News Update - 17 July 2014 - marriage, politics, Islamic jihad, prostitution, euthanasia (UK)

News with man Fotolia 60714122 320x200News on same-sex 'marriage, Islamic jihad, Ian Thorpe and prostitution in WA... overseas, the UK parliament is debating an 'assisted suicide' (euthanasia) law and the California parliament has removed 'husband' and 'wife' from the state's marriage law...
Each item provides an overview of the situation - links to media articles, commentaries and court decisions are provided if you want to read more...

Please don't forget - submissions to the Senate Inquiry on foreign same-sex 'marriages' are DUE by 31 July... 
click here for our Campaign page.


News Update 17 July 2014

Australian News
1. Update on vote on same-sex ‘marriage’
2. Politicians criticised for associating with upcoming WCF conference
3. Melbourne Islamic preacher arrested for recruiting to jihad
4. NSW Judge to be ‘investigated by Judicial Commission’
5. Ian Thorpe reveals he is ‘not straight’ in Parkinson interview
6. Victoria - SRI Christian Education
7. Sydney – 40% of Sydney people – non-English language at home
8. Victoria – Mosque at Coolaroo approved by VCAT
9. WA: Prostitution – MP Peter Abetz holds public lectures – and VOTE POLL
10. Muslim gear for female footy fans

Overseas News
1. UK: Euthanasia Bill in parliament - debate on 18 July
2. USA: California removes ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ from marriage law
3. UK Peer – tackle Islamophobia by getting Christians to marry Muslims
4. USA: Baptist Church ordains transgender person
5. Singapore – bans ‘homosexual themed books’ in libraries

Ongoing Campaigns
*** Submissions – ‘Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014’ – by 31 July

News Update 17 July 2014

Australian News

1. Update on vote on same-sex ‘marriage’
When we sent the email about the vote poll on homosexual ‘marriage’ on Tuesday, around 3.40 pm, there were 1,935 votes, with 50% for NO and 48% for 'Yes'! The No vote had been increasing in the hour before that. Just 13 minutes before it closed, the vote was wildly different – there were 15,856 votes with 75% ‘Yes’ and 23% ‘No’. By the close of the poll, around 8pm, this had climbed to 18,245 votes, with 77% saying ‘Yes’ and 21% saying ‘No’.
Click here to view the final poll result.

We know these polls are NOT scientific – anyone can get their friends to vote!
Usually the homosexual groups get their people voting early, and when pro-family groups send it out the vote then goes the other way… BUT it is easy to distort the vote – by removing ‘cookies’ a person can vote multiple times (not something we endorse!).
We know that in a previous poll someone ran a ‘program’ to vote automatically (in comments, no longer online, for this post - Pepper an Australian poll.)


2. Politicians criticised for associating with upcoming WCF conference
A regional meeting for the World Congress of Families will be held in Melbourne at the end of August. The media found out about it – and the reporters criticised all the politicians involved. Kevin Andrews is opening and closing the conference and Victoria’s Attorney-General Robert Clark is welcoming delegates and speakers to Victoria – but they were all slated by these reporters, as were a number of the speakers… could they find any MORE mud to throw???
Article: State Attorney-General Robert Clark to address hardline pro-life event,The Age, 15/7/2014.
See the program for the conference at Endeavour Forum’s website – click here.
BOOK for the conference - contact details at the BOTTOM of the page at this link.


3. Melbourne Islamic preacher arrested for recruiting to jihad
'Musa' Cerantonio is a 29 year old man from Melbourne. Raised as a Catholic, he converted to Islam at the end of 17. It was reported that he has been estranged from his family for a decade. The SMH reports, “The radical preacher, who is regarded as one of the top propagandists for jihad, recently had his Facebook page shut down for urging Muslims to kill Western leaders and for encouraging young Australians to risk their lives in Syria and Iraq.”

Cerantonia was arrested in the Philippines this week, and it is expected the government will apply for him to be extradited to Australia.

One point of interest – he had posted on Facebook that he had already ARRIVED in the Middle East to fight in the jihad – but it seems he never actually went there! 

Australian security agency ASIO's Director General David Irvine has warned about the dangers facing Australia as trained 'jihadists' return to Australia - and those who have already returned or are 'sympathetic'. Meanwhile, the government is proposing legislation to strengthen powers for ASIO regarding 'computer surveillance' - but have decided to leave 'data retention' provisions out of the legislation for now...

Article: Musa Cerantonio: The tale of the try-hard jihadist,SMH, 12/7/2014.
Article: No place for radical extremists, says Bishop, Sky News, 13/7/2014.
Article: ASIO concerns grow over returned jihadists, SMH, 17/7/2014.


4. NSW Judge to be ‘investigated by Judicial Commission’
Last week we reported that NSW District Court Judge Garry Neilson had made comments about incest between adults in the light of changing community standards.

