Weekend Wrap for 19 September 2021
Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 19 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
Brian Houston has stepped aside from the Hillsong Church board in response to charges of concealing information on his father's sexual abuse accusations but will remain "global pastor". (SMH)
Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge has hit out Victoria’s move to protect LGBTIQA+ teachers from discrimination in religious based schools labeling it an “attack on Christians”. (Out in Perth)
Pentecostal church Hope Unlimited received $660,000 in JobKeeper payments allowing it to return a 3,620% increase in profit for 2020. (The Guardian)
The Australian Catholic Medical Association has defended the right of healthcare workers to refuse COVID vaccination on ethical grounds. (The Catholic Weekly)
Around the Country
VIC: The Victorian Liberal opposition has promised the Australian Christian Lobby and other faith groups that it would amend new laws banning gay conversion therapy if it won next year’s state election. (The Age)
QLD: MPs detailed personal stories and revealed the "exhausting" experience of weighing up opposing views ahead of the vote on proposed laws to legalise voluntary assisted dying (VAD). (ABC News)
QLD: Queensland will become the fifth state to legalise VAD after state Parliament passed a historic bill on Thursday. (ABC News)
QLD: A wrap-up from the ABC on the specific details of the new state VAD laws. (ABC News)
QLD: Faith-based hospitals will not be able to deny entry to outside doctors to help terminally ill patients die after the Queensland government rejected pleas by churches. (The Australian)
QLD: Queensland's MPs this week engaged in one of the most difficult discussions they'll probably ever have to wrestle with, many of them admitting to struggling with their position on the VAD bill. (ABC News)
NSW: NSW now stands as the only state without VAD laws, and debate on the subject in state parliament is coming up. (ABC News)
VIC: Religious schools in Victoria will be prohibited from sacking or refusing to employ teachers because of their sexuality or gender identity under sweeping social reforms proposed by the Andrews government. (The Age)
WA: The Uniting Church of Western Australia have released a statement calling on the McGowan Government to introduce legislation to protect LGBTQ+ people from conversion ideology. (Out in Perth)
VIC: Orthodox Rabbis have written to Daniel Andrews seeking an exemption to the public health orders for Yom Kippur. (The Australian)
NSW: Lyle Shelton is urging Christians to support and join the Christian Democrat Party (CDP) despite being dis-endorsed by party leader Fred Nile. (Eternity News)
Commentary and Analysis
Max Wallace, secretary of the Secular Association of NSW, discusses why Australia, with it's 'theocratic government', needs to become a secular republic. (Independent Australia)
Australian Jesuit academic Fr Frank Brennan writes on his concerns with the Queensland VAD legislation. (The Catholic Leader)
Peter FitzSimons speaks with NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro about the National Party's support for VAD laws in NSW. (SMH)
Roderick St George writes on what Scott Morrison is really saying by his public alignment with Pentecostalism. (Pearls and Irritations)
Teacher Samantha Cairns speaks out about the harm of religious exemptions in religious schools. (Rationalist Society of Australia)
John Sandeman of Eternity News writes on the Victorian government's push to narrow the ability of religious schools to discriminate against various groups in employment. (Eternity News)
Events and Advisories
Sign up to the #DontDivideUs campaign, currently being run by a group of pro-secular groups including the NSL, to act against the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill.
DwD NSW are petitioning the NSW Parliament to work together to deliver voluntary assisted dying laws in 2021.
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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