The last 24 hours has been momentous for our nation.
ACL congratulates Kevin Rudd on his return to the Prime Ministership. We acknowledge his genuine passion for the poor including the homeless and those globally who are experiencing extreme poverty. We share these passions.
Notwithstanding the budget cuts of the past two years resulting in our failure to stay on track with our Millennium Development Goal promises, Australia’s overseas aid is at a record $5.7 billion, a good thing for a wealthy country and a positive legacy of Mr Rudd’s first period as PM.
However, we are of course disappointed that he changed his position on marriage and now supports its redefinition. This is a position at odds with all major churches in Australia .
And while there are many issues of public policy concern for Christians, the debate over marriage and its consequences for children, free speech and freedom of religion is a defining issue of our time and one on which we cannot afford to be silent.
Australia has not yet succumbed to redefining marriage and it is certainly not inevitable that we will. However, with a Prime Minister who now actively supports it, we will need to continue to make the case for retaining it.
Julia Gillard deserves honour for her service to the nation. While we obviously had disagreements with her, particularly on human rights for the unborn, she was generous in giving ACL many hearings and genuinely helpful in resolving many of our policy concerns. Her support for marriage remaining between a man and a woman was unwavering and for this we thank her.
We need to continue to pray for our nation and its leaders as we head into this election period.
Lyle Shelton Managing Director
PS: Thanks to those who prayed and sent messages of encouragement following my recent surgery. I’m pleased to be on the mend and back at work.
US Supreme Court delivers two landmark marriage decisions
By ACL’s Daniel Simon
The US Supreme Court delivered two major decisions in the “marriage cases” on Wednesday morning US time.
The decisions, heard and decided concurrently, are a concern to those who uphold marriage as between a man and a woman.
Government undermines protections for religious freedom
By ACL Team
This last week of the Parliamentary term saw a bill quietly pass that has big implications for freedom of religion in the future.
Called the (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Bill 2013, it removes religious exemptions for Commonwealth aged-care providers to preference a married couple over an unmarried couple or a heterosexual over a homosexual resident.
Federal slavery inquiry ignores Swedish legislative approach to combating human trafficking
By ACL’s Katherine Spackman
A federal inquiry into slavery and people trafficking ignored calls to criminalise the purchase of sexual services like Sweden has done as part of the solution to preventing human trafficking in Australia, despite hearing evidence that most trafficked victims are women who’ve been exploited in the sex industry.
Tas benches anti-discrimination laws but looks set to pass adoption laws
The Tasmanian Government has benched anti-discrimination legislation that would have had serious implications on religious freedom.
Proposed changes to the Anti-Discrimination Act 1988 were due to be debated in the Upper House on Wednesday but ACL understands the state government decided not to vote on the legislation when it realised it didn’t have the numbers for the legislation to pass.
Christian Concern and Law Society reach agreement on marriage conference
By ACL’s Laurenne Abdelmalak
A UK Christian organisation, Christian Concern, recently reached an agreement with the Law Society after its conference on marriage was cancelled. The Law Society, which opened up its headquarters for the conference scheduled in May 2012, cancelled the event at the last minute because it was “contrary to our diversity policy.” As such, Christian Concern was forced to organise the conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (QEII), but they too cancelled the event at 4pm the day before the event, also citing “diversity policies.”
Interested in a career in public policy or know someone who is? Then apply for the Lachlan Macquarie Internship (LMI). A three-month course located on the outskirts of Canberra, the LMI is aimed at fostering a greater appreciation of the relevance of a Christian worldview to public policy. Applications are now open for the August intake, and generous scholarships are available.
Nick Cater on the Political Spot about his book “The Lucky Culture And The Rise of Australia’s Ruling Class”
Nick Cater is a senior editorial executive at The Australian who has just written a book called “The Lucky Culture And The Rise of Australia’s Ruling Class”. In this interview with the ACL’s Katherine Spackman he talks about the book.
Dan Flynn on the Political Spot about state-based same-sex marriage laws
Dan Flynn works at the Australian Christian Lobby. In this interview with the ACL’s Katherine Spackman he talks about the recent motion passed in the upper house in South Australia for state based same-sex marriage.
Across the world, particularly in India and China, millions of girls are being killed, aborted, or abandoned simply because they are girls. Many who do survive become subjected to neglect and violence at the hands of their family members and husbands, and is motivated by centuries-old traditions and cultural dynamics.
CPX interviews Dr Megan Best about the ethics of reproductive medicine
Dr Megan Best recently spoke to Justine Toh at the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX) about her book, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. Dr Best is a bio-ethicist and a palliative care doctor. Her book examines the ethics of reproductive medicine from a Christian perspective.