Following an outcry from a range of groups and individuals, the NSW Attorney-General, Brad Hazzard, is taking action…
He said, “Accordingly I have taken advice as to the appropriate course and have today determined that I will, on behalf of the NSW Government and on behalf of the NSW community, refer His Honour to the Judicial Commission of NSW. I will also be writing to the Chief Judge of the District Court to request that His Honour remove Judge Neilson from undertaking any criminal trials whatsoever until the Judicial Commission has dealt with the necessary processes it must undertake.”

It does seem to be an over-reaction when he was reflecting on community standards, not even expressing his own opinion!
Article: District Court judge Garry Neilson referred to Judicial Commission over incest comments,ABC, 11/7/2014.


5. Ian Thorpe reveals he is ‘not straight’ in Parkinson interview
For many years there has been media speculation that former Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe is homosexual. This week, in a televised interview with Michael Parkinson, Ian was asked about his sexuality - and said he is homosexual. He actually said, quite hesitatingly, “I’m not straight", and then later said he is a ‘gay man’, although he has only had relationships with women. He said that, “This is only something that very recently, we’re talking in the past two weeks, I’ve been comfortable telling the closest people around me, exactly that.”

It seems that Ian Thorpe has been troubled in his life – he talked about dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts.
Rev Fred Nile tweeted ‘You are a champion – that is all that matters’ and spoke on radio about the tweet – saying that people should be able to live a private life without everyone putting labels on them and expressing concern that people define themselves just by their sexuality. Fred’s Twitter page – with responses – click here.
Family Voice put out a very thoughtful Media Release and asked people to pray for Ian Thorpe at this time.

Ian Thorpe: Full Parkinson interview transcript, Daily Telegraph, 14/7/2014.
Actual Interview on Channel 10 – Part 1Part 2Part 3.

Article at Daily Telegraph: ‘I was living a lie’ - out and relieved Ian Thorpe now wants kids after denying he was gay for years, 14/7/2014.


6. Victoria - SRI Christian Education
The media continues to run stories criticising SRI Christian Education (formerly CRE) in Victorian Primary Schools. The activist group FIRIS takes every opportunity it can to criticise the program. The latest was an article on the front page of the Warrnambool Standard, proclaiming the fact that Allansford Primary School won’t be running SRI this year. The Principal commended the program, but made the decision based on the fact that only 18 parents returned the form!

The recent problems about some schools not continuing to run SRI come from the fact that the Education Department has issued a new form which parents have to sign for their children to participate, even though parents signed a form at the start of the school year.
When parents don’t return the form it is assumed they are saying ‘no’ to their child’s participation. In one case we know of, parents were given just two days at the end of last term to return the form!

Please pray for the leaders at ACCESS Ministries, for all the volunteers who work with them in the schools, and for the schools at this time.

Media articles:
Lack of interest cancels religious program at Allansford primary school, Warrnambool Standard, 10/7/2014.
Opportunity to consider a broader approach to religious study, Warrnambool Standard, 11/7/2014.


7. Sydney – 40% of Sydney people – non-English language at home
An interesting report – with detailed maps - about the language spoken at home by Sydney residents. The map shows concentrations of groups in particular areas… On a second tab, the data also shows the number of people speaking English at home.
An article provides an overview of the data, with personal stories.
DATA: Sydney's melting pot of language, SMH.
Article: Talk of the town: you're all talking my language, SMH, 11/7/2014.


8. Victoria – Mosque at Coolaroo approved by VCAT
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has approved the building of a mosque at Coolaroo, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. Despite receiving more than 1,000 objections from the local community, the Hume Council approved the mosque in August 2013. Then it went to VCAT...

Of particular concern is that the mosque will be next door to St Mary’s Ancient Church of the East, which is attended by many Assyrian Christians – who are concerned about a mosque being next door because of persecution suffered by the Assyrian people under Islam.

The Tribunal commented on Hume being a “diverse multicultural, multifaith society”, with both Muslims and Christians in Coolaroo – and noted that all faiths are entitled to facilities to meet their needs. They referred to ‘planning provisions’ not differentiating according to differing faiths, and stated that “It is acknowledged that some members of the church will take time to adjust, and will find it difficult to adjust” but asserted they would get used to it, saying “However, this is a voluntary and reversible social effect.”

Article: VCAT rules in favour of Muslim mosque next to Coolaroo Assyrian church, Hume Leader, 14/7/2014.

THE DECISION: Contains a SUMMARY at the beginning.
Rutherford & Ors v Hume CC (includes Summary) (Red Dot) [2014] VCAT 786 (14 July 2014)


9. WA: Prostitution – MP Peter Abetz holds public lectures – and VOTE POLL
Peter Abetz, a Christian pastor who is now an MP in the WA Legislative Assembly, is holding a series of public lectures on the subject of prostitution. Peter opposes the decriminalisation or legalisation of prostitution and brothels. He has also counselled women who have sought help from Linda’s House of Hope to leave the ‘sex industry’.

Article: Southern River MP Peter Abetz holding series of lectures to encourage public debate on prostitution law, Perth Now, 15/7/2014.

VOTE POLL – a public poll is being conducted on the Perth Now site:
Do you think prostitution in WA should be legalised?” Please vote NO!


