News Desk


By Australian Newsletter

Men who identify as women are testing the boundaries in Australia.  A biological male who identifies as female threatened a discrimination action after being subjected to a second interview for admission to a Christian women’s residential rehabilitation program.” Offered a place in their day treatment program, he rejected it.  The chief executive of the women’s centre said: “Women have come to us because they don’t want co-ed living arrangements because they have had so much abuse in their life, usually from a male.  If you were to bring someone who is transgender into the facility, they are sharing bedrooms and bathrooms with these women.

We were going to engage with this person to ask more questions, but before we could get to that point the person became extremely aggressive and immediately said they were going to bring in their lawyer and accused us of being discriminatory.  Attorney-General Christian Porter says the women’s shelter is open to claims made under the Sex Discrimination Act.  “Where a person has been denied access to services because of their gender identity they would have a claim under the Sex Discrimination Act, which would be dealt with under the existing law.”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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By Australian Newsletter

A bid to amend or repeal Tasmania’s controversial transgender laws is “highly likely” following a shift in the balance of power in the state’s lower house.  The nation-first changes passed in April by Labor and the Greens, with support from Speaker Sue Hickey, allow sex-free birth certificates, gender change by affirmation, and extend hate speech protections to cover “gender expression”.  However, the make-up of the House of Assembly has changed significantly, with former Labor MP Madeleine Ogilvie elected on a recount to replace a retiring Labor MP, declaring she would sit as an independent.

This means the socially conservative Catholic and former ALP Right faction MP, returning to the seat of Clark she lost at the 2018 state election, will have a balance-of-power role, along with Ms Hickey.  Ms Ogilvie is understood to have concerns about aspects of the transgender laws, as well as a history of disagreement with LGTBI activists over gay marriage.  Ms Ogilvie has already been approached by opponents of the transgender laws to enter into talks with the Liberal government on amending and ultimately repealing the legislation.  Liberal Attorney-General Elise Archer indicated the government would welcome the chance to revisit the laws, which were passed by opposition parties and Ms Hickey against the wishes of the government.

“Because of the refusal by Labor and the Greens to consider the legal consequences of their amendments, it is highly likely the parliament will need to fix up problems with the legislation and repeal Labor-Green amendments at a later date,” Ms Archer said.  “Labor and the Greens refused to properly consult with all Tasmanians on what they were proposing.”  Ms Ogilvie, a descendant of two former Labor MPs, including former premier Albert Ogilvie, declined to comment on the issue.  However, she said she would consider all legislation on its merits and stressed the need for adequate consultation.

“I’ll look at every bill as it comes up,” she said, backing the Liberal government to run “full term”. “I’ll analyse it and I’ll make sure it’s properly consulted.  That’s what people want.”  A critic of the transgender laws, feminist group Women Speak Tasmania (WST), said it had already approached Ms Ogilvie on the issue and was confident she would support a legislative rethink.  WST spokeswoman Isla MacGregor said while the make-up of the independent-dominated upper house had not changed, this may occur at elections in May next year.  “We would not have much hope of repeal of the gender laws until next year but it is possible that we will be discussing some amendments before then, specifically the different definitions of sex and gender,” Ms MacGregor said.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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By Australian Newsletter

Anti-discrimination laws proposed by Victorian upper house MP Fiona Patten have been described as “section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act on steroids” that will turn the state into a “circus for culture wars”, free speech advoc ates say. In an Australian first, Ms Patten wants to broaden the Racial and Religious Tolerance Bill to provide protections for people vilified on the basis of gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics, outlawing actions that are “likely to incite hatred” or “severe ridicule”.  The legislation which is currently before a Committee, is highly likely to pass should the Andrews government vote in favour.

Free speech advocates including the Institute of Public Affairs and Liberal Democrats MP David Limbrick warn of unintended consequences in the legislation, likening it to section 18C of the federal Racial Discrimination Act, which outlaws actions that “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” a person on the basis of their race.  “Just like section 18C, the proposed anti-vilification laws are vaguely worded and contain no objective standard,” said IPA research fellow Morgan Begg.  “Each judge will have their own view on what is ‘likely to incite hatred’ or ‘severe ridicule’.  “This bill not only infringes on the freedom of speech of everyday Victorians … but the media, too.”

Mr Begg said a further amendment to expand the Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission’s power to apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to compel people to produce documents was “contrary to an individual’s right to silence, and runs contrary to 800 years of established legal protections dating back to the Magna Carta of 1215”.  “Such a power should be strictly limited and should only ever be exercised by a proper court of law,” he said.  “VCAT by their own admission are not a court, and should not exercise court-like powers.”

