Weekend Wrap for 25 July 2021

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 25 July 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

Around the Country

NSW: MPs from across the political divide, including the Nationals, Labor, Greens and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, have confirmed they will support a voluntary assisted dying bill when it is introduced to NSW Parliament. (SMH)

NSW: A draft bill to legalise euthanasia in NSW could spark a civil war in the coalition when parliament returns. Conservative Liberals have demanded Premier Gladys Berejiklian rule out a conscience vote on the issue. (Daily Telegraph)

NSW: MPs opposed to voluntary euthanasia say they are not satisfied with the “conservative” safeguards in Alex Greenwich’s bill and have warned its passage is not a fait accompli, vowing to marshall a wall of opposition across suburban Sydney. (The Age)

QLD: Christian extremists have succeeded in blocking free speech and religious freedom, with the Noosa council rejecting the Noosa Temple of Satan's application to use a council-owned venue for their upcoming Black Mass, due to security concerns. (Noosa Temple of Satan)

QLD: A Queensland nurses association with 8,000 members says legalising euthanasia would transform nursing from “saving lives and doing no harm to taking lives”. (The Catholic Leader)

QLD: A March for Life in Brisbane on August 28 aims to rally public opposition against euthanasia just days before Queensland’s parliament starts debating a Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill. Cherish Life is organising the event as a final push to persuade Queensland MPs against supporting the Bill. (The Catholic Leader)

QLD: The Noosa Temple of Satan has challenged a Queensland Education Department decision in the Supreme Court after being refused access into Queensland state schools to teach religious instruction classes. (Brisbane Times)

NSW: Survivors of institutional child abuse will be able to overturn unfair settlements and pursue much higher child abuse compensation under new laws before the NSW parliament. (Stacks Law - one we missed from last week)

WA: Federal Assistant Attorney General Amanda Stoker has described the WA government’s approach to the Australian Christian Lobby as “enormously dangerous”. The lobby group had been denied access to government operated venues for it’s The Truth of It national tour, until the Perth Theatre Trust reversed it’s decision and allowed the events to proceed. (Out in Perth)

QLD: The Noosa Temple of Satan have launched a petition taking aim at the Australian Parliament’s "exclusionary" opening Christian prayers, ahead of the Morrison Government introducing the Religious Discrimination Bill. (Q News)

NSW: Almost 5,000 people have signed a Sydney Catholic Schools online petition for teachers to be considered frontline workers and be given priority for a COVID vaccine. (Catholic Weekly)

VIC: A bid by Boroondara councillor Victor Franco to dump the prayer from their council meetings was rejected last month, with one councillor saying the municipality was “a largely Christian community”. However, other councillors have stated that the prayer is "uncomfortable for non-­religious residents, as well as being divisive, disrespectful and probably illegal." (Herald Sun)

Commentary and Analysis

Events and Advisories

Leader of the Reason party and NSL ambassador Fiona Patten has launched a campaign to remove the sectarian prayer from Victorian parliament.

The Noosa Temple of Satan have launched a petition taking aim at the Australian Parliament’s 'exclusionary' opening Christian prayers.

Sign up to the Census21 - Not Religious? Mark 'No Religion' campaign (in which the NSL is involved) to learn more about the census's role in inflating the religiosity figure in Australia.

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.

DwD NSW are also petitioning the NSW Parliament to work together to deliver voluntary assisted dying laws in 2021.

Visit the #QLD4VAD website to learn more about the campaign to introduce VAD laws into Queensland.

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 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. Related article

The Rationalist Society of Australia are running a webinar with Michael Dove, leader of the Census21 campaign, on 28th July, to present on how Aussies will have greater freedom in answering the religion question at next month’s census.

Watch the archived broadcasts of this week's public hearings on the Queensland Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.

That's it for another week!

Until next time, please follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

Don't forget to add your voice to the #DontDivideUs campaign against the Religious Discrimination Bill.

And if you are able, please consider making a small monthly contribution to the NSL to help us raise the secular profile in Australia. Every dollar helps!