10. Muslim gear for female footy fans
Yes, Muslim headscarves in all the AFL team colours….
Article: Hijabs get a guernsey in AFL team colours, Herald Sun, 14/7/2014.


Overseas News

1. UK: Euthanasia Bill in parliament - debate on 18 July
The UK parliament is currently considering a Bill, put forward by Lord Falconer, that would legalise euthanasia - ‘assisted suicide’ - by letting doctors provide people with drugs and support so they can kill themselves. The Bill will have its second reading debate in the House of Lords on Friday 18 July.

Unfortunately Lord Carey, the former head of the Church of England, has announced he will support the proposed legislation.

Thankfully, the Church of England has issued a statement stating they do NOT support the position taken by Lord Carey!
Christian Concern’s article includes information about both statements:
Why Lord Carey is so desperately wrong about legalising assisted suicide, 11/7/2014.

Meanwhile, Professor Theo Boer, a Dutch man who formerly supported euthanasia but has now changed his mind and warns about the dangers of legalising euthanasia, says ‘Don’t do it’. He warns that in The Netherlands, where euthanasia has been legal since 2002, the number of euthanasia deaths has doubled in the past six years.

Article: Don't make our mistake: As assisted suicide bill goes to Lords, Dutch watchdog who once backed euthanasia warns UK of 'slippery slope' to mass deaths, Daily Mail, 10/7/2014.


2. USA: California removes ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ from marriage law
The Californian parliament has REMOVED the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ from the state’s marriage law – replacing it with the word ‘spouse’. The law defines marriage in California as “a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between two persons”!

Governor Jerry Brown signed the law this week – it will take effect from January 2015. The law follows a decision last year by the ‘9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in favour of permitting same-sex 'marriages' in California’.

The proposer of the Bill, Mark Leno, claimed it was ‘necessary’ to remove "outdated and biased language from state codes.”

Report: Terms ‘husband’ and wife’ removed from California’s marriage law, Christian Concern, 15/7/2014.


3. UK Peer – tackle Islamophobia by getting Christians to marry Muslims
Yes, that’s what UK peer, Lord Scott, a former Supreme Court Judge, is proposing: ‘We can all get on better, if we encourage Christians to marry Muslims’.

Obviously Lord Scott doesn’t know much about Islam OR Christianity! In Islam, a Christian woman marrying a Muslim means that the children are Muslim, and she would lose the children if the marriage broke up. Islamic law also “forbids Muslim women from marrying non-Muslims.”
Christianity teaches that we should not be ‘unequally yoked’ to an unbeliever.

It seems that TWO of Lord Scott’s FOUR children married Muslims – and they BOTH became Muslims!!! It seems to be a one-way street here…
Article: Christians should marry Muslims to tackle Islamophobia, says peer, Express, 8/7/2014.

Bill Muehlenberg is not very complimentary about Lord Scott’s proposal!
Article: Dumbfounding Dhimmitude, 11/7/2014.


4. USA: Baptist Church ordains transgender person
A Baptist Church in Washington has ordained a transgender person as a minister. Originally a man, Daniel Robinson, who pastured a church, he has now ‘transitioned’ to become a 'woman', Allyson Robinson.

Robinson’s background is diverse…. Originally a commissioned officer in the Army, Robinson is “an LGBT-rights activist who has worked in the past for the Human Rights Campaign and as executive director of OutServe, a network for gays in the military.”

Robinson was married to Danyelle and they had four children – ABP reports that Danyelle “stood by her spouse.”

Around the same time that Allyson Robinson was ordained, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution ‘opposing both attempts to alter “bodily identity” through cross-sex hormone therapy or gender-reassignment surgery and “all efforts by any governing official or body to validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy.”’

ABP reports, “Robinson’s ordination service came just weeks after a Time cover story headlined “The Transgender Tipping Point” forecasting the next big social movement to challenge prevailing cultural beliefs.”

Article: Baptist church ordains transgender woman, ABP, 10/7/2014.


5. Singapore – bans ‘homosexual themed books’ in libraries
Good news – Singapore is another nation taking a stand – the government has announced they will remove a number of homosexual-themed children’s books from their libraries. The books are “And Tango Makes Three, about a male-male penguin couple in the Central Park Zoo; The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption, which involves a lesbian couple; and Who's In My Family: All About Our Families.”

Article: Singapore bans gay-themed books, The Mercury, 12/7/2014.

Ongoing Campaigns
‘Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014’ – Submissions by 31 July.

Please don't forget - submissions to the Senate Inquiry on foreign same-sex 'marriages' are DUE by 31 July...
click here for our Campaign page.



News Update - 10 July - euthanasia, NEW Senate, Cost of divorce, Vic abortion stats, homosexual parenting, Meriam. . .

News ball Fotolia 31010118 320x200I'm often stunned at how much happens in any given week.... whilst we cover a number of major items in this News Update, it is really only the 'tip of the iceberg' for what we could report on!
Please pray, reflect and act as you read...

