Weekend Wrap for 8 May 2022

Welcome to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 8 May 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

Senator Amanda Stoker, the federal government’s assistant minister for women, promoted her stand against abortions to around 1000 people at a pro-life rally in Brisbane on Saturday. (30 Apr 2022)
Read more at The Age

Coalition MPs and religious groups have called for Labor to dump NSW Senate candidate Mich-Elle Myers because in 2013 she tweeted, amongst other things, that “Jesus was gay”. (5 May 2022)
Read more at Q News

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he doesn’t want the national debate over abortion rights occurring in the US to take place in Australia, saying it was an issue that could “deeply divide this country.” (6 May 2022)
Read more at The Age

Liberal candidate Katherine Deves visited the Sydney Jewish Museum on Friday after backlash to her comments where she compared her lobbying to stop transgender athletes from competing in women’s sport to standing up against the Nazis during the Holocaust. (6 May 2022)
Read more at SBS News

A long-delayed showdown over same-sex marriage threatens to “further diminish” Australia’s second-largest church and destroy its national unity, Anglican Primate Geoff Smith warns. (6 May 2022)
Read more at The Australian

The Prime Minister is standing by his decision to push ahead with the religious discrimination act without making changes to protect gay students at the same time. (7 May 2022)
Read more at ABC News

Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg has renewed his call for religious freedom laws to be dealt with at the same time as protections for gay and trans students, despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s plan to deal with them separately. (7 May 2022)
Read more at The Age

Around the Country

TAS: Tasmania has marked the 25th anniversary of the state's decriminalisation of homosexuality with a special event at Government House. (2 May 2022)
Read more at Out in Perth

QLD: City councillors will be asked to scrap the Christian prayer at the start of meetings as the council faces accusations of religious discrimination. The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) wants councillors to “replace the prayer with a more inclusive practice such as a period of quiet reflection on their duties”. (2 May 2022)
Read more at the Gold Coast Bulletin

WA: Prominent McGowan government member Alannah MacTiernan will support the removal of Christian prayers from the upper house of the West Australian parliament. Minister MacTiernan said it was now time to modernise the parliament and replace the opening Christian prayer in the Legislative Council with something more inclusive. (2 May 2022)
Read more at the RSA

VIC: The Dan Andrews Labor government on Tuesday announced that it was earmarking around $14.7 million in the 2022/2023 budget “to support and celebrate LGBTIQ+ Victorians”. (3 May 2022)
Read more at the Star Observer

SA: Attorney-General Kyam Maher says he will try to bring forward the implementation of the state’s voluntary assisted dying laws, following criticism of a previous government plan to wait 21 months after the legislation passed. (4 May 2022)
Read more at InDaily

VIC: The University of Melbourne has condemned as anti-Semitic a vote by its student union demanding the university cut ties with Israeli institutions and academics and boycott companies “complicit in and profiting from the Israeli apartheid”. (4 May 2022)
Read more at The Age

VIC: Outspoken Victorian Liberal MP Bernie Finn has posted he is "praying" for abortion to be banned, telling a follower he was not supportive of abortion even in the case of sexual assault. (5 May 2022)
Read more at ABC News

VIC: Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has lashed out at colleague Bernie Finn for saying he was "praying" for abortion to be banned and warned the upper house MP to be a part of the Liberal team or leave the party and sit on the crossbench. (6 May 2022)
Read more at The Age

NSW: Leaders of Sydney’s Anglican schools are pushing back against a decree by the Sydney diocese that new principals and directors of its school boards sign a document affirming they believe marriage is between a man and a woman. The clause about marriage, inserted into a 15-year-old statement of faith, has become an “issue of consternation” and several principals have taken their concerns to the Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel. (6 May 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

QLD: A bid to have satanism classes taught at some Queensland schools has been dismissed as “a base political stunt”, with a supreme court judge ordering the founder of the Noosa Temple of Satan to explain why he should not be prosecuted. (6 May 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

NSW: Alumni and parents from Anglican schools fear church guidelines saying students struggling with their gender identity should honour the maleness or femaleness of their god-given body are a further sign of the diocese imposing its social conservatism on the classrooms. Parents on Friday angrily wrote to Anglican schools and their boards, concerned about the Herald’s revelations that principals and directors appointed to schools run by the Anglican Diocese of Sydney will have to affirm their opposition to gay marriage. (7 May 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

Commentary and Analysis

Genevieve Gannon on the NSW VAD debate – Meet the real families at the heart of the Voluntary Assisted Dying debate in New South Wales. The Weekly speaks with people whose emotional real-life experiences have put them at the centre of this battle. (28 Apr 2022)
Read more at Now To Love

Brian Morris – Christian Woke in Politics - Injustice, Persecution, and Freedom: "We should prepare for the mantra of ‘Religious Freedom’ to arise once again – with a freshly engineered version of the Religious Discrimination (privileges) Bill. That is, of course, if our Pentecostal prime minister is returned at this election." (2 May 2022)
Read more at the AIMN

David Donovan on the Seven Mountains Mandate: "Let me tell you about the most brazen assault on Australia’s secular democracy you have probably never heard about. It’s the Seven Mountains Mandate. And it’s quietly creeping from America into Australian political life, with the express purpose of taking control of all the institutions of power." (3 May 2022)
Read more at Independent Australia

Prudence Flowers of Flinders University: "The end of Roe v. Wade would dramatically impact reproductive rights in the US. It would also likely have symbolic consequences globally, shaping the strategies and tactics of the trans-national anti-abortion movement." (4 May 2022)
Read more at The Conversation

Shibu Thomas – Ordinary Australians don't want culture wars, says Patricia Karvelas: "In the lead up to Equality Australia’s LGBTIQ+ Federal Election Forum at the Victoria Pride Centre, the Star Observer caught up with the event’s moderator, out ABC Journalist Patricia Karvelas." (4 May 2022)
Read more at the Star Observer

John Sandeman of Eternity News: "At the Freedom For Faith National Conference this week, Mark Spencer, Policy Director of Christian Schools Australia, outlined the effects of the Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Amendment Act 2021 introduced by the Victorian Government. This law invokes an 'inherent requirement test' to religious schools preferencing people of faith." (5 May 2022)
Read more at Eternity News

Shibu Thomas on policy priorities: "Ahead of the federal elections on May 21, the major national parties – Labor, Liberal and Greens have identified their priorities when it comes to the LGBTQI community." (6 May 2022)
Read more at the Star Observer

Stephanie Dowrick on Katherine Deves: "She may be remarkably uninteresting in herself as Scott Morrison’s personally chosen Liberal candidate for the NSW seat of Warringah but she is also startlingly effective as the frontwoman for 'Christian' attitudes that are ignorant, deeply harmful, and should have no part in the inclusive, tolerant society Australia claims to be." (6 May 2022)
Read more at Pearls and Irritations

Events and Campaigns

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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