Mr Limbrick said under Ms Patten’s amendment, “Victorian judges may soon be forced to decide if using the wrong pronoun to describe someone is hate speech, feminists could be jailed for tweeting about men, and the government will have the power to trawl through your internet history”.  Ms Patten said her legislation was intended to extend the protections granted to racial and religious minorities to other groups facing online abuse, citing the cases of Adam Goodes and AFLW star Tayla Harris.  “It’s not right that Adam Goodes, because of his indigenous heritage, is protected … but Tayla Harris … subjected to sexist abuse, is not.”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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By Australian Newsletter

Do parents have the right to be involved if their school-age daughter or son wants to undergo transgender treatment to change their birth sex?  No, not according to material on the Student Wellbeing Hub website hosted by Education Services Australia and funded by the commonwealth Department of Education.  The government-sponsored website states that “the person who understands most about their gender transition or affirmation is the student themselves” and advises schools to consider the student’s wishes before deciding “whether to involve students’ parent(s) or guardian(s)”.

Unsurprisingly the site’s resources are produced by the same people behind the Safe Schools gender fluidity program which disregards parental rights entirely.  If the school considers the student is mature enough and capable of making their own decision, teachers are told “it may be possible to consider a student a mature minor and able to make decisions without parental consent”.  Kirralie Smith, Binary spokeswoman, said the Student Wellbeing Hub website should concern every parent.

“Governments and activists must not be given free reign to impose their radical ideologies on our children.  Parental rights and consent must be paramount.  These attempts to undermine parental authority are dangerous and will put many children at risk.” Smith said.  “We must protect our youth from potentially harmful medical and surgical interventions that can render them sterile and cause a myriad of health issues.  Minors are not permitted to drive, drink alcohol, get a tattoo or be married.  Yet activists want kids to make permanent, life-altering decisions without the involvement of their parents.  It is crazy!”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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By Australian Newsletter

Victoria has joined Tasmania, the Northern Territory, South Australia and the ACT, in passing new laws to allow transgender people to self-identify.  “The bill will remove the current requirement for transgender people to undergo sex reassignment surgery before updating their birth certificate.  They will also be free to self-nominate their sex as male, female or many other non-binary descriptors of their choice.”  “Children will also be able alter the gender on their birth certificate, provided they have parental support and a statement from a doctor or registered psychologist stating that the decision is in the child’s best interests.”

The bill passed with majority support, 26-14. Victoria Attorney-General Jill Hennessy, who introduced the bill, celebrated its passing:  “These important new laws are about ensuring everyone can live their life as they choose”. Greens leader Samantha Ratnam welcomed the reform:  “My love to our trans and gender diverse communities who have fought for so long for this.” MPs and advocacy groups including Equality Australia, Transgender Victoria and Ygender took to social media to celebrate.  Kirralie Smith, Binary spokeswoman, said once again ideological activism had overridden facts and common sense.

“These politicians are behaving more like activists, promoting an ideological viewpoint that will have serious consequences for our society.  They have done this without community consultation or comprehensive legal advice.”  “The passing of this bill demonstrates total disregard for the rights and safety of women.  There are no protections in place for female sporting competitions, or women’s safe spaces and services.”

Source: Binary

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By Feature Articles

Lord, may we obey Your voice, regardless of the request.  In the early 1950s, an American missionary named R. Edward Miller was working in a small city in Argentina.  He had been labouring for years without results and he felt he had tried everything he knew how to do, except sustained, concerted intercession.  Without telling the people in his congregation, he began to pray eight hours a day, asking God for revival in his own life and in theirs, as well as in the wider community.  All by himself, he prayed and prayed, adding fasting to his regimen because he was so determined to get results.  After at least six months of daily prayer, the Lord spoke one word to him: “Continue!”

He kept praying for several more months.  Eventually the Lord spoke again.  This time He told Miller to announce nightly prayer meetings at the church from 8:00PM to midnight, starting the following week.  Miller objected.  “Lord, are you sure?  If I hold prayer meetings, the only ones who come will be the little old ladies.  And all they will do is to sit and watch me pray.”  The Lord seemed to nod and say simply, “I know.”  Miller went ahead and announced a week of nightly prayer meetings.  As he predicted, the only people from his congregation who showed up were three of the little old ladies.  And, yes, all they did was sit silently and watch their pastor pray for four hours.

At midnight, he asked if any of them had received a word from God.  One of the women raised her hand and reported having had a strange desire to come up and knock on the wood table in the front of the sanctuary.  That seemed too foolish to be a real word from God.  They all went home for the night.

Next night, same thing.