News Update - 10 July 2014

Australian News
1. Euthanasia – Nitschke supports ‘suicide’ of 45 year old depressed man
2. NEW Senate begins
3. HIGH cost of divorce – costing Australian economy $14 billion a year
4. Tasmania – Medical marijuana trial REJECTED
5. More on the same-sex parenting study…
6. Victoria – Latest figures on late term abortions
7. Royal Commission on child sexual abuse releases interim report
8. Bernard Gaynor LOSES his Army commission
9. Sydney judge compares community attitudes on incest and homosexuality

Overseas News
1. US: Chase Bank asks employees if they SUPPORT LGBT issues
2. USA: Transgender priest preaches at Washington Cathedral
3. France: Ban on burqa UPHELD by European Court
4. USA: VICTORY for Hobby Lobby
5. UPDATE - Meriam Ibrahim in US Embassy and hopes to ‘leave soon’
6. UK: Occupational therapist SUSPENDED after praying for a Muslim colleague

Ongoing Campaigns
*** Submissions – ‘Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014’ – by 31 July

Australian News

1. Euthanasia – Nitschke supports ‘suicide’ of 45 year old depressed man
Euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke admitted on ABC TV last week that he had provided support and information about euthanasia to a 45 year old man who said he was NOT terminally ill. Nitschke was criticised for his actions by groups dealing with depression – and even the 7.30 interviewer!

We believe he should be investigated for providing information and support to this man – he admitted he didn’t suggest the man should seek counselling!

Interview: Families and friends concerned about who's being advised by euthanasia advocate Dr Nitschke, ABC 7.30, 3/7/2014.  
Bill Muehlenberg writes: Pro-deather spills the beans

2. NEW Senate begins

No doubt you’ve seen media reports about the new Senate, which was sworn in at the start of July. The Coalition has 33 Senators, Labor has 25 and the Greens have 10.
With eight ‘cross-bench’ Senators, the government needs SIX of them to get legislation passed (if Labor and the Green oppose it). Several budget measures are being debated – today the Senate repealed the ‘carbon tax’ legislation.

The ‘cross-bench’ includes new Senators David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democratic Party (NSW), Bob Day of Family First (SA) and three from the Palmer United Party - Jacqui Lambie (Tas), Glenn Lazarus (Qld) and Dio Wang (WA).
Ricky Muir, a new Senator from Victoria with the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party, is tentatively aligned with the Palmer United Party.

The other two ‘cross-bench Senators’ are continuing on for another three years - Nick Xenophon (Independent) from South Australia and John Madigan (Democratic Labour Party) from Victoria. Senate contact details - click here.

Article: New Senate sworn in,, 7/7/2014.
Helpful graphic with ALL the crossbench Senators and details – click here.

3. HIGH cost of divorce – costing Australian economy $14 billion a year
Yes, $14 billion…  in addition to the huge personal cost!
“A News Corp analysis of information from the federal Attorney-General’s Department, the Department of Human Services and the Department of Social Services, shows that this financial year alone the government will spend $12.5 billion on support payments to single parents, including family tax benefits and rent assistance. Another $1.5 billion will be spent on the administration of the child support system, while the cost to taxpayers from family disputes in Australian courts is $202 million.”

Kevin Andrews, the federal Minister for Social Services, told News Corp that he is planning to establish an expert panel to look at ‘early intervention’ to try and reduce the amount of family breakdown…

Article: Divorce is costing the Australian economy $14 billion a year, 6/7/2014.

4. Tasmania – Medical marijuana trial REJECTED
Good News! Tasmanian government ministers, led by Health Minister Michael Ferguson, have rejected a proposal for a trial in Tasmania to grow ‘medical marijuana’ and administer it to patients. A business, Tasman Health Cannabinoids had lobbied the Government to allow a ‘trial’ to be conducted. Now they are planning to 'go interstate'!

The ABC report noted, “Mr Ferguson said he was unconvinced of the trial's merit and held concerns about safety, security and the potential for social harm of promoting a cannabis medicines industry.”

Article: Tasmanian Government ministers unite in opposition to medical marijuana trials, ABC, 3/7/2014.

5. More on the same-sex parenting study…
Following on from our report on the research study on same-sex parenting done by Simon Crouch and colleagues at the University of Melbourne. . .

Associate Professor Mark Regnerus has written an EXCELLENT analysis of the problems with the research.
Report: Is Same-Sex Parenting Better for Kids? The New Australian Study Can’t Tell Us, The Public Discourse, 9/7/2014.

Mark is well-known for his large research study on parenting – the New Family Structures Study (NFSS) - which also addressed the issue of same-sex parenting.

“Mark Regnerus is associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, research associate at its Population Research Center, and a senior fellow at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture."

What has motivated Simon Crouch to do his research?
When the Interim Report was released in 2013, homosexual media Pink News reported, “His decision to conduct the study was prompted by politicians on both sides of the equal marriage and adoption debate asserted [sic] that children did better when raised by a straight couple.”

Listen to Simon Crouch explaining his research in a 3 minute video for the ‘3 minute Thesis Competition’ back in 2012 – it explains some of his thoughts on the subject!

