The push for voluntary assisted dying in Tasmania is about to reach a critical moment. The Weekend Wrap is back for another week to keep you informed of secular issues making news 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
Liberal Senator Dean Smith, who introduced the marriage equality bill to parliament, is facing a fight to keep his seat after revelations that conservative powers, angered by his vocal support of LGBTIQ rights, are putting their support behind other candidates (Star Observer).
Research group McCrindle, a prolific publisher of faith-based research, claims that a new study shows a majority of Australians consider themselves to be religious or spiritual, believe in God and are more open to religion than mainstream narratives suggest (Catholic Leader).
Around the Country
TAS: Independent MLC Mike Gaffney has said that faith-based hospitals and aged-care facilities “shouldn’t be able to (stop voluntary assisted dying from occurring at their institutions) in a secular society”, as opponents to his bill scramble to secure a delay and more protections for faith-based groups (The Australian, paywalled).
TAS: In this radio interview, Independent MLC Mike Gaffney says the chances of his voluntary assisted dying bill passing both houses of parliament by the end of the year are “still good” (Tasmania Talks).
QLD: In this radio interview, Tanya Battel, a campaigner for voluntary assisted dying and a friend of the National Secular Lobby, says the issue was a “vote changer” in the election, with people wanting action from the Labor government (ABC).
WA: Belinda Teh, the face of Western Australia’s campaign for voluntary assisted dying, is a finalist for the state’s Young Australian of the Year for her leadership in the state’s voluntary assisted dying campaign.
QLD: Moderate figures in the state Liberal National Party are agitating for a post-election review, as concerns mount about the increased influence of the Christian right leading to poor candidate choices (The Guardian).
SA: The Marshall Government is encouraging South Australians to have their say on plans to reduce discrimination against members of the LGBTIQ+ community by reforming laws to strike a better balance between equality and religious freedom (Mirage News).
SA: Proposed reforms to the state’s abortion laws better reflect the “most current societal attitudes” on women’s reproductive rights and address out-of-date medical opinions, the Law Society of South Australia says (Lawyers Weekly).
Commentary and Analysis
Allan Hall, former deputy president of the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal, writes that residents of the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory should have the right to access voluntary assisted dying (Canberra Times).
Father Brendan Lee writes that the elderly stand to lose the most under voluntary assisted dying laws, with them set to face pressure not to be a burden (Canberra Times).
Angela Skujins takes a look at South Australia’s proposed abortion decriminalisation legislation and how it will attempt to bring the state’s laws into line with all other Australian states and territories (CityMag).
In supposing that “ultimately, the desire for safety from COVID-19 won the day” in the Queensland election, the Australian Christian Lobby’s Wendy Francis says vulnerable people are now “unsafe” in the face of voluntary assisted dying and abortion laws (ACL)
Susie O'Brien argues that women seeking to terminate their pregnancy should not have to face sneers from male Liberal Party politicians who will never be in the same position (paywalled, Adelaide Advertiser).