Weekend Wrap for 3 October 2021

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 3 October 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: A senior NSW Liberal Minister says he is willing to resign from the frontbench if his party's MPs are not given a conscience vote on an upcoming bill to legalise voluntary assisted dying in the state.  (ABC News)

NSW: Attitudes among NSW politicians towards a conscience vote on VAD range from an unwillingness to legislate on "state-sanctioned murder" to a desire to recognise the community’s view and give choices to those who are suffering. (SMH)

VIC: The Victorian opposition has given an “iron clad guarantee” it will not amend new laws banning gay conversion therapy, declaring the new leadership team was “absolutely” committed to supporting the state’s queer community. (SMH)

ACT: A bill to restore the Northern Territory's right to legislate on voluntary euthanasia should be broadened to include the ACT to avoid creating a fresh form of discrimination against Canberrans, legal experts have told a parliamentary inquiry. (Canberra Times)

ACT: The federal ban on the ACT and Northern Territory legislating on voluntary assisted dying will be turned into a battleground issue at the next election, Chief Minister Andrew Barr has warned. (Canberra Times)

VIC: The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) has applauded Victorian Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes for her government’s plan to stop faith-based institutions from sacking staff on the basis of their marital status, parental status or sexuality. (RSA)

TAS: Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, Richard Condie, says the payouts to abuse survivors will be three times the initial estimate. (ABC News)

NSWLyle Shelton and Fred Nile are now battling each other to be elected president of the Christian Democratic party. (Eternity News)

WA: The Western Australian Law Reform Commission has finally released its Discussion Paper which reviews the state’s Equal Opportunity Act (1984), following up on a pledge made back in 2018 to review the legislation. (Out in Perth)

WA: The Uniting Church of Western Australia have released a statement calling on the McGowan Government to introduce legislation to protect LGBTQ+ people from conversion ideology. (Out in Perth)

VICSix students from Westbourne Grammar in Melbourne’s west have fought for compulsory LGBTQIA+ education in primary schools, with their bill being passed in the YMCA Victorian Youth Parliament last week (meaning it will be handed onto the Minister for Youth for consideration). (Star Observer)

Commentary and Analysis

Events and Advisories

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.

Fiona Newton is petitioning Federal and State Education Ministers to ban Hillsong Church from proselytising in Australian Schools.

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.

Dying With Dignity NSW are petitioning the NSW Parliament to work together to deliver voluntary assisted dying laws in 2021.

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!

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