Even before the final report was prepared, the researchers were proclaiming the good results they were expecting.

6. Victoria – Latest figures on late term abortions
The latest statistics on late term abortions performed in Victoria have been released by the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity.
The Report provides the data for 2010 and 2011.

Real Choices has provided a very helpful SUMMARY of the data:
Victorian Late Term Abortion Figures Released

Their preliminary overview provides the specifics of late term abortions, with page numbers where you can find the data – this includes abortions for psycho-social reasons and abnormalities. They also report of the number of babies with congenital abnormalities that were born alive without attempts to resuscitate (24 in 2010 and 40 in 2011.)

One area of huge concern is abortions done for ‘psycho-social reasons’:
In summary, "18 post 28 week babies were terminated for maternal psychosocial indications, and 1was over 37 weeks.”
In all, there were 191 abortions for psychosocial reasons in 2010 (out of a total of 342) and 183 (out of 338) in 2011 (post 20 weeks).
Read Real Choices report – Victorian Late Term Abortion Figures Released

The official report: 2010/2011 Victoria’s Mothers and Babies - Victoria’s Maternal, Perinatal, Child and Adolescent Mortality by The Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity (CCOPMM) – 3MB, 254 pages.
Also posted on Real Choices website – click here.

7. Royal Commission on child sexual abuse releases interim report
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released an Interim Report. The Report consists of 2 Volumes, with more than 600 pages.

The Royal Commission, which was to finish at the end of next year, has asked the government for an extension of time by two years and an additional $100 million in funding to investigate more institutions.

Article: Royal commission into child sex abuse releases interim report, calls for extension and more funds, ABC, 30/6/2014.

Royal Commission website -

Interim Report – webpage – click here.

Volume 1– 352 pages – 455 KB.
Volume 2 – 296 pages – 219 KB.

8. Bernard Gaynor LOSES his Army commission
Bernard reports that the Army has ‘terminated’ his commission as an Army Reserve officer.

Read Bernard’s Media Release: Press release: Defence terminates Major Bernard Gaynor, 10/7/2014.
Read Paul Sheehan’s article: Christian army officer Bernie Gaynor pays the price for marching out of step with top generals, SMH, 10/7/2014.


9. Sydney judge compares community attitudes on incest and homosexuality
SMH reports the following stunning comments by a judge about 'incest', "Sydney District Court Judge Garry Neilson said just as gay sex was socially unacceptable and criminal in the 1950s and 1960s but is now widely accepted, “a jury might find nothing untoward in the advance of a brother towards his sister once she had sexually matured, had sexual relationships with other men and was now ‘available’, not having [a] sexual partner”. He also said the “only reason” that incest is still a crime is because of the high risk of genetic abnormalities in children born from consanguineous relationships “but even that falls away to an extent [because] there is such ease of contraception and readily access to abortion”.

The case itself deals with the rape by a brother of a sister when she was underage - but the judge was referring to the sexual relationship they had when they were both 18 or over. Many people were upset at the incest comments! The Greens, child protection advocates and also here.
The Crown Prosecutor asked for a different judge to hear the case!

Article: Judge compares incest and paedophilia to past attitudes towards homosexuality, claiming they might not be taboo anymore, SMH, 9/7/2014

Overseas News

1. US: Chase Bank asks employees if they SUPPORT LGBT issues
Yes, in their employee survey, JP Morgan Chase Bank actually asked a question about support for homosexual causes. Professor Robert George, of Princeton University, and the head of the International Commission on Religious Freedom, reported the news on his law blog, Mirror of Justice.
A Chase employee had contacted him expressing concern – and a second employee has since confirmed the story.

The Survey asked if they are “a member of the LGBT community.” Separately, they are also asked if they are “an ally of the LGBT community, but not personally identifying as LGBT.”

A Citizen Go petition has been set up to express concern to the Bank.
Click here to sign it.

Robert George’s blog post:Brendan Eich was only the beginning . . ., Mirror of Justice, 29/6/2014.

Article: Second employee alleges Chase Bank surveyed staff’s LGBT loyalty, Breitbart News, 2/7/2014

Article: Chilling Implications? Largest Bank Asks Workers if They Support Homosexuality, Christian News, 7/7/2014.

2. USA: Transgender priest preaches at Washington Cathedral
We’ve previously reported that an ‘official Pride Month’ was held in the USA during June – and Barack Obama held an official reception for LGBTI activists.

During ‘Pride Month’ an official church service was held at Washington Cathedral - the sermon was given by Rev. Cameron Partridge, an openly transgender priest (there are reported to be seven transgender priests in the Episcopalian Church). The service was conducted by Gene Robinson, the first openly homosexual priest to be appointed as a bishop in the Episcopalian Church.
Article: Transgender Priest Preaches at Washington's National Cathedral,Charisma/Reuters, 23/6/2014.

3. France: Ban on burqa UPHELD by European Court
The French government passed a law banning the wearing of the face-covering burqa in 2010 – the law also outlawed the wearing of balaclavas and hoods!

