AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER
MARRIAGE REDEFINITION BY STEALTH ALREADY WELL UNDERWAY
The elimination of gender turns out to be a not-so-new development. When Pat Byrne tells people that state schools will be forced to teach students about transgenderism if marriage is redefined, the reaction he usually gets is disbelief. Surely something so far-fetched couldn’t be true, they think. Surely this is just the “No” campaigners engaging in scare mongering. Then he shows them the federal and state government documents clearly laying the groundwork for this exact scenario and he says their disbelief turns into outrage. “They think we’re exaggerating until we show them the documents,” he said. As Vice President of the National Civic Council, a non-political organisation that advocates for Judeo-Christian values as the foundation of society, Mr Byrne is regularly asked to speak on this topic.
One document he shows people is the Sex Discrimination Amendment Act (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) 2013, which was quietly passed by the Federal Parliament without any public debate four years ago. The legislation removes the terms “man” and “woman” from anti-discrimination law and determines that it is unlawful to discriminate against someone based on their “sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, marital or relationship status.” It defines “gender identity” as “the gender-related identity, appearance or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of a person (whether by way of medical intervention or not), with or without regard to the person’s designated sex at birth.”
It further defines “intersex status” as “having physical, hormonal or genetic features that are: neither wholly female nor wholly male; or a combination of female and male; or neither female nor male.” In effect, the legislation which redefines the human person shapes education policies in state schools, as evidenced by the emergence of the “Safe Schools” program, which rather than being an anti-bullying program, is focused on normalising transgenderism. Transgenderism, or gender-fluidity, is the notion that gender is merely a social construct and is not fixed, with everyone positioned somewhere on a spectrum between male and female, or even genderless. When Mr Byrne shows people this document he says their reactions are often intense.
“At one meeting, an intelligent female lawyer, came up to me after I spoke and told me, ‘I feel like I’ve been hit in the face with a sledgehammer’. She couldn’t believe the writing of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ out of federal law has already gone so far and been noticed by so few in the legal community.” “So many have come up to me after public meetings I’ve spoken at, especially lawyers. They all say the same thing: ‘I can’t believe they’ve done this’.” Representatives from ethnic communities, for whom traditional marriage is a key institution, are often shocked, he said. “They all want to know, how come nobody told us?” Because this legislation redefines the human person away from either male or female, to any type of gender identity, “with or without regard to the person’s sex at birth”, means that if marriage is redefined it will in essence be”transgender or “gender-fluid marriage” not “same-sex marriage”.
The government hasn’t revealed what bill will be put to the Parliament in the event of a “yes” vote. The last bill drafted for federal Parliament, the Exposure Draft Marriage Amendment (Same sex Marriage) Bill, defines marriage as the union of “any 2 people,” not as either two people of opposite sex or two people of the same sex. “It’s transgender marriage, gender-fluid marriage,” Mr Byrne says, “with any two persons recognised by any gender identity.” Most people would also not realise there have been 20 marriage bills moved in Federal Parliament over the past several years, 14 of which seek to define marriage as between “any 2 persons”. “But define a person,” he says. “Fourteen of the bills say it’s ‘person’ according to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity. So they’re transgender marriage bills, not same-sex marriage bills.”
Some of these bills were put forward by Bill Shorten, The Greens Party, Sarah Hanson-Young and Adam Bandt and Andrew Wilkie. Furthermore, he says, if marriage is redefined in law, transgenderism, or gender-fluidity, will have to be taught in state schools according to Section 21 of the Sex Discrimination Act, which makes it unlawful for any educational authority to discriminate against a person based on their “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, marital or relationship status.” In other words, getting rid of “Safe Schools” won’t protect children because the normalisation of transgenderism is written into federal law, which informs state education policies. Indeed, the “Safe Schools” program is based on the definition of gender identity found in the Sex Discrimination Act, which is why Safe Schools founder Roz Ward maintained that she was simply implementing anti-discrimination law.
Already, NSW, Victoria, QLD and SA have education policies implementing the Sex Discrimination Act. The NSW state education policy says transgender students “should be treated on the same basis as other students of the same identified gender,” including in regard to “Use of toilet and change room facilities” and “Excursions including overnight excursions.” Victoria’s policy states, “Careful consideration should be given to the use of facilities that are appropriate to the student’s preferred or chosen gender,” while QLD’s policy states, “Students who are transgender or intersex should be permitted to wear the uniform of their choosing.” The most forceful is South Australia’s policy which says, “this procedure is mandatory” and “Failure to provide transgender students with access to appropriate toilet and change facilities may breach anti-discrimination legislation.”
“So there’s no threshold for a boy to identify as a girl,” he says. “He only has to identify as a girl and then say he wants to use the girls’ showers, toilets and change rooms.” He has encountered numerous parents horrified by the radical gender theories being taught in their children’s schools. “We’ve talked to mothers who’ve pulled their kids out of schools because the kids were disturbed by this transgender teaching.” “I’ve talked to families from schools where this stuff has been prominent. Kids as young as 11, 12, and 13 have gone from talking about sex 10 per cent of the time to 90 per cent of the time. It changes the whole demeanour of children. We should be letting kids be kids.” People are astounded, Mr Byrne says, when he tells them about the broader agenda behind the push for “same-sex marriage” and the fact that transgenderism is already written into law at the federal level.
