Weekend Wrap for 24 May 2020

Disappointment and frustration as advocates of voluntary assisted dying react to the Queensland government’s decision to delay legislation. Find that and more in the Weekend Wrap of secular news and views from across 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

A secret report being considered by the nation’s Catholic bishops recommends unprecedented reform of the church to make it more inclusive and to overcome the structural issues that enabled rampant clergy abuse and cover-ups (SMH).

The Australian Christian Lobby is calling on all levels of government to ban the practice of preferred pronouns being stated in email signatures following the City of Melbourne’s decision to allow its staff to do so (Out in Perth).

The Australian Medical Students’ Association, the peak body representing medical students, has voted in favour of a statement supporting survivors of LGBTIQ+ conversion therapy and calling for governments to ban the practice (Out in Perth).

A significant number of LGBTIQ+ people from culturally diverse backgrounds struggled after the same-sex marriage postal survey and faced "a more hostile environment" at home and in their communities, a new study has found (SBS).

Around the Country

QLD: Terminally ill Queenslanders could be forced to suffer and wait for years for lawful ways to die after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed that her government would not legalise voluntary assisted dying before the October state election (SBS).

QLD: Independent member for Noosa Sandy Bolton has described the delay in introducing voluntary assisted dying legislation as “disappointing” and as indicative of a “broken” political system (Noosa News).

QLD: Former premier and VAD advocate Campbell Newman says the Labor government’s decision not to bring on legislation before the state election is a let-down to thousands of Queenslanders (Courier Mail, paywalled).

QLD: The Catholic Church and pro-life groups have welcomed the Palaszczuk government’s decision to delay voluntary assisted dying, with Archbishop Mark Coleridge repeating an earlier comment of his that it would have been a “dark irony” if such legislation went ahead during the pandemic (Catholic Weekly).

QLD: Former Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad says her leadership role in the abortion law reform made her a target of an “agenda of payback” (The Guardian).

NSW: Catholic leaders have welcomed the proposed legislation of One Nation's Mark Latham that seeks to introduce protections based on religious belief and allow faith-based organisations to operate according to their central tenets (Catholic Weekly):

WA: Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe has made a blunt rebuke of the Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk’s claim that the Catholic Church was not putting child safety first in its refusal to break the ‘seal of confession’ (Catholic Weekly).

VIC: Students at RMIT University have voiced concern that a faculty member is scheduled to speak at a forum organised by the Australian Christian Lobby on gay conversion therapy (Pedestrian TV).

VIC: A La Trobe University research project into the impact of conversion therapy practices on LGBTQI+ Australians is expected to help in the formulation of treatment and support for survivors of conversion practices (Star Observer).

VIC: A Jewish radio station is educating its presenters on vilification laws after a Rabbi described the COVID-19 pandemic as a “designer drug” for removing “problems…in the form of homosexuality and gays” (Star Obersver).

Commentary and Analysis

Those who are arguing for greater protection for religious freedom in law are not seeking freedom from discrimination but the freedom to discriminate against others, writes Anthony Haneveer (The Advocate).

The Australian Christian Lobby’s Martyn Iles writes that the opponents to the proposed Religious Discrimination Bil are stigmatising people of faith “as the kind of rude bigots that they simply are not” (ACL).

In a discussion with the ABC’s Andrew West on the influence of Hillsong on Australian politics, writer Lech Blaine says he believes that the level of concern is much higher among the Right side of politics than the Left (ABC).

That's it for another week!

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