Weekend Wrap for 20 March 2022

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 20 March 2022, where you can catch up on the latest secular-related news from around the country.

Do you have any campaigns, petitions, webinars or other event notices that could be added to our "Events and Campaigns" segment? Let us know at wrap@nsl.org.au.

At the National Level

A newly published US study on sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts (SOGICE), commonly referred to as conversion therapy, has found that the practice has huge economic and social costs. (14 Mar 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

The latest Islamophobia in Australia report, in examining the response to the 2019 anti-Muslim attack in Christchurch, stated that: "Far-right parties and political leaders had a major role in creating online hate agendas, which were reproduced by far-right group administrators and followers." (15 Mar 2022)
Read more at ABC News

Shadow Minister for Education and Women Tanya Plibersek has claimed that a Muslim woman sitting on a train in Sydney currently has no protection under the law if someone yells at her for wearing a hijab. An ABC Fact Check classed the statement as "Overreach". (17 Mar 2022)
Read more at ABC News

A first of its kind survey of 2,000 parents suggests that four in five Australian parents support gender and sexuality diversity education in schools. (17 Mar 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

Cardinal George Pell has called for the Vatican’s doctrine office to intervene and reprimand two leading European Catholic churchmen who called for changes in Catholic teaching on sexuality and homosexuality. Pell said the church cannot follow "the changing dictates of contemporary secular culture" and must stay true to its faith. (17 Mar 2022)
Read more at AP News

Hillsong Church have 'apologised unreservedly' after the church’s founder, Brian Houston, was found to have engaged in conduct "of serious concern" following complaints made by women about his conduct in 2013 and 2019. (18 Mar 2022)
Read more at ABC News

Around the Country

NSW: The Perrottet government will commit $4.2 million to establish a dedicated health centre for LGBTIQ+ people, to provide primary care, mental and sexual health and cancer screening services to people of diverse sexualities and genders and intersex people. This is part of a major overhaul of the state’s health sector to address longstanding stigma and discrimination. (16 Mar 2022)
Read more at The Age

NSW: The New South Wales government has confirmed it will not support One Nation MP Mark Latham’s controversial bill to ban discussion of gender diversity in classrooms, saying it could cause “targeted discrimination” against trans students. (16 Mar 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

SA: With the state election being held on Saturday 19 March, RSA spokesperson for South Australia and board member Tanya Watkins is urging Premier Steven Marshall and Labor leader Peter Malinauskas to commit to removing harmful religious-based exemptions from the state’s discrimination laws. (17 March 2022)
Read more at The Rationalist Society of Australia

NSW: Independent member for Sydney Alex Greenwich would likely make a ban on gay conversion practices and other polices to end discrimination of LGBTIQ+ people a condition of which major party he would back in the case of a hung Parliament at next year’s state election. (17 Mar 2022)
Read more at The Age

Commentary and Analysis

Douglas Magaletti: Trent Zimmerman, the first LGBT member of the House of Representatives, was one of the five Liberal Members of Parliament who boldly crossed the floor to sink the government’s Religious Discrimination Bill. Zimmerman decided to take a stand on that day because he "thought that this bill went way too far." (13 Mar 2022)
Read more at The Star Observer

Adeshola Ore: The Gonski 'failure': why did it happen and who is to blame for the 'defrauding' of public schools? "...commonwealth and state funding for private schools increasing at nearly five times the rate of public school funding over the decade to 2019-20." (13 Mar 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

Derya Iner, Senior Lecturer, Charles Sturt University, on the latest Islamophobia in Australia report: "Positive action from our political leaders is required to safeguard the dignity, equality and safety of every citizen and minority group, including Muslim Australians." (15 Mar 2022)
Read more at The Conversation

Paul Gregoire on George Christensen: “I firmly believe that politics is broken,” declared Liberal National MP George Christensen, in a promotion clip for the Church and State Summit 2022. "There is one thing that we must fight for now and into the future and that’s religious liberty... the rights of Christians are certainly lesser than others..." (15 Mar 2022)
Read more at Sydney Criminal Lawyers

Jack Waterford: "The faith that has sustained the morale of Scott Morrison through many a dark period of his life is in for some further testing over the few months that will bring an end to this term of government." (15 Mar 2022)
Read more at Pearls and Irritations

Joe Lenzo: "The core issue of "religious discrimination" could be addressed by amending the anti-discrimination laws made at the state level, which generally outlaw discrimination against everyone including those who are religious." (19 Mar 2022)
Read more at Independent Australia

Events and Campaigns

The NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Bill still needs to pass the Upper House. Two Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MPs voted NO to the 2017 VAD Bill, which lost by just one vote. Send them a message asking for their support.

Just.Equal are running a survey in an attempt to find out the election priorities of LGBTIQA+ Australians and their allies for the upcoming federal election.

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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