AUSTRALIAN  PRAYER  NETWORK  NEWSLETTER – AUSTRALIAN NEWS 27th NOVEMBER 2013

  • ACT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LAWS UNCONSTITUTIONAL SAYS SOLICITOR – GENERAL
  • RADICAL ISLAMIC GROUP CLAIMS AUSTRALIA AT WAR WITH MUSLIMS
  • ANGLICAN DIOCESE MAY OPT OUT OF MARRIAGE IF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IS LEGALISED
     

ACT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LAWS UNCONSTITUTIONAL SAYS SOLICITOR – GENERAL

The ACT’s same-sex marriage laws are unconstitutional, according to legal advice from the commonwealth Solicitor-General to the Abbott government.  An appeal by the Federal Government against the passing of such laws by the ACT Government will be heard by the High Court next week.  Attorney-General George Brandis received the advice, which casts strong doubt as to the validity of the ACT laws because of inconsistency with the commonwealth Marriage Act.  The ACT government has indicated it will vigorously defend its laws in the High Court setting up the crucial test of whether same-sex marriage laws will be allowed to be set up by State and Territory jurisdictions. 

The government’s preference for a High Court challenge means same sex marriage supporters in the Coalition have lost the opportunity to raise the issue of a conscience vote on same sex marriage. Some had wanted this to be the trigger to overturn the current position forcing Coalition MPs to vote against same sex marriage.  In 2006, the Howard government used a ministerial order to rescind same sex marriage laws in the ACT. That act would be more difficult now. Under changes to the territories’ self-government law introduced by then federal Greens leader Bob Brown in 2011, Mr Abbott would have needed both houses of parliament to veto the ACT’s bill. 

If Mr Abbott had taken such action, he would have needed five extra votes in the Senate to be successful. The government did not believe it would get such a bill through the parliament and believes the better course of action is the High Court challenge.  Queensland Coalition senator Sue Boyce, who is strongly in favour of same sex marriage, said that if the case could be made by the Attorney-General that the ACT laws were unconstitutional, then even same sex marriage advocates on the Coalition side might support the government in striking them out. The ACT government wants same-sex couples to be able to marry in Canberra before the end of the year. 

Meanwhile the NSW Council of Churches has commended the Prime Minister for his Government’s decision to challenge the ACT Government’s same sex marriage laws in the High Court. “We can’t have States and Territories passing laws that divide Australians and are guaranteed to face legal challenge,” the President of the Council, the Rev Dr Ross Clifford, said. “The Bible clearly upholds that marriage is intended as a relationship between a man and a woman. Australia needs politicians who are willing to take an uncompromising stand on this issue, who will uphold traditions and customs that have served society well in the past,” Dr Clifford said.

“The NSW Council of Churches believes that a change in federal marriage law would be contrary to our Australian culture and heritage,” NSW Council of Churches Public Affairs Director, the Reverend Rod Benson, said. “It is imperative that Prime Minister Tony Abbott remain firm in his support for the current definition of marriage in federal law, and true to his Government’s election mandate to defend the meaning of marriage as currently defined in Commonwealth law,” Rev Benson said.

Source: Compiled by APN from information supplied by various sources

 

RADICAL ISLAMIC GROUP CLAIMS AUSTRALIA AT WAR WITH MUSLIMS

A hardline Islamic group has warned Muslims that the government is trying to “brainwash” their children and that they should resist any attempts to water down their strict view of Islam. “The government is playing a dirty game,” Wassim Doureihi told the 600-strong audience at the conference in Lidcombe (Sydney).  It has launched a 124-page report on what it sees as Australian government attempts to divide the Muslim community into extremists and moderates. “The fundamental objective of these policies is to change Islam, to secularise Islam, to produce a so-called ‘moderate Islam’: a state-sanctioned version of Islam that is secular, politically impotent and localised,” it said. 

Mr Doureihi warned the audience that it was “a war on Islam – a war that is being waged in this country as it is in the rest of the world”. Fellow speaker Soadad Doureihi warned: “This is truly a battle.” He said the Australian government had “arrogantly” assumed that because Muslim youth “went to their schools and watch their TV shows” they would adopt “their values”.  Because that did not happen, he said, authorities had instead moved to target young Muslims with sponsored leadership programs. “This is not a leadership course, it is a brainwashing course,” he said.

Outside, about 20 Australian Defence League members waved banners and chanted: “Australians are welcome, terrorists are not” watched by police. League president Ralph Cerminara said: “Hizb ut-Tahrir is a terrorist organisation and it needs to be banned from Australia.” Inside people told how they had been approached by representatives of ASIO and the Australian Federal Police to inform on other members of their Muslim community. “Know your rights,” Wassim Doureihi said. “When ASIO calls the simple message is that you open the door and slam it on their face.” 

The organisers said the government was attempting to manipulate their community by providing funding to counter-terrorism and counter-extremism groups. “Not only do you reject it, you spit on it because it is money that will be the source of your demise,” Mr Doureihi said. Soadad Doureihi condemned the National Imam’s Council and the Lakemba Muslim Association for taking government money that was ” conditional” on producing a more watered down version of Islam. Sheik Rian Wiramihardja said: “They are rewriting Islam to make it more palatable to Western tastes and we have to be aware of this.” The speakers called on those present to resist any attempts to moderate Islam

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

 

ANGLICAN DIOCESE MAY OPT OUT OF MARRIAGE IF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IS LEGALISED

The Bishop of North West Australia, the Rt Rev Gary Nelson, has warned that if same-sex marriage is legalised, Anglican clergy in his diocese would no longer serve as marriage registrars. Bishop Nelson said “If we were compelled as marriage celebrants to marry same-sex couples then, as far as this diocese is concerned, I would be withdrawing my approval for ministers to act as marriage celebrants. Clergy would be permitted to perform marriage services according to the rites of the Church, but couples married in the church would need to go to a civil registrar to have their marriage recognized by the state. 

Australia was in the midst of a culture war between those holding a traditional Christian worldview and post-modernists. “The post-war rise of deconstructionism impacted ethical thinking, suggesting that humans are free to create their own natures and decide upon their own purposes — so marriage could be regarded as one social construct among many,” he said. “In forming an ethical position, you have to decide if you are committed to a relative or absolute set of values. As Christians, we ask what is the Bible, as God’s disclosed word, saying on any issue.”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports