AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER
- SOUTH AUSTRALIAN LIBERALS TO SCRAP SAFE SCHOOLS AS AN ELECTION PROMISE
- WEST AUSTRALIAN SAME-SEX COUPLES COULD SOON HAVE CHILDREN BY SURROGATES
- LGBTI COMMUNITY BEHIND QUEENSLAND GENDER-FREE LICENSES
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN LIBERALS TO SCRAP SAFE SCHOOLS AS AN ELECTION PROMISE
A controversial Safe Schools program aimed at tackling bullying and self-harm in South Australian secondary schools will be scrapped by the Liberal party should it win the March 17 election, replaced by a broader anti-bullying program primarily focused on online attacks. The proposed move follows that of Liberal governments in NSW and Tasmania, which have wound back similar programs and implemented a broader approach to counter bullying. Federal funding for state-based anti-homophobia programs ended in October, leaving state governments responsible for funding it if they wanted it to continue or to draft their own programs.
Labor states have shown more willingness to continue funding the Safe Schools program, including South Australia the ACT, and Victoria. Queensland has ruled out funding the program, leaving schools who want to take part to fund their own involvement. The SA Labor government drew ire from many parents when it launched its own version of the Safe Schools program last year. Opposition education spokesman John Gardner says a “broad evidence-based anti-bullying program” is better placed to protect students. “Labor’s current program has got a very narrow focus in dealing with the particular needs of students identifying as LGBTI,” he said.
“Students identifying as LGBTI do need to be looked after, but they’re certainly not the only students suffering from bullying. There are a whole range of reasons why students suffer from bullying in our schools” Gardner said. South Australian Education Minister Susan Close said the Liberal policy is “to adopt everything that’s already occurring in schools but to pretend that homophobic bullying doesn’t exist”. “This means that they’re not adding anything, but simply taking something away,” Close said. “To abandon Safe Schools means that (Opposition Leader) Steven Marshall has given in to his conservative base that doesn’t want to talk about the bullying that comes with homophobia.”
Australian Conservatives MP Dennis Hood welcomed the Liberal plan, saying the existing program “actively promotes radical gender theory using state government funding”. “Our offices have been inundated with parents, grandparents and educators who did not want their children taught this theory in the classroom,” he said. Greens MP Tammy Franks backed Safe Schools, accusing the Liberal party of “dog whistling” as part of an effort to shore up conservative votes. “Young people who are victims of transphobic or homophobic abuse or bullying have every right to feel safe and included when at school. The research shows that at the moment they aren’t safe,” she said.
Source: Compiled by APN from media reports
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WEST AUSTRALIAN SAME-SEX COUPLES COULD SOON HAVE CHILDREN BY SURROGATES
A review of current surrogacy and assisted reproductive technology legislation in Western Australia (WA) is being conducted, which may result in WA changing their current laws to allow same-sex couples to have children via a surrogate. Legal academic, Professor Sonia Allan, will be conducting the review. Last year, she conducted a similar review for South Australia, which resulted in legalising surrogacy for same-sex couples. The review will also address additional issues such as genetic testing of embryos, donor-conceived individuals identity rights, and rights regarding embryos, eggs, and sperm in the event of divorce or death.
Although commercial surrogacy is illegal in all Australian states, the WA review will consider its legalisation as part of this inquiry. WA Health Minister, Roger Cook, said of the change: The review is long overdue. The existing Western Australian surrogacy and human reproductive technology laws are outdated, discriminatory, and are currently out of step with several Australian States. Less than two months after the legalisation of same-sex marriage, existing bans on surrogacy are already being named as ‘outdated,’ ‘discriminatory’ and ‘out of step,’ and Western Australia is set to not only extend surrogacy to same-sex couples, but possibly overturn the prohibition on womb-for-hire arrangements.
The recent legalisation of same-sex marriage is being used to usher in more ‘progressive’ policies. At Marriage Alliance, we have frequently pointed out the complications of surrogacy. Gushing media headlines tend to overstate the positive aspects of surrogacy, while underplaying the negative consequences. Stories of exploited women in countries such as Cambodia have repeatedly been brought to light. In another bizarre case, a 71-year-old man was awarded joint custody over four children fathered by his 48-year-old partner, and born to two Thai surrogates. The Australian government has even cautioned against the procurement of surrogate children from other countries in the past.
Source: Marriage Alliance Australia
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LGBTI COMMUNITY BEHIND QUEENSLAND GENDER-FREE LICENSES
A document has been leaked from Queensland’s Transport and Main Road Department (TMR) revealing the true reason that height and gender information were removed from the state’s driver’s licenses back in 2016.
The record indicates that the change was a direct result of harassment from the LGBTI community: “TMR has received complaints and suggestions from members of the LGBTI community about displaying gender (Male or Female) on TMR cards.” A government spokesperson said the main reasons for the change, which weren’t identified in the TMR document, were amendments to federal sex discrimination laws and technological advancements around facial recognition.
The leak has caused a stir among Queenslanders, many of whom are enraged over the blatant catering to identity politics: Another person commented, “Australia is becoming a joke. Too many idiots making decisions for us normal Aussies.” Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington also said the 2016 changes were “madness”. “It is offensive to taxpayers that their hard-earned money has been wasted on this rubbish,” she said. Although the government spokesperson assured Queenslanders that police will still have access to information on gender and height when they run licenses, citizens are not impressed.
Although a huge aspect of this case is the Transport and Main Road Department’s disregard for public safety and accountability by removing identifying characteristics from all licenses in order to cater to complaints from a few, the greater issue lies in its unhesitating obedience to lobby groups. Since same-sex marriage has been legalised, it seems as though the LGBT lobby has asserted a position of unleashed power over our state and federal government. In this specific case, all they had to do was complain about the gender designation on driver’s licenses, and authorities removed it. Where will Australia draw the line?
Source: Compiled by APN from media reports
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