Weekend Wrap for 24 April 2022

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 24 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

Minister for Women Marise Payne has refused to endorse the controversial Liberal candidate for Warringah as an internal battle in the party escalates to disendorse Katherine Deves over her remarks about transgender children and LGBTQ issues. (17 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Age

South Australian Liberal senator Alex Antic has voiced his support for Warringah candidate Katherine Deves, saying she and fellow 'Save Women’s Sport' campaigner, Tasmanian senator Claire Chandler, are the "future of the parliament" who could "save the country" and that the Liberal party needed to fight the "culture wars". (17 Apr 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

The National Catholic Education Commission has called on both major parties to clarify how they will bring forward federal legislation for Religious Discrimination. Former Labor Minister Jacinta Collins, who heads the group, has written to both leaders asking them to finalise legislation within their first 100 days of a new parliamentary term. (18 Apr 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

Northern Territory Country Liberal Party senate candidate Jacinta Price has thrown her support behind controversial Liberal Party candidate Katherine Deves, saying she was "being silenced in the name of wokeness". Deves has come under fire after reportedly called transgender children "surgically mutilated and sterilised" and making claims linking transgender people to sex offenders. (19 Apr 2022)
Read more at ABC News

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean has renewed his call for the Liberal Party candidate in the federal seat of Warringah to be disendorsed, saying she is "not fit for office". (19 Apr 2022)
Read more at ABC News

Trent Zimmerman, the first openly gay person to be elected to the House of Representatives in 2015, said he was “angry and disappointed about some of the comments [Deves] has made in the past” but has stopped short of saying Deves should be removed as the candidate. (19 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Age

LGBTQI advocates have asked the Australian Labor Party and opposition leader Anthony Albanese to spell out their plans for a Religious Discrimination Bill. This follows National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) setting an April 29 deadline for the ALP to explain “what a finalised Albanese Government Religious Discrimination Bill will contain”. (19 Apr 2022)
Read more at the Star Observer

The Australian Christian Lobby is targeting moderate Liberals who crossed the floor to strengthen protections in Scott Morrison’s religious discrimination package, distributing leaflets in their electorates showing a mocked-up image of MPs driving a wrecking ball into religious schools. (20 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

The AEU has criticised Labor’s education policy for a lack of detail about when public schools will get extra funding, but praised them for committing to the principle of full funding, in contrast to the Coalition which had offered “nothing at all”. Shadow education minister, Tanya Plibersek, stated that "...every underfunded public school will be better off under Labor, and Catholic and independent schools will not have their funding touched...". (20 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

The National party’s candidate for the marginal northern New South Wales seat of Richmond, Kimberly Hone, told worshippers at a Pentecostal church last year that her “ultimate goal” in politics was to “bring God’s kingdom to the political arena”. Hone also served for a period as a state office-bearer of the defunct Family First party and had previously supported the right-wing Australian Conservatives. (21 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says he stands by National Party candidate Kimberly Hone, who said "one way to avoid domestic violence is to marry well" in a now-deleted social media post. She has also shared online articles describing transgender surgery as "mutilation". (21 Apr 2022)
Read more at ABC News

Christian political lobby group FamilyVoice is stepping up its fight for religious freedom by sending ‘Vote Wisely’ guides to churches, Christian organisations and supporters in the electorates of five Coalition MPs who voted against the government’s Religious Discrimination Bill, having accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of going to ground on the issue. (22 Apr 2022)
Read more at Eternity News

The federal government’s latest Budget statement for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs states that a new program will be piloted over the next two years to "test the effectiveness" of extending Defence chaplaincy to veterans. The Rationalist Society of Australia say that the new program must include secular welfare support. (22 Apr 2022)
Read more at the RSA

Australian Christian Lobby flyers targeting moderate Liberals who crossed the floor to amend the religious discrimination bill to protect LGBTIQ+ people have prompted complaints to the charities regulator that argue the material breaches rules on political campaigning. (23 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