Now the European court of human rights (ECHR) has upheld France's burqa ban, accepting Paris's argument that it encouraged citizens to "live together". The case was brought by a 24 year old Muslim woman who wears the burqa and niqab.

Article: France's burqa ban upheld by human rights court, The Guardian, 1/7/2014.

4. USA: VICTORY for Hobby Lobby
The Supreme Court has ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that Hobby Lobby is able to refuse to provide abortifacient and contraception drugs, as specified in the Obamacare law.

SUMMIT Ministries provided a ‘Rapid Response’ on the decision…
“Summit was pleased to join 23 other ministries, such as Compassion International, Young Life, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court opposing the contraception mandate under the health care reform law. Click here to read the legal brief.  

But the White House wasn’t happy – and urged Congress to provide the drugs for women who work for such companies!
Citizen Link provided two short video commentaries - Really (2.25 min) and Court Reaffirms Religious Freedom (6 min).

Lifesite report: Supreme Court sides with Hobby Lobby on HHS mandate in 5-4 decision, 30/6/2014.

Article: White House: Hobby Lobby Ruling Jeopardizes Women's Health, Politico, 1/7/2014.

5. UPDATE - Meriam Ibrahim in US Embassy and hopes to ‘leave soon’
The Daily Mail reports that Meriam Ibrahim and her family are still staying in the US Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan – she says her daughter appears to be not disabled - and they hope to leave Sudan ‘very soon’
This article was written by Italian journalist Antonella Napoli, who visited Meriam and her family in the library of the US embassy.
Article: Sudanese mother put on death row for marrying a Christian reveals baby daughter is not injured after birth on floor of barbaric prison - as they stay at US Embassy ahead of move to America 'very soon', Daily Mail, 9/7/2014.

6. UK: Occupational therapist SUSPENDED after praying for a Muslim colleague
Victoria Wasteney, Head of Occupational Therapy at the East London NHS Trust, has been suspended after a junior Muslim co-worker made a complaint back in June 2013. The Muslim woman encouraged Victoria to discuss her faith, agreed that Victoria could pray for her and accepted an invitation to a charity event at her church.

The following day, the worker made a complaint and Victoria was subsequently suspended for NINE MONTHS! Victoria is appealing against the Trust’s decision, under the Equality Act 2010 for discrimination and harassment on grounds of religion or belief.

Press Release: Christian occupational therapist suspended after praying for Muslim colleague, Christian Concern, 29/6/2014.

Ongoing Campaigns

Submissions – ‘Recognition of Foreign Marriages Bill 2014’ – by 31 July
The Senate Inquiry into this Bill is asking for submissions. They close on 31 July.

Email submissions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read our Campaign page to get the text of the Bill and details on HOW to make a submission! Click here.

News Update - 27 June - euthanasia, prostitution in SA, Islamic 'honour killings, homosexual 'marriage', Meriam arrested & FREE AGAIN

News jigsaw Fotolia 59083953 320x200Another week and so much has happened... read on!

News Update

Australian News

1. Senate: Greens table Euthanasia Bill
2. SA: Another attempt by Labor’s Steph Key to ‘decriminalise sex work’
3. Sydney talk on ‘Islamic honour killings’ cancelled
4. More on those ANZ GAYTMs . . . 
5. NSW: Children study ‘ethics’ instead of Scripture…
6. Department of Defence REMOVES DEFGLIS from its website!
7. Update/correction – Articles on child marriage in Islam 

Overseas News

1. Meriam Ibrahim and family DETAINED at airport
2. Scotland: Charges DROPPED against street preachers
3. Homosexual marriage – pressure on churches INCREASES
    3.1 Homosexuals in Denmark can marry IN CHURCH
    3.2 USA: Presbyterian Church USA(PCUSA) re-defines marriage
    3.3 USA: Courts rule on same-sex ‘marriage’
4. US Administration PROMOTING homosexual rights EVERYWHERE!
5. UK and France - Euthanasia decisions

Australian News

1. Senate: Greens table Euthanasia Bill
The Greens are well known for promoting euthanasia. Greens Senator Richard Di Natale has tabled a Bill in the Senate that, if passed, would make it legal for a doctor to prescribe, prepare AND administer drugs that would end a person’s life. The draft Bill states that two doctors and a psychiatrist would have to ‘agree’ that the person is dying of a ‘terminal’ disease in order for the drug to be prescribed or administered.

The Bill is called the Medical Services (Dying with Dignity) Bill 2014.
The Draft Exposure Bill is posted on Richard Di Natale’s website
Campaigns ‘Dying with Dignity’

READ the Draft Bill - Medical Services (Dying with Dignity) Exposure Draft Bill 2014

OPINION POLL – a ‘vote’ is being conducted on the Adelaide Now website – click here to vote NO to legalising euthanasia.

Article: Draft Euthanasia bill tabled in Senate to allow terminally ill to die with dignity, Adelaide Now, News Corp, 24/6/2014.

