Weekend Wrap for 5 June 2022

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 5 June 2022, where you can catch up on the latest secular-related news from around the country.

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

Just.Equal Australia is disappointed new PM Anthony Albanese has not appointed a Minister for Equality and has called on him to reverse the decision. Federal Labor had an Equality Spokesperson for three years prior to the 2019 election but Mr Albanese scuttled the role after Labor’s loss. (31 May 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

With the swearing in of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's ministry at Government House on Wednesday, there was a historic moment as the first two Muslim federal ministers were sworn into office. (2 June 2022)
Read more at ABC News

The Australian Defence Force’s religious-based wellbeing and pastoral care model is failing service personnel and negatively affecting mental health outcomes, the Rationalist Society of Australia has told a royal commission. (3 June 2022)
Read more at the RSA

The new federal government says the "twilight years" of Queen Elizabeth's reign are an appropriate time to reignite debate about Australia becoming a republic. Labor wants to hold a fresh referendum on ditching the monarchy and adopting Australia's own head of state. but not until its second term in office, if it wins the 2025 election. (2 June 2022)
Read more at ABC News

Australia’s first Muslim federal ministers Anne Aly and Ed Husic hope their appointments will mark a 'new era' of inclusivity. (3 June 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

A group of organisations representing Christian schools is urging the Albanese government to quickly bring in proposed religious discrimination laws citing new research that they claim shows overwhelming public support for the legislation. (4 June 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

New federal Education Minister Jason Clare says he is not interested in stoking culture wars over the national curriculum and has pledged to be a strong defender of teachers after Opposition Leader Peter Dutton vowed to reignite the “values” debate over what students are taught. (4 June 2022)
Read more at The Age

Around the Country

VIC: A Scientology-linked primary school in Melbourne’s outer east has rebranded itself, erasing any public acknowledgment of the controversial religion while still using teaching methods developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. (29 May 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

ACT: The ACT has drafted intersex law preventing medical procedures without consent. The Australian-first legislation would still allow medical treatment when the person is seeking a procedure for themselves or in circumstances such as health emergencies. (31 May 2022)
Read more at SBS News

VIC: A new study has revealed that the economic and financial cost of poor mental health outcomes of LGBTQI Victorians is over $3 billion. (31 May 2022)
Read more at Star Observer

QLD: A legal exemption that makes Queensland the only state to allow employers to discriminate against gender diverse and transgender people when working with children needs to be quashed, advocacy groups say. (3 Jun 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

TAS: Tasmania is the fourth state to announce plans to outlaw the use of Nazi symbols as state governments in Victoria, NSW and Queensland pursue changes. They will still be allowed to be displayed for historic or educational purposes while also allowing Hindu and Buddhist groups to use it. (5 June 2022)
Read more at SBS News

Commentary and Analysis

Katharine Murphy - Peter Dutton’s formula will be a bit less culture war, a lot less religion and more traditional Liberal policy: "Mr Relentless also thinks some Liberal voters who lodged a protest vote last Saturday can be wooed back if he can focus the party’s post-election policy debate on the economy, cost of living and the future prosperity of small business. The Dutton managerial formula sounds like a bit less culture war, a lot less religion, and a bit more traditional Liberal policy." (30 May 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

Shibu Thomas - Meet Australia's Out Gay Members of Parliament: "Australia has elected one of its most diverse Parliaments, as the country voted against attempts by former Prime Minister Scott Morrison to push wedge politics to the national stage for electoral gains. Star Observer takes a look at the Gay and Lesbian members of Australia’s Parliament." (1 June 2022)
Read more at Star Observer

Bob Carr, former Premier of New South Wales - The Israeli lobby and Labor: "...the lobby is moving further to the right. The recent Federal election confirms it. As a result a key message for the new prime minister and foreign minister is that no matter what concessions Labor gives the lobby it will always in the end support the coalition. Always." (1 June 2022)
Read more at Pearls and Irritations

Dr Kevin Donnelly - After Election 2022: where to from here for Christians?: "While before the election Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese made much of their commitment to Christian beliefs and teachings, we now face a very different situation where Teal independents and radical Green members of parliament will pressure the Labor government to enforce a strong anti-religious agenda." (2 June 2022)
Read more at the Catholic Weekly

George Browning, Anglican Bishop of Canberra Goulburn 1993 -2008 - Anglicans divided over same sex marriage: "At the recent General Synod of the National Church, the Diocese of Sydney moved a resolution, which if passed, intended to prohibit the blessing of same sex couples. To be passed, a matter of this weight requires a majority in the three houses of bishops, clergy, and laity. While it received a majority in the latter two, it failed in the house of bishops." (2 June 2022)
Read more at Pearls and Irritations

Adam Wesselinoff - Social shift led to euthanasia law: "Voluntary assisted dying (VAD) was a 'free vote of the Parliament' and it is unfair to characterise it as a decision of the Coalition government, the Minister for Finance and Employee Relations, Damien Tudehope, has told The Catholic Weekly." (2 June 2022)
Read more at the Catholic Weekly

Paula Gerber, Professor of Human Rights Law, Monash University - Will things be better for LGBTIQ+ people under Labor? Here’s what the new government has promised: "Australia under Scott Morrison didn’t feel like a very safe place for LGBTIQ+ people. So will this change under the new Albanese government? The answer appears to be a resounding “yes”. Let’s examine Labor’s election promises on policies affecting the LGBTIQ+ community." (2 June 2022)
Read more at The Conversation

Michael Dove - The religion question: Counting down to the census results: "The results of the 2021 census are due to be released at the end of this month. One of the questions that has received the most attention and stimulated the most discussion is, ‘What is the person’s religion?’ There are several reasons that explain why the census figures on religion are misleading." (3 Jun 2022)
Read more at Rationale Magazine

Michael Easson - The “Israeli Lobby” mischaracterises the diverse, Australian Jewish community: "When people like Carr denigrate them as “the Jewish lobby,” “the Zionist lobby” or “the Israeli Lobby,” a sinister influence is conveyed rather than as Australians legitimately exercising the right of all citizens to promote their views. It is little wonder that most Jews and others see this as antisemitism." (3 June 2022)
Read more at Pearls and Irritations

Peter Henning - Australians reject Trumpism: "One of the big mistakes that Morrison made, in the cocoon of his preposterous narcissism, was that Australia really was a mini-USA, or at least its suburbs and regions were swarming with religious, sexist and misogynist bigots akin to Trumpist Texas, ripe for the extremist Trumpist social agenda legalising religious discrimination, reinforcing socio-economic inequality, driving down wages and working conditions, increasing underemployment and structural inequities in education and health, and maybe book-banning into the bargain." (3 June 2022)
Read more at Pearls and Irritations

Events and Campaigns

National LGBTQIA+ advocacy group Just.Equal Australia are hoping to learn more about how LGBTQIA+ Australians and allies voted in the recent federal election. Participate in the survey 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!

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