Weekend Wrap for 27 March 2021
In another fairly quiet week for secular news, we welcome you to a new NSL Weekend Wrap, summarising the latest Australian secular-related news and views.
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
Politicians have once more called on the Federal government to restore Territory rights to vote on euthanasia, following the legislation of voluntary assisted dying in Tasmania this week. The 1997 "Andrew Bill" prevents the ACT, the Northern Territory, and Norfolk Island from passing laws permitting euthanasia. (Canberra Weekly)
A survey of 1200 people commissioned by the Australian Education Union revealed more than 80 per cent of respondents think increasing public school funding should be a priority at the next federal election. (The New Daily)
Sadly, Shelley Argent, spokesperson for PFLAG, one of Australia’s most dedicated fighters for LGBTIQ+ rights, and a friend of the NSL, has shared that she has been diagnosed with acute leukemia.
Around the Country
NSW: Dying with Dignity NSW is currently running a petition calling for voluntary assisted dying (VAD) laws to be introduced in NSW. VAD has over 80% community support in NSW. (Coast Community News) Sign the petition here.
TAS: Tasmania has passed voluntary assisted dying legislation, making it the third jurisdiction in Australia to do so, after Victoria and Western Australia. (ABC News)
TAS: Live and Die Well, a critic of Tasmania's new Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation, claims it is "the world’s most expensive euthanasia law". (The Australian)
SA: The principal of Cardijn College, a Catholic college in Adelaide's south, has apologised for an email a teacher sent to year 12 students, telling them cross-dressing was not "normal" or "acceptable". (ABC News)
NSW: Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has called on the NSW Parliament to adopt all recommendations of the Standing Committee on Social Issues’ report on gay and transgender hate crimes. (ALHR)
NSW: Catholic, independent and government schools have signed a letter of intent to improve consent education in response to a petition from former schoolgirl Chanel Contos. (The Daily Telegraph)
Commentary and Analysis
Paul Gregoire discusses the desire of the Australian religious right to have greater influence over politics and policy, and its ties to the (soon to be returning) Religious Discrimination Bill. (Sydney Criminal Lawyers)
Si Gladman at the Rationalist Society of Australia reminds us that the bipartisan support for removing the ability of religious schools to expel LGBTIQ students has gone nowhere and is not reflected at all in Labor's new draft policy platform. (Rationalist Society of Australia)
Alastair Lawrie examines in detail the differences between the Labor Party's 2015, 2018 and draft 2021 policy platforms in regards to LGBTIQ rights. (alastairlawrie.net)
Max Wallace, secretary of the Rationalist Association of NSW, describes the "soft theocracy" which holds power in Australia through archaic ideology based in 'institutions that rely on taxpayers to survive'. (Independent Australia)
Andrea Dean writes on the increased desire in Catholics for "renewal and reform of their Church to overcome dysfunctional governance and leadership failures, particularly reflected in the scandals of clerical child sexual abuse and its cover-ups." (Pearls and Irritations)
That's it for another week!
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