AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER
GENDER THEORY BANNED IN NSW CLASSROOMS
NSW public schools have been banned from teaching gender theory after a review into the state’s sex and health education resources. Students will no longer be taught that gender is a “social construct”, or that sexuality is “non-binary”, and “constantly changing”. An edict encouraging teachers to “de-gender” their language will also likely be scrapped, along with sexually explicit case studies and teaching aids such as the “Genderbread Person”, which promotes the idea that there are “infinite possibilities” of gender identity. Announced in September, the review by professor Bill Louden followed reports that a sex education resource, the Teacher Toolbox was delivering content related to diversity of sex, sexuality and gender, and promoting Safe Schools materials, possibly in contravention of federal guidelines.
Further revelations about Crossroads, the state’s compulsory sex education program for Years 11 and 12, also pushing gender theory, prompted then education minister Adrian Piccoli to order a review into the scientific underpinning of the material. An update to teachers, details a list of resources that should not be used. The list includes the Teacher Toolbox resource, the Affirming Diversity unit aimed at Year 10, and 3 of the sexual and gender diversity activities contained within the Crossroads program. One of those encourages students to consider various case studies, including “Joseph”, a man married with three children who “masturbates and fantasises only about men” and “Alex”, who had sex with girls as a teenager but has developed a relationship with a man since moving to the country.
The department has declined to comment on the specific recommendations of the review and it is not clear whether the ban stems from specific recommendations or is the department’s response to the review. It is also not clear whether new Education Minister Rob Stokes will have a role in endorsing recommendations from the review. Gender theory, and its creeping influence on government-run education, has been a controversial topic over the past year, having also underpinned the divisive Safe Schools program. The concept of deconstructing gender derives from “queer” theory and is understood to be highly contested, even within the social sciences. According to the NSW Education Standards Authority’s statement of equity principles, curriculums should reflect evidence-based research.
The document also states, however, that teaching materials should provide “opportunities for students to evaluate and deconstruct gender and sexuality”. Labor MP Greg Donnelly, who has campaigned for the removal of Safe Schools, called on the Education Department to release the latest review. “It is important that the public gets to see what is in the review report,” he said. “Given the highly controversial statements that were contained in the teaching material, mums and dads are entitled to know what the review report says and recommends.”
Source: Compiled by APN from media reports
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DISCRIMINATORY VICTORIAN GREENS BILL OVERWHELMINGLY DEFEATED
Towards the end of last year, the Victorian Green’s Bill to restrict Christian schools from enrolling students based on their values and beliefs, was voted down in the Victorian Legislative Council. Sometimes good news doesn’t seem to come along that often, but this was definitely good news! The Equal Opportunity Amendment (Equality for Students) Bill specifically sought to curb the rights of religious organisations and schools by making it unlawful to enrol all students based on shared religious values. Thankfully the Bill was defeated, with only six MPs voting in favour of the Bill, and 32 against. The six MPs were made up of all five Greens MPs, and the one MP from the Australian Sex Party.
Despite being presented in a similar way to the ALP’s Equal Opportunity Amendment (Religious Exceptions) Bill that is currently before the Legislative Council, and seeks to restrict Christian schools from employing staff based on their values and ethos, reason prevailed, and all ALP MPs voted against the Bill. This overwhelming defeat sends a strong message to those seeking to attack religious freedom through parliamentary means. Faith-based schools have long operated with this fundamental religious freedom, that allows them the freedom of association to form communities based on religious beliefs and values. One of Victoria’s strengths is the diversity in the types of schools available, giving parents the ability to choose where to enrol their children.
Often, faith-based schools are chosen because of the values and ethos that are taught, especially with more and more schools signing on to the so-called Safe Schools program without consulting parents. As the limiting of freedom of association has only been placed on religious groups and schools, and not on organisations such as political parties, who are still allowed to refuse members or employees who do not share their core party values, it is a relief that common sense prevailed on this occasion, and such targeted restrictions rejected. For now, the freedom of citizens to establish and maintain voluntary associations remains, but we must remain vigilant to future challenges.
Source: Australian Christian Lobby
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WOMEN AND GIRL’S RIGHT TO FEEL SAFE UPHELD BY VICTORIAN UPPER HOUSE
Late last year the Andrews Government’s Births, Deaths & Marriages Registration Amendment Bill was defeated in the Victorian Upper House. Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) Victorian director Dan Flynn said by voting down the bizarre bill, the opposition and many in the cross-bench had ensured the rights of women and girls to feel safe in women-only spaces would be maintained. “The bill failed to withstand the scrutiny of the Legislative Council with many MPs expressing concern that a person could change their sex merely by self-identification,” Mr Flynn said. “If passed, the bill would have enabled biological males to change their ‘sex’ on their birth certificate to female merely by stating that they ‘identify as’ a woman.
The bill would have irresponsibly placed women and children at risk in domestic violence shelters, gymnasiums and toilets. The bill contained the stunning proposition that men could change the sex on their birth certificate, regardless of whether they experience ‘gender dysphoria’ or even attempt to present themselves to the world as the opposite sex. Furthermore, the bill promoted the idea that minors could change their sex. The risks to children were recently pointed out by Dr John Whitehall, Professor of Paediatrics at Western Sydney University, who voiced concern about children being conditioned by cheerleading parents enmeshed in the transgender cause.
“Fortunately the Opposition and most of the cross-bench MPs rejected the pretensions involved and demonstrated that this gender bending bill was out of step with community opinion,” Mr Flynn said. The Government has now suffered two defeats on LGBTI issues and ACL urged the Government to listen to the community concerns and reconsider its priorities. “Victorians can be pleased that the Legislative Council is doing its job as a House of review and rejecting symbolic legislation that puts ordinary Victorians at risk.”
Source: Australian Christian Lobby
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