The same three ladies arrived, sat down, and did nothing but watch Miller pray his heart out for four hours.  At the end of the evening, the same woman reported having the same sense about knocking on the wooden table.  This was crazy.  They adjourned for the night once again.

The next two nights were exactly the same.

The woman did not want to make a fool of herself, so she refused to knock on the table. Miller wondered, What if obedience to this strange instruction would turn out to be the key to something big?  The missionary tried to figure out a way to get the lady to at least try it out.  It was the final night of the scheduled meetings.  Again, only those three little old ladies came into the sanctuary to watch Miller pray.  This time, when he found out that she had had the same impulse for the fifth night in a row, he said, “Sister, we’re all going to walk around the table and knock on it.”  He figured that she couldn’t refuse to follow through if the rest of them were doing it.

He went first. He walked past the table and struck it with his hand.

“Thunk.” The other two women did the same.  “Clunk. Thunk.”  Finally the third woman stepped up to the table and knocked her knuckles on it.  Suddenly, the Holy Spirit came.  The four of them were overwhelmed with the glory of the presence of God.  On the spot, they began to worship God in ways they had never done before.  The news spread fast, and more people began to join them in nightly prayer times.  After everyone in the congregation had been touched by God, the revival spread to the capital city of Buenos Aires where eventually thousands of people gathered in an outdoor stadium in 1954.

The great Argentine revival of the early 1950s had begun, all because one man watched and prayed and followed through to the best of his ability.  “All prayers counts. Just keeping on Knocking!”

Source: Shared by James Goll on his website, God Encounters Ministries.

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By Australian Newsletter

Doctors, church leaders and MPs across the political divide have sounded the alarm on the “creeping” expansion of voluntary euthanasia, warning that key safeguards in the benchmark Victorian law have been stripped out of proposed legislation in other states.  “There is serious concern about this slippage,” the chair of the Australian Medical Association’s ethics and medico legal committee, Chris Moye, said, voicing concerns about the West Australian legislation, while further changes are being proposed in Queensland.  Dr Moye warned that protections in the Victorian law had been cut from the WA bill, which also allows doctors to raise a discussion of euthanasia.

“A lot of this change was happening even before the Victorian law, which is only two months old, has actually been tested,” Dr Moye said.  “At this point, we haven’t seen how assisted dying works in Victoria and yet the slippage is happening across these various jurisdictions.  I think there are two reasons: people were always going to be looking at the Victorian law and the tendency always is to relax legislation.”  The rollout of doctor assisted dying legislation in Western Australia, where there is emotive debate on the government sponsored bill, has also been criticised by the former primate of the Anglican Church and Archbishop of Brisbane, Phillip Aspinall.

And Australian Conference of Catholic Bishops president Mark Coleridge said the “death creep” of further law reform in Queensland could undermine public trust in doctors.  Victoria is the first state after three decades of failed attempts to bring in legalised euthanasia.  Under the reform, backed by the Labor government as “minimalist”, eligibility is restricted to dying adults assessed as having fewer than six months to live or a year in the case of sufferers of a neurodegenerative disease.  They must be experiencing intolerable levels of pain and suffering and have been resident in Victoria for 12 months before making the first formal request to die.

Doctors are not allowed to raise the option of assisted death with eligible patients.  The proposed WA law reverses this, allowing doctors to instigate a discussion on the subject.  The Victorian requirement for one of the two doctors assessing a patient’s eligibility to be a specialist is waived, as is the need for a government permit to allow the lethal medication to be dispensed.  While the default position in Victoria is for the patient to swallow the dose without medical supervision, there is more scope to request the involvement of a doctor under the WA legislation.  If the practitioner has a conscientious objection, the patient must still be provided with general information on assisted dying.

In Victoria, the doctor has 7 days to decline and is under no legal obligation to refer on anyone asking to die.  A draft bill circulated in Queensland by two former members of the state’s law reform commission, Ben White and Lindy Willmott of Queensland University of Technology, scraps the time requirement on life expectancy.  Whilst the Victorian stipulation that the patient must be within six or 12 months of dying, the White-Willmott threshold is “enduring and intolerable suffering”, predicated on the patient’s prognosis being terminal and their illness advanced.  “We could not find a justification to impose an arbitrary time limit,” Professor White said.

The Queensland Government has formed a parliamentary inquiry into voluntary assisted dying in Queensland.  If the Labor government follows the approach it took to abortion law reform last year, the Queensland Law Reform Commission will be involved in framing right-to-die legislation.  Dr Aspinall said the White-Willmott model was designed to extend access to those who didn’t qualify for voluntary assisted dying under the Victorian law and WA legislation, covering people with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and motor neurone disease.  “These factors might be taken as evidence of the potential existence of a slippery slope here in this country,” he warned.