Coalition MPs have questioned Senator Claire Chandler’s controversial bill to restrict trans women playing in female sports, calling for caution as they believe it is “redundant” or needs more work. The Australian Christian Lobby said it expected Chandler’s bill would be revisited in the next parliament. Conservative lobby group Advance Australia has also launched a campaign calling for Coalition moderates Trent Zimmerman, Dave Sharma, Andrew Bragg and Warren Entsch – who it described as “numpties” – to be voted out at the election over their criticism of Warringah candidate, Katherine Deves. (23 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

Around the Country

QLD: When politics and religion collide: Bishop Cameron Venables, Simon Smart of the Centre for Public Christianity, and political commentator Paul Williams comment on church and state in Regional Queensland on the eve of the election. (18 Apr 2022)
Read more at ABC News

QLD: The Noosa Temple of Satan has announced that they will assist Gold Coast Satanists in reclaiming their “demonic stronghold” over the Gold Coast’s Home of the Arts (HOTA). The action comes in response to reports that Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has employed Spiritual Adviser Sue Baynes as a Councillor Adviser. (18 Apr 2022)
Read more at Noosa Today

QLD: Community faith groups and public worshippers have been banished from the Gold Coast Mayor’s new prayer room, just weeks after the facility opened, after the Noosa Temple of Satan attempted to make a booking this week to pray for the return of cast-out demonic spirits. (21 Apr 2022)
Read more at InQueensland

WA: The Esther Foundation, a taxpayer-funded, Pentacostal-linked women’s rehab facility in Perth, will face a WA government inquiry after numerous allegations of abuse and mistreatment including harmful “gay conversion” practices. (21 Apr 2022)
Read more at Q News

NSW: The NSW government's ability to pass legislation is in doubt after a key independent, Alex Greenwich, threatened to withdraw his support over Premier Dominic Perrottet's comments on transgender people in sport. (22 Apr 2022)
Read more at ABC News

NSW: The Hindu Council of Australia want to free the swastika (an ancient symbol of peace and prosperity in some religions) from its "indoor prison" in Australia. The NSW government is about to pass legislation banning its public display but has promised to include explicit exemptions for the genuine practice of Hinduism, Jainism or Buddhism. (23 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Age

NT: The Northern Territory Government has distanced itself from leaked draft guidelines that would assist schools in supporting the safety and wellbeing of gender diverse students. (23 Apr 2022)
Read more at the Star Observer

Commentary and Analysis

Gay Alcorn, editor of The Age, on the various comments made by "captain's pick" Liberal candidate Katherine Deves: "In now deleted tweets, she called trans children “surgically mutilated and sterilised” and said she was triggered by the rainbow flag. She also wrongly claimed, offering no evidence, that “half of all males with trans identities are sex offenders”. ... One wonders what the Liberal Party has become, what offensive behaviour it would not tolerate in 2022." (19 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Age

Paul Gregoire -- ASIO depoliticises its far-right surveillance targets, yet continues Its Islamophobia: "...while this recognition that terrorism is not the sole domain of Muslims has been welcomed, it’s been pointed out that there’s a subtle distinction at play when the authorities refer to terrorism that continues to be associated with Islam, compared to when it’s associated with the right of politics." (20 Apr 2022)
Read more at Sydney Criminal Lawyers

Michael McGowan on the Katherine Deves controversy: "Deves has gone to ground since the tweets emerged, yet in interviews with more than a dozen local party members, officials and state executive representatives, it is clear many in the party see an opportunity in the negative coverage. ... 'The influx of people wanting to contribute financially has been incredible. We would have had to spend a quarter of a million dollars to get name recognition like this.'" (23 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

Alex Greenwich MP -- Why I delivered an ultimatum to Dominic Perrottet. "While Deves is just a wannabe politician crying out for relevance, the Premier & PM are in positions of leadership & power, and I am concerned they would choose someone whose only sport is to pick on vulnerable transgender youth" (23 Apr 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

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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