Weekend Wrap for 22 August 2021
Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 22 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
Two Catholic organisations have admitted liability in the Supreme Court related to the actions of now-deceased paedophile priest Father Bryan Coffey. (ABC News)
The head of the Care Leavers Australasia Network has blasted a review of institutional child sexual abuse redress, questioning 'why there are reviews at all if survivors aren't heard'. (McIvor Times)
A landmark court case in the United Kingdom has the potential to change the way doctors prescribe hormonal treatment to transgender children in Australia, with at least one state already reviewing its policy. (SMH)
Around the Country
QLD: Queensland Parliamentary Committee has recommended a bill for voluntary assisted dying (VAD) be passed. (ABC News)
QLD: Terminally ill activist6 Tanya Battel calls for a conscience vote on VAD free of political, religious agendas. (Gold Coast Bulletin)
QLD: Many personal stories on the need for assisted dying were shared in the parliamentary committee hearings held across regional Queensland in the lead-up to the VAD parliamentary committee. (ABC News)
QLD: A battle over euthanasia is looming over whether church-run hospitals and aged-care homes are given an absolute right to object to VAD practices on their premises. (The Australian)
QLD: Catholic hospitals will defy any Queensland euthanasia laws that force them to allow doctors to administer end-of-life drugs in their facilities. (The Australian)
WA: Parents and former teachers in Western Australia are concerned that religious chaplains may be using their access to the state’s public schools to proselytise to children. (RSA)
WA: The RSA is seeking clarification from the WA government on whether the government requires chaplaincy roles to be filled only by people of faith. (RSA)
VIC: The ACL have called on the Andrews Government to consider the 'Nordic model' of legislation after the announcement of a move towards sex work decriminalisation. (ACL)
NSW: Archbishop Anthony Fisher, of the Archdiocese of Sydney, has blasted a proposed euthanasia bill in the Australian state of New South Wales set to be voted on this month. (Life News)
SA: A Christian-led membership surge is threatening to end years of moderate domination in the SA Liberal Party, with the conservative faction taking key positions and edging towards control of the party’s state executive. (The Australian)
VIC: Rabbis, Jewish communal leaders and politicians have joined together to urge members of the Jewish community to "do the right thing" after reports emerged this week of illegal gatherings taking place across Melbourne. (Australian Jewish News)
WA: Australian Christian Lobby’s Martyn Iles has told Perth supporters that "gender dysmorphia" (sic) is 'being taught' to kids. Note: we believe this should be 'gender dysphoria'. (The West Australian; paywalled)
Commentary and Analysis
Ben Boland ponders whether churches should stop providing aged care. (Eternity News)
Tim O'Connor of Amnesty International Australia argues the need for Australia to adopt national human rights laws. (SMH)
In defense of the firing of school teacher Steph Lentz, Vanessa Cheng of Australian Association of Christian Schools and Mark Spencer of Christian Schools Australia write on the need to protect religious belief. (SMH)
Psychologist, writer and educator A L Jones asks, what would "true-blue Pentecostalists" do about climate change if they were in charge of the response? (Pearls and Irritations)
Monica Doumit of the Archdiocese of Sydney writes on the need for Mark Latham's religious discrimination bill. (Catholic Weekly)
Events and Advisories
COTA NT is running a petition calling on Federal Government to give back to the Northern Territory the right to enact laws dealing with voluntary assisted dying via the repeal of section 50A of the Northern Territory (Self Government) Act 1978. Petition closes 1 September 2021. Explanatory article here
Residents of the NSW Northern Tablelands can register their views on VAD in a survey being run by Adam Marshall MP.
The Noosa Temple of Satan is currently running a federal parliamentary petition to remove Christian prayers from parliament. The practice of reciting an exclusively Christian prayer discriminates against non-Christians. Petition closes 12 August. Related article
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.
The Human Rights for NSW alliance has launched a campaign calling for NSW to pass a Human Rights Act.
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.
Visit the #QLD4VAD website to learn more about the campaign to introduce VAD laws into Queensland.
The Rationalist Society of Australia is calling on West Australians to contact their local members of the Legislative Council to urge them to replace the daily prayer ritual with something more inclusive.
That's it for another week!
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