2. SA: Another attempt by Labor’s Steph Key to ‘decriminalise sex work’
They don’t give up - Labor MP Steph Key is making ANOTHER attempt to ‘decriminalise’ all forms of prostitution in South Australia – including at home, in brothels, escort services and street work.
If you live in SA, please ask your MPs to oppose the decriminalisation of prostitution. Click here for contact details.

Article: Labor MPs push to decriminalise sex work, Ninemsn, 26/6/2014.

3. Sydney talk on ‘Islamic honour killings’ cancelled
The Sydney ‘Festival of Dangerous Ideas’ had proposed having a REALLY dangerous idea discussed this August – the Australian leader of radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir Uthman Badar was to present a talk on the topic “Honour killings are morally justified”.

Good news - after a huge public outcry this week, the session has been cancelled!

The Daily Telegraph wrote, “AUSTRALIA and the US should be labelled terrorists for their Middle Eastern “invasions”, and pre-teen girls could “morally’’ be married off to adult men, according to reviled radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir.”

Miranda Devine writes, “After pressure from the NSW government, the Opera House last night cancelled the speech, claiming “a line has been crossed”. But she rightly went on to say, “But why did it and Festival partner, the St James Ethics Centre, offer a platform to Islamist extremists at all?”

Whilst Mr Badar claimed that he didn’t support ‘honour killings’, he does have some extreme views. As Bill Muehlenberg notes, a 2011 article reported, “Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar yesterday defended the group’s draft constitution for their proposed Islamic state, despite it demanding that Muslims who leave the religion ‘are to be executed’!” and he also supports a world-wide Islamic caliphate.
Article: Festival of Dangerous Ideas: 'Honour killings' talk cancelled, SMH, 24/6/2014.

Article: Radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir says Australia and the US should be labelled terrorists for their Middle Eastern ‘invasions’, DT, 25/6/2014.

DT Editorial: Festival’s idea was simply disgusting, Daily Telegraph, 25/6/2014.

Column: Miranda Devine - How jihad became the latest fashion in Sydney, Daily Telegraph, 24/6/2014.

Column: Tim Blair - SYDNEY JOINS THE CALIPHATE “Excuse me, but what the hell is this?”

Commentary by Bill Muehlenberghere and here.

4. More on those ANZ GAYTMs . . .
During the 2014 mardi gras, ANZ Bank, which was a major sponsor of the festival, decorated ten of its ATMs around Sydney to celebrate the mardi gras.
Now the ANZ ATMs have won an advertising prize for ‘outdoor advertising’ at the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity.

If you have an account with the ANZ, did you write and tell them what you thought about their sponsorship of the homosexual mardi gras.
ACTION – Contact ANZ – click here.

Article: ANZ's 'GAYTMs' wins honours at Cannes advertising awards, 18/6/2014.

5. NSW: Children study ‘ethics’ instead of Scripture…

In NSW, children have had ‘Scripture’ classes, with volunteers taking lessons. A few years ago, a trial ‘Primary Ethics’ program was introduced in some schools, as an ‘alternative to Scripture classes. After the trial the ethics classes were offered in NSW schools.

Now the ‘ethics’ classes will be taught at KINDERGARTEN for the first time, with around 40 schools expected to offer the kindergarten ethics classes from Term 3.

The NSW Education Department has changed its’ ENROLMENT FORM – for the first time, parents will be given a CHOICE of ethics or Scripture – previously parents were only told about the ethics classes if they opted out of special religious education.

Article: Philosophy at five: kindy kids to study ethics, 20/6/2014.

6. Department of Defence REMOVES DEFGLIS from its website!
Bernard Gaynor reports on a positive development – “The Department of Defence has removed all links to the political lobby group, the Defence LGBTI Information Service (DEFGLIS), from its webpages. Bernard Gaynor wrote to the Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnstone, in April to object to DEFGLIS’ presence on Department of Defence webpages due to its political campaigning for homosexual marriage and the removal of rights from religious organisations.”

This is a HUGE change – as Bernard says, “Until the last few days, official Defence websites contained the names and ranks of military personnel who were associated with DEFGLIS, along with links to the DEFGLIS website. The Department of Defence website also stated that DEFGLIS  provided “ information on GLBIT issues for members, supervisors, divisional staff and management staff in Defence. It also provides education, support, and information on the resources and services available within the ADF and externally.”

Bernard said that “the decision vindicated the formation of the Defence Force Conservative Action Network. There is only one reason DEFGLIS has been taken down and that’s because Defence did not want to put DEFCAN up. Defence would have been wide open to discrimination claims if it only allowed one political lobby group on its webpages.”

Report: Defence forced to remove gay political lobby group from its webpages, Bernard Gaynor, 24/6/2014.

7. Update/correction – Articles on child marriage in Islam
Recently we referred to an article in The Australian about child marriage in Islam. Mark Durie then wrote an article showing how the Koran supports child marriage.

Mark has updated his article, because The Australian has re-published the original article after Associate Professor Jennifer Burn notified them that she had been misquoted, stating that she didn’t make a comment about the Koran and child marriage.

