Weekend Wrap for 27 June 2021
Catch up on the latest secular-related news from around the country in the NSL Weekend Wrap for 27 June 2021.
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
Former High Court judge Michael Kirby is calling for the faith-based groups that are driving the push for new ‘religious freedom’ laws to “come clean” with the Australian public on what they really want. (Lawyers Weekly)
The Coalition has voted against a motion to consult with LGBTQI groups on the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill. (Star Observer)
There are reports that the sexual abuse redress scheme, begun in July 2018 as a result of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, is taking years to deliver compensation for victims who've already waited decades. (ABC News)
A damning review of the national redress scheme for survivors of child sex abuse has confirmed the system contributes to their trauma with calls for an urgent overhaul. (ABC News)
Advance compensation payments are to be made available to some child sexual abuse survivors following a national redress scheme review. (ABC News)
Acting Greens leader Adam Bandt says that there is no 'prima facie' case for religious protections because he claims it is 'already protected under the constitution'. Mr Bandt claims it is 'blow back' by the hard-right faction of the government in an attempt to unwind marriage equality legislation. (Sky News)
Equality advocates are disappointed the Federal Government has chosen not to ensure equal workplace protections for transgender and intersex Australians. The Government’s Bill responding to the Respect@Work inquiry was tabled last week without amendments to the Fair Work Act explicitly protecting employees from unfair treatment and unlawful dismissal on the grounds of gender identity or sex characteristics. (Out in Perth)
Around the Country
NSW: A school chaplain who asked boys at a Sydney Anglican school to use a rating system on girls also said homosexuality was a sin comparable with murder, described “impure” girls as sluts and told young men excessive masturbation would damage the penis. (SMH)
QLD: Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles says church-run hospitals and nursing homes must allow voluntary euthanasia for terminally ill patients who can’t or won’t be moved, forcing a showdown with faith-based providers responsible for more than a fifth of the nation’s health care. (The Australian)
SA: The South Australian Liberal Party has frozen new memberships after an apparent Pentecostal takeover, but the move speaks to a vulnerability both feared and exploited in conservative politics. (Paywalled; The Saturday Paper)
QLD: Members of the Noosa Temple of Satan are going to the Supreme Court in a bid to allow Satanism to be taught in Queensland schools after the state government rejected them. (Q News)
NSW: A mosque in Western Sydney has won a battle in court allowing amplified prayers to be run in the early hours of the morning. Some locals made complaints about the potential noise while others supported the mosque's religious freedom. (The Australian)
WA: At this week’s meeting of the party’s State Executive a motion was put forward by Young Labor calling on the government to take action on improving the lives of young people who are transgender. (Out in Perth)
SA: Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe has penned a letter explaining the gravity of the South Australia Government’s decision to become the fourth state to legalise voluntary assisted dying. (The Catholic Leader)
Commentary and Analysis
Rationalist Society of Australia Fellow Neil Francis about the idea that the Coalition’s surprise election win in 2019 was in part due to the religious turning away from Labor’s progressive policies, the issues with the first two drafts of the Religious Discrimination Bill, and how the laws would privilege those of faith over the non-religious. (Sydney Criminal Lawyers)
Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown speaks on the Morrison Government's pledge of a revised Religious Discrimination Bill by the end of the year, and the alarm felt by LGBTI groups that it could lead to the rolling back of existing anti-discrimination protections. (ABC RN)
Just who is the religious freedom protection legislation designed to protect? John Quiggin writes that ehen it comes to employment, religious freedom is a zero-sum good. The more freedom for employers, the less for workers, and vice versa. (Crikey)
Read the submission made by the Rationalist Society of Australia to the Boroondara City Council in Victoria in regards to the practice of reciting Christian prayers at the opening of each council meeting. (Rationalist Society of Australia)
Religious freedom is a highly divisive subject. Responses show that Crikey readers are divided over what sort of clout the Australian Christian Lobby wields. (Crikey)
Kaley Payne writes on the commotion being caused in the SA Liberal Party by an influx of Christians attempting to join. (Eternity News)
The Australian Christian Lobby report on the passing of VAD laws in SA, stating which (in conflating it with the tragedy of COVID), "...in a time of extensive societal disruption to save lives from Covid-19, reveals the West’s – and our state’s – moral bankruptcy." (ACL)
Peter Abetz writes in defence of the Australian Christian Lobby's 'gay conversion therapy roadshow'. (ACL)
Events and Advisories
Neil Francis, author of the 'Religiosity in Australia' report, will present a webinar on Australia’s religious views and the political influence of the most conservative among them, 7:30pm AEST on 30 June. Register here. (Rationalist Society of Australia)
There's currently a petition to the Council of the City of Boroondara (VIC) to remove the prayer from their meeting agenda. View it here. (Change.org)
That's it for another week!
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