically mutilated and sterilised" in deleted tweets from November last year. (14 Apr 2022)
Read more at ABC News

Former Hillsong members have spoken about a culture of cover-ups, fearmongering, unpaid labour and denials as pressure mounts on the evangelical megachurch to adopt systemic change. (14 Apr 2022)
Read more at news.com.au

Liberal candidate for Warringah Katherine Deves has issued another public apology after she was found to have compared her anti-trans activism to resistance against the Nazis and claimed in a tweet that “half of all males with trans identities are sex offenders”. (14 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Age

On a now-deleted website, Liberal candidate for Warringah Katherine Deves criticised NSW police for endorsing Wear it Purple Day and described the campaign as a 'grooming tactic' used by 'gender extremists'. (14 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese both attended Good Friday church services as they called a truce in the election campaign for the day. (15 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Age

Zoe Daniel, the independent candidate for the seat of Goldstein, has been forced to apologise for a series of comments made by her and members of her team that Jewish community leaders deemed offensive. (15 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Age

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has fired the opening shot in a campaign targeting rebel Liberal MPs who crossed the floor to amend the federal government’s religious discrimination bill. (16 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Age

Dozens of church leaders, including many others affected by flooding and bushfires, have signed on to an open letter arranged by the Anglican Dean of Brisbane calling for government leaders to take action on climate change. (16 Apr 2022)
Read more at Eternity News

Scott Morrison is facing a mutiny over the Liberal party’s controversial candidate in Warringah, Katherine Deves, with intensifying calls for her to be dumped because of “hurtful and divisive” comments about transgender people. (16 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

As the election gears up, palliative care advocates are urging the major parties to commit to more funding for the sector. Palliative Care Australia's budget submission says a $240 million yearly increase to home and community care would allow an extra 35,000 Australians to die in their homes. The aim of the extra funding would be to reduce emergency department visits and the demand for hospital beds. (16 Apr 2022)
Read more at ABC News

Around the Country

VIC: The federal opposition has committed $700,000 to fund a new kitchen and community centre in Langwarrin for Sikh Volunteers Australia if Labor is elected in May. The charity has so far provided 11,600 meals in 2022, to vulnerable Victorians stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to interstate flood victims. (9 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Age

TAS: Tasmanian LGBTIQ equality advocates say their focus during the federal election will be to protect the state’s Anti-Discrimination Act from being weakened by Canberra, as well as appropriate funding for LGBTIQ mental health services. (10 Apr 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

QLD: Questions are being asked about Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate’s decision to hire an evangelical pastor to an official role in council – and about the influence she has over him. (12 Apr 2022)
Read more at InQueensland

QLD: Peak legal organisations and trade unions have joined calls to reform aspects of Queensland’s anti-discrimination laws, including scrapping a clause used by some religious groups to justify contracts that suggest they could sack openly gay, transgender or unmarried people. (12 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

QLD: The Rationalist Society of Australia has written to Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate to urge him to state publicly whether he supports the Seven Mountain Mandate and to outline his position on the separation of church and state. (16 Apr 2022)
Read more at the RSA

Commentary and Analysis

Lyndsay Connors on the state of public/private education funding: "Despite accumulated evidence published in this journal and more broadly of gross and growing inequality in Australia’s schools funding arrangements, this did not rate a mention in the Coalition’s Budget nor feature in responses to it from Labor." (11 Apr 2022)
Read more at Pearls and Irritations

Nevena Spirovska: "Marriage equality created a template for sector mobilisation to advance LGBTIQA+ rights, but organisations still need to examine how they can be allies as Australia heads to the polls." (11 Apr 2022)
Read more at Pro Bono Australia

Brian Morris on atheism vs 'a-theism': "A-theism has a legitimate voice that is no longer heard. It needs to be understood in exactly the same terms as being a-political, a-symptomatic, or a-tonal — with the “a” denoting “non-compliance”. The word does need to be re-framed, to counter the false concept of satanic atheism, which is skilfully perpetuated by the religious." (12 Apr 2022)
Read more (and take part in a survey) at Plain Reason

Margaret Somerville -- Euthanasia harms the common good: "Why, after millennia of regarding euthanasia as a serious crime, do many people now consider it an ethical “medical treatment”? In part, it comes from a failure to factor into our public policy and health policy decisions, concern for the common good in both the present and future." (13 Apr 2022)
Read more at the Catholic Weekly

Dr Kevin Donnelly on the critical role of Catholic schools: "Proven by the impact of critical theory and cultural-left woke ideology there’s no denying schools, including Catholic schools, are being pressured to implement a radical secular curriculum in areas such as gender theory, identity politics, critical race theory, climate change and respectful relationships." (14 Apr 2022)
Read more at the Catholic Weekly

Events and Campaigns

Funding for public schools has been cut in the latest budget but funding for school chaplains has been assured. A change.org petition is currently calling on the federal government to fund youth workers rather faith-based chaplains in our public schools.

Minister for Human Rights, Tara Cheyne, is running a petition calling on the Australian government to restore the right of Territories to pass laws on VAD. She also recommends people email the Commonwealth Attorney-General with their views, at attorney@ag.gov.au.

Dying With Dignity NSW has a tool that makes it easy for people to contact their federal MPs and senators to request help in repealing the "Andrews Bill", the 1997 legislation which denies the Territories the right to pass legislation on Voluntary Assisted Dying.

The Human Rights for NSW alliance has launched a campaign calling for NSW to pass a Human Rights Act.

That's it for another week!

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