AUSTRALIAN  PRAYER  NETWORK  NEWSLETTER – AUSTRALIAN NEWS 18th SEPTEMBER 2013

  • SAME-SEX MARRIAGE NOT A VOTE WINNER
  • NEW LAW COULD SEE LATE TERM ABORTIONS MADE ILLEGAL IN NSW
  • COALITION PLEDGE TO CUT AID DEEPLY DISAPPOINTING TO CHRISTIAN CONSTITUENCY
     

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE NOT A VOTE WINNER

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) says the recent election win by the Coalition demonstrates that despite the incredibly high profile of same-sex marriage during the campaign, it was not a vote winner for Labor. “It is clear that changing the definition of marriage is not something that defined the way Australians voted despite Labor’s high-profile campaigning on it and strong support for it in the media,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said. “Australia has an opportunity now to move on from this debate but if same-sex marriage activists persist in the new Parliament, it should go back to the people again for the ultimate conscience vote in a referendum,” Mr Shelton said.

“Mr Rudd’s bullying of a Christian pastor on Q&A in the final week of the campaign made Australians feel uncomfortable with the consequences for freedom of speech and freedom of belief should the law on marriage be changed,” Mr Shelton said. “It should not be up to politicians to decide to normalise this sort of treatment of fellow Australians who will always believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.” Mr Shelton said reforms in 2008 meant there was no discrimination against same-sex couples under Australian law and it was unnecessary to divide people in the way Mr Rudd did by changing the definition of marriage. 

Despite the Greens championing of same-sex marriage, they had suffered a swing against them while a pro traditional marriage political party, Family First, looks to have picked up a Senate seat in South Australia. Mr Shelton hoped Labor would realise the error of following the Greens’ social policy and of having changed its party platform on marriage at its 2011 National Conference. “There is an opportunity now for Labor to further distance itself from the Greens and move back to the sensible centre on social policy as part of its rebuilding process” Mr Shelton said.

Source: Compiled by APN from information supplied by ACL

 

NEW LAW COULD SEE LATE TERM ABORTIONS MADE ILLEGAL IN NSW

Liberal MP Chris Spence has put up a private member’s bill called “Zoe’s Law” – initially proposed by MP Fred Nile – which holds people criminally liable for the death of a foetus. It is so named after central coast woman Brodie Donegan’s unborn child, whom she lost at eight months when she was hit by a car. Leading medical and legal groups however have called on government MPs to abandon the proposed law that would for the first time define a 20-week-old foetus as a “person”. The NSW Bar Association and the Australian Medical Association NSW have written to Liberal Party ministers to say the law is unnecessary and may impact on women’s access to late-term abortion.

The NSW Bar Association told Mr Spence the law’s definition of the foetus as a ”person” at above 20 weeks or 400 grams was “arbitrary” and set a risky principle. The AMA wrote to Health Minister Jillian Skinner because it feared the laws could have unintended impacts on doctors in areas from genetics to obstetrics. Mr Spence has previously said the law was never intended to infringe on abortion, which is illegal in NSW but is protected under case law as being acceptable if a woman is facing “serious danger to her life or physical or mental health”.

The current legislation, covering harm to the foetus as grievous bodily harm to the mother, was sufficient, an AMA spokesman said. Women’s Electoral Lobby Australia chairwoman Melanie Fernandez said a coalition of women’s rights groups has repeatedly requested to be allowed to brief the Liberal Party, but this had not happened. “It would be really concerning,” she said, ”if this bill were to go to debate without consultation with experts in the community. A spokesman for Premier Barry O’Farrell said: “Liberal Party MPs will be given a conscience vote. For that reason it would not be appropriate for the Premier’s office to organise such a briefing.”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

 

COALITION PLEDGE TO CUT AID DEEPLY DISAPPOINTING TO CHRISTIAN CONSTITUENCY

The Coalition’s decision to cut $4.7 billion from overseas aid is deeply disappointing, according to Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) Managing Director Lyle Shelton.  “I think Australians are generally proud of the fact that we have been increasing our aid to the world’s poor in recent years,” Mr Shelton said. “Under the Coalition’s plan, we’ll now build better roads for ourselves with money that could have helped keep kids alive in countries where sealed roads are a luxury,” Mr Shelton said. “We all want to see Australia prosper but compared to many countries in our region we are rich and our aid budget is very modest compared to what we spend on ourselves,” Mr Shelton said.
 
Australia currently spends 0.37 per cent of Gross National Income on aid with Labor promising to get to 0.5pc by 2017-18 – still well short of the original Millennium Development Goal promise Australia made to reach 0.75pc by 2015. Labor recently diverted some of the aid budget to fund asylum seeker costs, something the Coalition condemned at the time. Christian churches and particularly young people through Micah Challenge have been at the forefront of campaigning to keep our national promise to the world’s poor. “It is disappointing to see bi-partisanship on this now gone,” Mr Shelton said. “Many Christians will feel let down by both major parties on this issue.”

Source: Compiled by APN from information supplied by ACL