Opponents of voluntary assisted dying are digging in their heels in Western Australia. In New South Wales, meanwhile, a new effort is underway to remove Chirstian prayers from parliament. This Weekend Wrap brings you some of the news and analysis from the past week.
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The National View
Satanists and “others condemned to the underworld” are protesting the Morrison government’s proposed ‘religious freedom’ laws at a street parade in Noosa tonight (Star Observer).
Labor Senator Louise Pratt has broken the silence among her party’s ranks to attack the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill, saying that the prioritising of religious views “at the expense of all other Australians” would open avenues for attack on all kinds of people (Out in Perth).
Speaking at a rally against the Religious Discrimination Bill, Greens MP Adam Bandt has labelled the proposed legislation as a “trojan horse of hate” and has called on the government rewrite it (Star Observer).
New Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys has closed the door to the possible return of Israel Folau to rugby league, saying Folau’s views were not in line with the sport’s “inclusive” nature (News).
Around the Country
WA: Opponents to the proposed voluntary assisted dying bill have sought to filibuster parliamentary debate and “wreck” the legislation, with one Upper House member moving 357 amendments (ABC).
WA: Go Gentle Australia has called on supporters of voluntary assisted dying to urge their local members of parliament to not let opponents to delay or sabotage the bill (Go Gentle Australia).
QLD: Religious leaders across the state have joined forces to push back against efforts to advance voluntary assisted dying laws, urging the government in a joint statement to prioritise palliative care services (The Australia).
NSW: The Greens are pushing for the Lord’s Prayer to be removed from the state’s Upper House, proposing it be replaced with a meditational ritual where members can reflect on their responsibilities (Sky News – watch from the 2.12 minute mark).
NSW: The Australian Christian Lobby has branded the call to remove prayers from the New South Wales Parliament as an “attack on Christians” (Australian Christian Lobby).
ACT: The Barr government is planning to ban gay conversation therapy in the territory, making it illegal for someone to seek to change another person’s sexuality (Canberra Times).
NSW: Parliamentary documents show Hillsong founder Brian Houston refused to be interviewed by police about his father’s child abuse confessions, with a policy inquiry later abandoned due to a lack of evidence (The Guardian).
VIC: Attorney-General Jill Hennessy has criticised the National Redress Scheme for failing to provide compensation in a quick manner and has ordered a review into institutions that have not yet signed up (ABC).
NSW: Anglicans in Newcastle and other parts of Australia have expressed strong support for changes to church rules, including to allow clergy to bless same-sex marriages (Anglican Ink).
Commentary and Analysis
The Economist notes that it is “striking” that the Religious Discrimination Bill has come so far given the increasing godlessness of Australians.
With church leaders such as Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies and Melbourne’s Catholic Archbishop Peter Comensoli being on the wrong side of social issues, they are driving thinking, fair-minded people away, writes Nikki Gemmell (The Australian).
The Labor Party is busy concocting excuses to deflect attention from its failure to oppose the Religious Discrimination Bill, wriites LGBTIQ+ advocate Rodney Croome (Out in Perth).
In an edited version of a recent speech, Anglican Parish of Gosford Rod Bower describes the proposed Religious Discrimination Bill as providing for the religiously people to “inhabit a more privileged civic universe than others” (MN News).
Gay psychologist Colin Longworth writes about his experience of being discriminated against in applying for jobs and he encourages others to talk about such experiences with their friends, family and colleagues to show how the LGBTIQ+ community will be affected by the proposed ‘religious freedom’ laws (Out in Perth).