Clarifying “transgender hate speech”

“An important appeal decision in November 2021, REP v CLINCH (Appeal)[2021] ACAT 106 (3 November 2021), provides significant clarification on what amounts to “transgender hate speech”, and what does not, under the law of Australian Capital Territory – and provides a helpful and persuasive set of reasons which may be influential in other jurisdictions.

Is it unlawful to say that ‘a trans woman is a man’? Not according to the Appeal Tribunal in the Rep decision …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster looks at a clarifying decision.

Your voice needed on Religious Discrimination Bill

“Supporters of protection for religious freedom are being urged to take part in a survey by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, as the Parliament considers the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021. …”

Here’s post from SydneyAnglicans.net on an important matter.

The survey referred to closes at 5:00pm on Tuesday 21st December.

The post also includes the questions from the survey.

Religious freedom bill in the House

“The Commonwealth has a Sex Discrimination Act, a Racial Discrimination Act, a Disability Discrimination Act and an age Discrimination Act. However, there is no standalone legislation to protect people of religion, of faith, against discrimination. Or indeed for those who choose not to have a faith or religion. The introduction of this Bill, the Religious Discrimination bill of 2021, will fix this.”

With these words, the Prime Minister introduced the long-awaited bill into the House of Representatives.

A coalition of faith leaders, including Archbishop Kanishka Raffel and Bishop Michael Stead had previously called for the bill to receive bi-partisan support. …

– At SydneyAnglicans.net, Russell Powell has the latest on the Religious Discrimination Bill.

The Religious Discrimination Bill arrives

“After a long wait, the Federal government has released the text of the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021 which is about to be introduced into the Parliament. There has been no general Federal law dealing with detrimental treatment of Australians on the basis of their religious faith and activities, and this is a welcome development, implementing a recommendation of the Ruddock Review which reported in 2018.

The government previously released two “Exposure Drafts” of the Bill (see some comments on those in previous posts, here, and here.) Having promised prior to the last election that he would advance this law, Prime Minister Morrison will now introduce it into the House of Representatives. If passed by the House, the Bill will then need to approved by the Senate, where it seems likely to be referred to (yet another) committee before being voted on there, probably sometime in the New Year. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster gives an overview of the Religious Discrimination Bill, and also indicates where it differs from previous drafts.

Victorian Religious Exceptions Amendment Bill introduced

“As previously foreshadowed (see my analysis of the proposals when first announced here) the Victorian government has introduced a Bill into the Parliament of that State seriously limiting the religious freedom of religious bodies and individual Victorian citizens.

The Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Amendment Bill 2021 (Vic) was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on October 27 and the second reading was moved on October 28.

The Bill is a serious attack on the religious freedom of Victorians, especially to send their children to faith-based schools reflecting a religious world-view.

The Bill amends the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) (“EOA”), which is of course Victoria’s main anti-discrimination legislation. One of the primary ways that Australian law provides protection for religious freedom at the moment is by way of “balancing clauses” that recognise that this right is an important internationally protected human right, which is not always simply subjected to other rights. But these clauses are regularly characterised as “exemptions” or “exceptions”, and when this is done they are painted as reluctant concessions to the most important claims (not to suffer discrimination). Hence the apparent plausibility of removing these “exceptions”.…”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Associate Professor Neil Foster takes a close look at this “serious attack on the religious freedom of Victorians”.

See also:

Victoria and the Gradual Reversal of Constantine – Murray Campbell

“It took almost 300 years for Christianity to be no longer deemed dangerous and criminal. In the space of 5 years, basic Christian ideas have been maligned and even made illegal in my State of Victoria.”

NSW voluntary assisted dying bill delayed until 2022 after referral to Upper House committee

“Opponents of the voluntary assisted dying bill in New South Wales have been accused of playing politics after a vote on the legislation was delayed until next year…”

– Report from ABC News.

Save the date: Gafcon Australasia Conference 2022

Save the date for the Gafcon Australasia Conference 2022: August 15-18 in Canberra.
More details coming soon.

Victoria’s Conversion Practices Act is a genuine assault on religious freedom

“I just got off the phone with a friend and fellow baptist pastor from Melbourne. He has resigned himself to the likelihood that he will face imprisonment over the next few years.

