Weekend Wrap for 29 May 2021

In a week dominated by movement in VAD in multiple states, catch up on the latest secular-related news from around the country in the NSL Weekend Wrap for 29 May 2021.

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At the National Level

LGBTI rights advocates say the Morrison Government has failed to honour its 2018 pre-election commitment to end the legal loophole that allows children to be discriminated against by faith-based schools because of their sexuality or gender identity. (Out in Perth)

Federal Labor MP Andrew Leigh says the national tide has significantly shifted in support of voluntary assisted dying and he's now calling on the federal government to repeal the ban on the ACT and Northern Territory making laws on voluntary euthanasia. (Canberra Times)

Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher has called for an examination of what state schools were getting right and the humility to learn from them because they regularly perform better in academic results, saying the Catholic school system had “never had it so good” in terms of funding, and should focus on using the resources well. (SMH)

Chiara Porro, Australia’s Holy See ambassador, is under fire for saying she wants to change the Vatican’s “narrative” about Australia away from the child abuse royal commission and cardinal George Pell. (The Guardian)

Around the Country

QLD: A Voluntary Assisted Dying bill has been introduced into Queensland parliament. (Courier Mail)

QLD: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has shared her own VAD story as minor protests marked the introduction of VAD legislation. (The Age)

SA: Voluntary euthanasia is another significant step closer to becoming legal in South Australia, after the state's House of Assembly members voted 33 to 5 in favour. (ABC)

QLD: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has written to the Prime Minister asking him to urgently rewrite a federal law after the Queensland Law Reform Commission identified significant concerns about whether providing information and advice about voluntary assisted dying over the phone or via email would be an offence. (The Age)

QLD: Tanya Battel, terminal cancer sufferer and voluntary assisted dying lobbyist, talks about the ongoing quest for VAD in Queensland. (NT News)

QLD: St Vincent’s Care Services chief executive Lincoln Hopper says that voluntary assisted dying is not the antidote to Queenslanders dying in agony in areas of the state with failing palliative care. (The Advertiser)

NSW: After losing his father, Sydney man Arian Levanael has turned to highlighting NSW’s "backwards" laws around assisted dying. (news.com.au)

NSW: Members of the Australian Catholic Medical Association have spoken out strongly against any move to implement euthanasia laws in NSW. (Catholic Weekly)

NSW: Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party have announced that they will bring forward legislation to stop doctors from treating people experiencing gender incongruence with medication until they are over the age of 18. (Out in Perth)

TAS: The Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, Richard Condie, has reaffirmed the church’s financial liability to about 165 sex abuse survivors, promising to dip into its investments to find an extra $15m needed to meet its commitments under the national redress scheme and civil action for historic sexual abuse survivors. (The Mercury)

Commentary and Analysis

Renae Barker, Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia, writes on the recent concern around 'religious knives' such as kirpans being allowed in schools and how this relates to the idea of secularism in Australia. (The Conversation)

Jamie Walker, Associate Editor of The Australia, writes on the rapid movement of voluntary assisted dying legislation in Australia and the uncharted territory it's entering.

The Australian's "Editor-at-large," Paul Kelly, states that the movement towards the legalisation of VAD is an effect of "secular rationalisation decoupled from moral social principle". (The Australian)

Si Gladman at the Rationalist Society of Australia analyses Tasmanian Independent MLC Mike Gaffney’s journey to legalising voluntary assisted dying in Tasmania.

Trevor Cobbold writes on another damning report by the Auditor-General showing that the Commonwealth Department of Education continues to fail to fully hold private (and largely religious) school systems accountable for how they distribute taxpayer funding. (Pearls and Irritations)

Ricki Coughlan responds to Lyle Shelton's promise of a Christian Democrat party bill to “protect children from experimental gender treatments” -- the process of psychological counselling and assessment for children presenting with concerns about gender.

Anthony Fisher, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, has decried the move to merge Sydney's five existing Crown land cemetery operators into one after a review found they're facing financial collapse.

That's it for another week!

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