“Almost no one in Australian politics or the legal community is aware of the far-reaching changes which have already been quietly enacted into law and the status of marriage,” he said. “It’s about forcing upon society a change in the human identity, then a change in relationships in terms of marriage. Then it has to be taught in schools.”
Source: Catholic Weekly
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UNIVERSITY WORKSHOPS ON MALE PRIVILEGE
“Privileged” male students have been told to be more like women by refraining from dominating or showing off during classes, following workshops run by the University of Melbourne Student Union. Men should also acknowledge that being born male and white affords them certain privileges and reconsider the use of “Australian banter” during tutorials because of the risks of excluding students from other cultural backgrounds. Following recent workshops on “how privilege manifests itself in tutorials”, recommendations were given to university staff. A report from the sessions, tabled with the union’s student council, reveals female and coloured students complaints about “gaslighting”, a term used to describe how victims of domestic violence are manipulated by perpetrators, describing how white male students talk over them in class, “making us question whether we know anything”.
“Ways for men not to dominate tutorials: acknowledging the race and gender problem in order to fix it,” the report says. “Questioning yourself, when you want to speak in a tutorial, as to why you want to speak. Is it to self-aggrandise or to learn and contribute.” The report also advises female students against the tendency of some women to cushion opinions with qualifying statements like “this is probably stupid but …”. “Women should stop second-guessing their intelligence,” it says. “But men should learn how to speak like women and not speak with absolute confidence when they are in fact not sure or expressing an opinion.” The workshops were well-attended, according to the report, but the concept has raised concern about freedom of expression and thought in one of the country’s most prestigious educational institutions.
It follows reports that new University of Western Australia students were handed a 29-point “male privilege checklist” during orientation week, which detailed perceived male advantages over females in careers, sexuality, personal safety, child rearing, and even clothing. Critics claim these are signs that local universities are headed the way of US campuses, where extreme political correctness has spawned a so-called “snowflake generation”, young adults prone to taking offence and flinching from views that challenge theirs. The Institute of Public Affairs’ director of foundations of Western civilisation, Bella d’Abrera, said the workshops perpetuated the “white male privilege myth” of identity politics, which claims that biology, race and gender determine destiny.
“By asking men to tone down ‘Australian banter’ and to ‘speak like women’, the student union is simultaneously discriminating against men and patronising women,” Dr d’Abrera said. “The workshops are a direct assault on masculinity and are designed to make men feel ashamed of being men.” Centre for Independent Studies policy director Jeremy Sammut said universities should be places that encouraged freedom of thought and ideas. “Instead of students focusing on their courses and developing their minds, they’re being told to not only watch what they say but how they say it,” he said.”If these students can’t handle the exchange of differing views, how will they ever go on to become a CEO or the prime minister of the country?” The student union did not respond to requests for comment.
Source: Compiled by APN from media reports
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CONTINUOUS PRAYER DURING THE PERIOD OF PLEBISCITE VOTING
In Malachi 2:13-14 God reveals that He is not listening to the people and their prayers because of their breaking of faith in their marriages through the pursuit of divorce. Is it possible that the same is true for us and this is a large part of the reason why we are in the battle for marriage in our nation that we are in? Has the many unbiblical divorces “within” the church in our nation opened up the door for an increase in other “unbiblical” relationships?
Where we have broken faith or others we know have broken faith with our spouse for selfish and unbiblical reasons. We choose to flood the altar now with our confession rather than our excuses. Forgive us.
* Allow your heart to meditate on and grieve with the Father’s heart for our broken covenants and the loss of love and unity it brings to our lives, even as an earthly father might grieve over the break-up of His child’s marriage.
* The strengthening and preservation of every marriage covenant between a man and woman in our nation. Loosen the Kingdom of heaven over every marriage to encourage them and help them to persevere through every circumstance and obstacle. Ask for the supernatural love of God to be poured afresh into each of their hearts and flow over into their marriage and family!
Father, you have made every married couple one because You were seeking godly offspring and so we declare UNITY OF HEART AND MIND AND BODY over every marriage in our nation. We declare that those struggling in their marriage will not lose heart, though outwardly the marriage may appear to be crumbling, inwardly let it be renewed day by day until the victory is won. We declare Your blessing of life and abundant goodness and unfailing love over every one of their offspring! Amen!
Source: Australian Prayer Network
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A WORD FROM THE COALITION FOR MARRIAGE
As you might have seen, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has released its second update for the same-sex marriage survey. As of last week (when this article was written) 62.5% same-sex marriage surveys had been returned, which means that only five percent of Australians voted in the week prior. 10 million Australians have voted, and 6 million are still yet to vote. This result pours a bucket of cold water on the widely heralded polls that claimed that 80% of the country had voted and it was all over. They were wrong then, they are wrong now. With four weeks still left to go before ballots are due back, this race remains wide open and working together, we can win this.
The numbers tell us that there are a lot of people we still need to reach. The energy levels and spirits of our volunteers are high, but we can always do with more assistance. Please consider volunteering in whatever area you can help us with. We now have call centres set up which are open every day, and our neighbourhood visitation campaigns continue as well. We need as many people as we can to ensure a strong finish to a very strong campaign. We will continue at full speed until the final person casts their vote and the ballot closes. Together and in unity we can win. If you wish to volunteer, donate or simply catch up with all that is happening with the “No” campaign please go to www.coalitionformarriage.com.
(Bishop) Michael Stead
Coalition for Marriage
Source: Coalition for Marriage
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