This isn’t because he’s done anything wrong or immoral. He’s a faithful follower of Jesus and lovingly serves a local church. He shared how he has been made to feel that he is a criminal. Again, this is not because he is behaving in any egregious manner.

It is because he is a faithful follower of Jesus and a loving pastor that he is expects to face jail time. …”

“the Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act is a religious manifesto wrapped in the guise of politics and law. Lest we were left in any doubt, the government presenters offered ‘Christian’ resources for us to read. None of the sources reflect Christian views, but the teachings of LGBT activist groups.”

A very sobering article from Murray Campbell in Melbourne.

He concludes:

“When the Government deems it necessary to clamp down on historic mainstream Christianity, all Victorians needs to be aware and consider what is becoming of our society.

What can Churches do? Write a letter to their local MP expressing concerns. Speak with your organisational/denominational leaders and them to provide adequate protections and advice for churches. Don’t give up on the goodness of the Gospel. ”

Victorian proposals to further limit religious freedom rights

“The Victorian government has recently announced proposals to further limit important protections for religious freedom currently applicable to religious persons, bodies and schools in that State.

The recent proposals have been put forward as dealing with the problem of religious schools sacking gay teachers, or expelling gay students: see this comment from The Age: “Religious schools in Victoria to lose the right to sack LGBTQ staff” (Sept 16, 2021).

However, the details of the proposals hinted at in the recent “Fact Sheet” provided by the government go much further than this. …”

Read the details from Associate Professor Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia.

Victorian Government to Discriminate against Faith-Based Schools

“The past 18 months have proven difficult for all Victorians. During this time 100,000s of Victorians rely on and are grateful for the support, care, and education provided by religious organisations: from schools to counselling services, and more. Churches have continued to minster to people and offer hope where disease and lockdowns have darkened the lives of so many. During this same period, the Victorian Government has moved again and again to reduce the freedoms of religious organisations for the simple reasons: for holding beliefs and practices that align with the historical convictions of their religion. …

By the end of the year, hundreds of schools and organisations will need to decide who they’ll follow.”

– Murray Campbell in Melbourne writes of yet another threat coming from the Government of the State of Victoria.

Queensland legalises voluntary assisted dying

“Queensland will become the fifth state to legalise voluntary assisted dying (VAD) after state Parliament passed a historic bill today.

After more than two days of emotionally charged debate, the bill passed with 61 MPs supporting the legislation and 30 voting against it. …

Meanwhile, the new legislation has been described as “deeply disappointing” by the Chair of Catholic Health Australia, John Watkins.

He said the organisation had made it clear they did not want to allow voluntary assisted dying in faith-based hospitals or aged care facilities in Queensland.”

– Report from ABC News.

Call for all Queensland euthanasia amendments to be heard

“The nation’s most extreme euthanasia legislation has been tabled in Queensland Parliament and the government has declared they will end the debate at 5:45pm on Thursday 16 September – whether or not all amendments have been tabled and discussion has been allowed.

This is essentially a gagging rule. 54 amendments have been tabled. Every one of them should be allowed to be presented and considered. …“

– The Australian Christian Lobby, and a number of Queensland politicians are calling for all proposed amendments to the euthanasia legislation to be debated.

Why We Can’t Sign the Ezekiel Declaration — an Evangelical Response

“Over the past week a letter has been promoted and circulated around many churches and religious organisations. The Ezekiel Declaration (“the Declaration”) is addressed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and outlines concerns over a potential “vaccine passport” that would be required for church attendance.

The letter has now received 2000+ signatures of religious leaders from across Australia, and for that reason alone it is gaining much attention receiving quite a splash. For every signatory there are certainly many more Christian leaders who have not signed their names. Still, 2000+ names and the organisations that they represent is a significant number. …”

– David Ould and Murray Campbell have jointly published their thoughts on “the Ezekiel Declaration”.

See what you think of their reasoning, and continue to pray for all those in authority.

Update (02 September 2021) –

A response to The Ezekiel Declaration – Gospel, Society and Culture Committee of the Presbyterian Church in Australia in NSW and the ACT.

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