This is an abridged edition of Australian News prepared and queued for distribution prior to departure of editorial staff for overseas prayer assignments. The full addition will appear again next week.
What is being lauded as the “largest” survey to date of LGBTIQ Australians, shows an overwhelming 90% oppose protections for religious freedoms when it comes to same-sex marriage. Even more shocking is the extreme and hard nature of the community’s overall stance when it comes to tolerating those with differing views. Out of approximately 6,342 LGBTIQ survey respondents, the overwhelming majority oppose protection for the religious freedoms of civil marriage celebrants: 92.6% of respondents opposed exemptions for civil celebrants to wed same-sex couples based on conscientious or religious belief. This dropped slightly to 91.2% when asked if they would accept a civil celebrant exemption in order to achieve same-sex marriage.
Asked about an exemption for religious organisations providing a non-religious service that could pertain to marriage, for instance, hall rental, 94.3% of respondents said they disagreed. The survey clearly shows that even though same-sex marriage advocates consistently promise that “same-sex marriage won’t affect you,” their intent is to enforce their view on everyone. Over half (59%) of LGBTIQ Australians opposed allowing ministers of religion to decline to marry same-sex couples, even if it is against their religion. Despite their strong opposition to any religious freedom at all, a number of LGBTIQ activists would be willing to allow the religious freedom protections to go through, on the assumption that they will be repealed at a later date.
One activist said “If we can get legalisation of same-sex marriage as soon as possible once it’s in place it will be easier to get rid of discriminatory exemptions. Only because I’m sure they will be shot down not long after, and at least this gives an option to loving couples to finally be able to celebrate their love.” The “religious freedom for ministers of religion” is the only issue where there is any contention among the LGBTIQ community. In all other respects, it is pretty much unanimous: LGBTIQ Australians will accept no protection for religious freedom. But isn’t religion just as much a part of a person’s identity as their sexual orientation or gender identity?
Pro-life organisation FamilyVoice Australia has welcomed the action of President Trump to cancel the international funding of abortion by American taxpayers.FamilyVoice is calling for Australia to follow President Trump on this issue. “Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would do well to pay attention to the growing conservative agenda and remove AusAID funding of overseas abortions,” said FamilyVoice National Director, Ashley Saunders. “Funding spent on abortion is money that is not available for poverty alleviation. “Killing babies in Third World nations does nothing to address the causes of hardship in poor countries. It’s time Australia ceased funding overseas abortion,” he said.