Archbishop Coleridge said he was troubled that voluntary assisted dying law reform was progressing in WA so quickly: “There is a kind of creep, a death creep.”  The WA legislation passed the state’s legislative assembly by a vote of 45-11, but the numbers are tight in the upper house.  Of the 39 MLAs who spoke in the debate in the lower chamber, most backed voluntary assisted dying, albeit it with some reservation.  One of the few to oppose voluntary assisted dying on the Labor side was Mines Minister Bill Johnston.  “It is my judgment that this bill is not suitable to be supported and I will vote against it,” he said.

Liberal Treasury spokesman Dean Nalder said he was fearful that those dying would see it as more “convenient” to end their life rather than enbrace palliative care.  Several members of the state’s upper house have also flagged concerns about features of the bill.  The ability of doctors to raise the option of euthanasia with patients, barred under Victoria’s assisted dying legislation, is shaping as the key sticking point in the Upper House debate. There is also considerable pushback from senior indigenous leaders, with senator Pat Dodson warning that “fears and suspicions of ‘white¬fella’ medicine will only increase” if the bill is passed.

Source:  Compiled by APN from media reports

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By Australian Newsletter

The last few months have been turbulent in the NSW Parliament.  The introduction of the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill (now the Abortion Law Reform Bill) in August, began a two-month campaign to amend this flawed bill which claimed “only to move abortion out of the Crimes Act,” when in reality it would allow late-term abortions up until birth.  Tanya Davies, one of the Liberal Members of Parliament who opposed the bill said “Despite this bill being fast tracked through Parliament without proper public consultation or a Parliamentary inquiry, people from across NSW and Australia rallied quickly.

Within 48 hours over 13,000 people had lodged submissions to the rushed Parliamentary inquiry and over 100,000 people had signed the petition calling on the NSW Legislative Council to reject the bill.  Davies said “Although we were denied proper community consultation (to provide an example, the Animal Cruelty Laws were given five months for public consultation) we were able to delay the vote, and as a result of the overwhelming community engagement, highlight the flaws of the original bill and achieve significant amendments to this legislation.”

The original bill failed to protect doctors with a conscientious objection, failed to protect against sex-selection abortions, failed to provide care to babies born alive after a failed abortion, failed to penalise abortion coercion, failed to ensure women were offered counselling and failed to provide protection for doctors, women and babies.  Davies said “During this campaign, we fought hard and moved many amendments to ensure the protection of women, babies and doctors.  In total, 102 amendments were moved in the Legislative Council alone, with over thirty hours of debate, the third longest debate in the history of the NSW Legislative Council.”

Davies went on “We were able to secure many significant amendments, including concession around sex-selection abortions, duty of care for babies born alive, conscientious objection for doctors, continuation of the common law provisions around late-term abortions, ensure data is collected, ensure women are offered counselling and those that coerce a women on abortion can be penalised.  However, despite our efforts, this bill still contains serious flaws after multiple amendments were rejected, providing anaesthesia for a foetus before a late term abortion and banning the sale and trafficking of foetal tissue.”

But despite these amendments failing to get through, the bill is much better then what was first introduced in August.  Davies said It was a long fight, “one that saw me nearly resign from the Liberal Party room in parliament and move to the crossbench, but I am convinced of the necessity to protect life and protect the vulnerable that I consider it all worthwhile.  From the outset I was strengthened and upheld by these words:  “But in the coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you.  These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Isaiah 54:17)

“So in the end the good will always outlast the evil.  Therefore, persevere in the good, keep going in what is true, keep standing for what is right, and you will overcome and prevail in the end,” (The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn).  Davies said “These promises became a foundation of strength and certainty for me, encouraging me to continue to keep on fighting, even when all seemed dark.  In the face of great opposition and vile attack, these words gave me the resolve to continue to pursue changes on this life-or-death issue.  In 2011, during my maiden speech to the NSW Parliament I declared that I had come to this place ‘for such a time as this’.”

Davies went on “This radical abortion bill debate and fight for amendments is a demonstration of my maiden speech in action.  I hope my stance and firm resolve in fighting for what is right and good will give encouragement and hope to others to be bold in their sphere of influence.  I was not the only one standing up for life and the vulnerable, and I wish to thank everyone who was involved in this campaign.  Through our collective voice we were able to save many babies and women by ensuring better support and safeguards were introduced into this legislation.  I am forever grateful to all those who stood alongside me as I took up this fight.”

Source: National Alliance of Christian Leaders

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