Weekend Wrap for 26 June 2022

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 26 June 2022, where you can catch up on the latest secular-related news from around the country.

The biggest news this week came from overseas, where the US Supreme Court overturned the federal "Roe v Wade" abortion case law. There also seems to be some indication that the conservative-majority Court bench will examine other cases, such as those that resulted in legalised same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage.

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

Cycling’s governing body has announced new rules for transgender athletes. Under the new rules, transgender women will have to show they can maintain a lower level of testosterone than the previous rules required, and wait for two years, double the previous time period, before competing. (19 Jun 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

Fatima Payman has won Western Australia's sixth and final Senate seat, becoming the first Afghan-Australian and the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman in parliament. A former refugee from Afghanistan, Ms Payman's victory comes on World Refugee Day. (20 Jun 2022)
Read more at SBS News

Swimming’s governing body FINA has voted to restrict transgender women from participating in the sport at the elite level. Transgender women will still be able to compete in sport at the elite level as long as they have completed suppressed the process of male puberty by the age of 12, or Tanner Stage Two. The Tanner scale is a measure of medical scale of physical development. (20 Jun 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

‘Save Women’s Sport’ campaigner Katherine Deves has welcomed the decision from swimming’s global governing body to limit transgender women from participating in the sport at the elite level, but says the ban should also include transgender girls. (21 Jun 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

Human rights advocacy group Equality Australia have warned International Rugby League and other sport governing bodies considering blanket bans on trans women following recent changes from swimming’s peak body FINA. The warning comes as the International Rugby League have shown signs of following FINA’s lead, enforcing a temporary ban on trans women as they review their inclusion policy. (22 Jun 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

Health Minister Mark Butler is seeking an urgent briefing from health officials after a series of Crikey disclosures on the Morrison government's funding of faith-based rehabilitation services. His office said Butler had sought the briefing on the status of grants made to the Pentecostal-linked Esther Foundation and the Hillsong-linked one80TC rehab facilities, as well as "assessment processes" in place for "private rehabilitation services receiving Commonwealth funds". (24 Jun 2022)
Read more at Crikey (Paywalled)

Collin Acton OAM, the former head of the Navy’s chaplaincy branch, has told an RSA webinar that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) had to “get serious” about meeting the wellbeing needs of its largely non-religious workforce. Acton said that the resistance of Army and Air Force to modernising their religious-based chaplaincy capability is having a detrimental impact on their own personnel. (25 Jun 2022)
Read more (and watch the full webinar) at the RSA

Around the Country

VIC: Victoria has become the first Australian jurisdiction to ban the Nazi swastika, with those who defy the ban to face jail terms and hefty fines. Legislation passed both houses of parliament on Tuesday making it a crime to publicly and intentionally display the Nazi symbol. The symbol will still be able to be used in appropriate contexts, given its cultural and historical relevance (the symbol is used in a number of religions as a symbol of divinity). (22 Jun 2022)
Read more at ABC News

VIC: Faith groups in Victoria have welcomed the state government's decision to pass legislation banning the public display of the Nazi symbol on Tuesday evening. Vice President of the Hindu Council of Australia Surinder Jain says he thinks the bill will help battle public confusion around the difference between the Nazi symbol and the ancient Indian swastika. (22 Jun 2022)
Read more at SBS News

NSW: Parents at Sydney's St Catherine’s School are joining forces with families from other Anglican schools to fight a requirement for incoming principals to sign a statement that they believe marriage is between a man and a woman. (23 Jun 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

NSW: The NSW Government will provide $2.3 million to support trans and gender-diverse communities as part of the 2022-23 NSW Budget. The funds are part of the NSW government’s $12 million LGBTIQ+ Health Strategy that was unveiled in March, where it was also announced that the NSW Government and LGBTQI health organisation ACON will set up the first health centre for LGBTQI people in the state. (22 Jun 2022)
Read more at the Star Observer

VIC: Port Phillip Deputy Mayor Tim Baxter has revealed he has been subjected to virulent online attacks after he blew the whistle on alleged transphobia of some Victorian Greens members. (24 Jun 2022)
Read more at the Star Observer

VIC: The woman at the centre of a row within the Greens over transgender rights is likely to defy her party’s leadership and recontest for the role she was removed from last week. Long-time party activist Linda Gale told The Age she was looking to stand again for the position as the Greens’ Victorian convenor after the party overturned her election amid an internal dispute over transgender issues fought through social media. (25 June 2022)
Read more at The Age

Commentary and Analysis

The Canberra TimesIt's a good time to prioritise care in schools: "Schools will now have a choice of chaplain or professionally-qualified student welfare officer, marking an end to a particular culture war that has been grating uncomfortably in the nominally secular education landscape. While no one has ever disputed the importance of pastoral care in Australian schools, the program's requirement that chaplains be recognised or endorsed by a religious institution has caused significant controversy, even while school chaplains are banned from evangelising or proselytising." (20 Jun 2022)
Read more at The Canberra Times

Monica DoumitSo much for choice and diversity: "They have been less than four weeks in office, but the federal Labor Government has already announced its intention to strip the National School Chaplaincy Program of its religious nature, allowing schools to hire “secular pastoral care workers” instead of someone affiliated with a religion." (22 Jun 2022)
Read more at the Catholic Weekly

Luke BeckTo give schools real choice about secular school chaplains, latest change needs to go further: "Existing third-party providers like Generate are in the business of hiring only Christians. Unless new providers come onto the scene, public schools will have little choice but to continue to engage existing providers who will continue to hire only Christians." (22 Jun 2022)
Read more at The Conversation

Harry Hobbs and George NewhouseHas US-style politicisation of the courts come to Australia?: "Fortunately, political views are not relevant for appointment to the judiciary in Australia. But we must be vigilant: some politicians are publicly agitating for the creation of a similar legal movement here." (22 Jun 2022)
Read more at The Conversation

Lucy HamiltonThe transphobia "moral" panic: "The current wave of anti-trans sentiment will lead to more violence and victimisation. Initially the attacks will hit people who are visibly trans women. Eventually, it will spread to anyone who is LGBTQI+. The same forces promoting this violence are those aiming to limit women’s rights, and ultimately purge their countries of unwelcome categories of people." (24 Jun 2022)
Read more at the AIMN

Caitlin FitzsimmonsWhat overturning Roe v Wade means for Australia: "The overturning of Roe v Wade in the United States could reignite the debate about abortion access in Australia, and increase the stigma for people who terminate unwanted pregnancies. Daile Kelleher, chief executive of Children by Choice, said she had no doubt Australian opponents of abortion would be energised by the US decision." (24 Jun 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

Events and Campaigns

NSL president Peter Monk will be hosting a livestream with the Census 21 campaign's spokesperson, Michael Dove, this Tuesday 28 June, to discuss the release of the religion figures from the 2021 census and how these may affect Australia. More information here.

A petition currently running on change.org calls for private schools to pay back their unnecessary Jobkeeper payments. View the petition here.

Sally Goldner is running a petition on an open letter to three key people in the new Labor government calling for speedy action on federal LGBTIQA+ reforms. View the petition here.

The Australian Education Union is running a campaign calling for “every school, every child” to receive fair education funding. Support the campaign here.

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!

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

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!