Weekend Wrap for 6 March 2022

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 6 March 2022, where you can catch up on the latest secular-related news from around the country.

Do you have any campaigns, petitions, webinars or other event notices that could be added to our "Events and Campaigns" segment? Let us know at wrapfu@nsl.org.au.

At the National Level

Two-thirds of Australians support new laws to protect people from religious discrimination or vilification, but a similar percentage oppose law changes if it means schools or other organisations can sack or expel gay or transgender teachers or students. (27 Feb 2022)
Read more at The Age

Around the Country

SA: Voluntary assisted dying advocates say a government decision to hold off allowing euthanasia until March 29, 2023 – 21 months after legislation passed – will prolong the suffering of South Australians with terminal illness. (25 Feb 2022)
Read more at InDaily

NSW: The Perrottet Government needs to “grow a backbone” and follow through on NSW religious discrimination laws now that the Federal bill has failed, Mark Latham MLC has said after attempts to reintroduce his own religious discrimination bill were shot down by the major parties and Greens last week. (2 Mar 2022)
Read more at The Catholic Weekly

NSW: A winding-up order to dissolve Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party (CDP) has been issued by Justice Black of the NSW Supreme Court. The Party is not insolvent – the winding-up order that will cause the Party to no longer exist – because it cannot govern itself. (2 Mar 2022)
Read more at Eternity News

NSW: Fred Nile and Lyle Shelton have responded to the winding-up orders for the Christian Democratic Party. (4 Mar 2022)
Read more at Eternity News

TAS: In documents obtained by the Rationalist Society of Australia through a Freedom of Information request, the state’s Department of Education admits to running a program that discriminates against non-religious Tasmanians by blocking them from performing in the roles. (4 Mar 2022)
Read more at The Rationalist Society of Australia

VIC: For the first time in its 150-year-plus history, a sexual abuse survivor is taking the Archdiocese of Melbourne to court. (4 Mar 2022)
Read more at ABC News

Commentary and Analysis

Peter FitzSimons with Senator Andrew Bragg: "I didn’t think we should preference religion above other attributes. And I was concerned that we weren’t addressing long-standing discrimination issues. Too many people have been sacked as teachers for being gay. And equally we must protect minorities. Those vulnerable minorities include people who are struggling with their gender. And so I think we need to protect these people not persecute them." (27 Feb 2022)
Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald

Alan Austin: "No doubt Prime Minister Scott Morrison hoped his recent declaration on 60 Minutes that “I’ve worn out the carpet on the side of my bed... on my knees, praying and praying” would have boosted perceptions of his character, recently attacked by enemies and even friends. It may have. But it had adverse consequences as well." (28 Feb 2022)
Read more at Independent Australia

Graeme Watson: Conservatives are linking culture wars to actual war. Commentators such as former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Victorian Liberal Tim Smith and Lyle Shelton, spokesperson for the soon to be defunct Christian Democrats, all linked the invasion of Ukraine to western nations showing respect for people who are transgender, recognition of gender fluidity and an increase in political correctness. (1 Mar 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

Rita Jabri-Markwell: "Discrimination is where someone or an organisation treats you unfavourably because of your religion. Vilification is where someone incites hatred against you because of your religion. The Government’s [Religious Discrimination] Bill dealt with the former, but not the latter. The Bill also included protections for religious speech, which became known as the ‘right to discriminate’ by many critics and their supporters." (1 Mar 2022)
Read more at The Australian Muslim Times

Victor Franco: "This year, I will continue to advocate for secularism at the Boroondara City Council. I will continue to remain seated during the recital of prayers, as a way to advocate for the rights of the non-religious people in my community. Our government institutions should be secular. They should adhere to the principle of the separation of church and state to ensure that all citizens, ratepayers and taxpayers are treated equally, irrespective of their religious or non-religious beliefs." (3 Mar 2022)
Read more at The Big Smoke

Brigid Meney: "Some advocates for VAD have argued it is nothing more than a straightforward exercise to expedite the death of someone who is already terminally ill. But legislators and the public should be acutely mindful of exactly what grave and complex powers it will grant." (3 Mar 2022)
Read more at The Catholic Weekly

Events and Campaigns

Watch the online launch of the new Fusion party, formed by a merger of the Secular Party, Science Party, Pirate Party, Australian Climate Change Justice Party and Vote Planet.

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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