Read Mark’s explanation – Update on The Koran and Child Marriage

Read Mark’s updated articleThe Koran and child marriage

Updated article in The Australian It’s the young flesh they want

Overseas News

1. Meriam Ibrahim and family DETAINED at airport - NOW FREE AGAIN!
Shortly after her release from prison, Meriam Ibrahim and her husband and children tried to leave Sudan. They were detained at an airport in Khartoum by 40 security agents, arrested and put into a police cell.

LATEST NEWS - Meriam and her family have been RELEASED!

The Mail Online reported that Meriam was charged with ‘new offences’ including travelling on a ‘false’ travel document. She had been banned from leaving Sudan, and told that she could face up to seven years in prison.One report said that the US Vice-Consul was with the family at the airport. A diplomatic furore has erupted, with the Sudanese Foreign Ministry ‘summoning’ the American and South Sudanese ambassadors to ‘explain’ the situation.
LATEST UPDATE - Meriam has now been released by police following an international outcry. Her lawyer says she and her family are in the US Embassy.
Read report: Another cruel twist of the knife: Sudanese mother Meriam Ibrahim faces SEVEN years in jail for trying to flee country hours after death sentence for 'marrying Christian was dropped', Mail Online, 25/6/2014.

LATEST report: Meriam Ibrahim: Sudan 'apostasy' woman freed again, BBC, 27/6/2014.

2. Scotland: Charges DROPPED against street preachers
Two street preachers who were charged under ‘hate crimes’ legislation for allegedly using ‘offensive language’ have had all charges dropped… when prosecutors FINALLY looked at the video footage, they realised they hadn’t ‘broken the law’!

Christian Concern reports: “Police in Scotland have dropped all charges against two Christian evangelists who were arrested for allegedly using 'offensive' language whilst preaching in Dundee and Perth. Tony Miano (50), a former Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff, was arrested under 'hate-crime legislation' during a one-week street-preaching mission in January after a member of the public made an official complaint. Mr Miano protested his innocence and said they could see his preaching on video to prove he had done nothing wrong and that his message was one of hope to be found in Jesus Christ.  The officers refused to look at the footage and took the evangelist to the police station where he was detained for 24 hours.  

“Josh Williamson, an Australian who is a pastor at the Craigie Reformed Baptist Church in Perth was arrested twice in three days in the city last September for an alleged 'breach of the peace'.

“All charges have now been dropped against both evangelists after months of representation by the Christian Legal Centre.”

Report: Double victory for Christian street preachers arrested under 'hate law' by Scottish police, Christian Concern, 13/6/2014.

3. Homosexual marriage – pressure on churches INCREASES 
Will it be a CHOICE for churches to REFUSE to perform homosexual ‘marriages’? NO!

We’ve all heard the rhetoric that homosexual ‘marriage’ won’t affect churches’ – but with the Danish parliament voting this week to FORCE churches to ‘marry’ homosexuals, any such promise is very hollow!
Michael Brown writes on the subject… referring to the Danish decision!

Article: Will churches be forced to perform same-sex 'weddings'?, Michael Brown.

3.1 Homosexuals in Denmark can marry IN CHURCH
The Danish parliament has passed a law to allow homosexual couples to MARRY in churches – 85 of the 111 Danish MPs voted FOR the Bill. If the local priest won’t perform the ‘marriage’ the bishop has to find a minister who will do it! About one third of priests say they WON’T perform the ‘marriages’!

Article: Gay Danish couples given green light for church marriage, Ice News, 21/6/2014.

Article: Denmark Forces Churches to Conduct Gay Marriages, CBN, 20/6/2014.

3.2 USA: Presbyterian Church USA(PCUSA) re-defines marriage 
“The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (PCUSA) on Thursday voted to allow ministers to perform same-sex marriages. The General Assembly also approved an amendment to its constitution to redefine marriage as the union of “two persons.” The amendment will be reflected in the group’s constitution…”
This is a further slide down the slippery slope – “In 2011, PCUSA approved the ordination of men and women in same-sex relationships.” 
An increasing number of people have left the denomination…

Conservative group the Presbyterian Lay Committee, was extremely critical of the decision.

Article: Presbyterian Denomination Redefines Marriage, Citizen Link, 20/6/2014.

Info about the Presbyterian Lay Committee – click here.

3.3 USA: Courts rule on same-sex ‘marriage’
UTAH: The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Utah's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

INDIANA: “A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Indiana’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples and on the recognition of same-sex couples’ out-of-state marriages is unconstitutional.”

Article: Judges in Indiana, Utah Rule in Favor of Gay Marriage, One Day Before DOMA Case’s Anniversary, Newsweek, 25/6/2014.

4. US Administration PROMOTING homosexual rights EVERYWHERE!
The US administration is PROMOTING homosexual rights around the WORLD:
“US Vice President Joe Biden told a gathering of U.S. and international gay rights advocates that President Barack Obama has directed that U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women around the world…”
Article: Biden: Gay Rights Must Take Precedence Over Culture, AP, 24/6/2014.

5. UK and France - Euthanasia decisions
The good news - Britain’s Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal from two severely disabled men who argued British laws should be changed to allow doctors to legally kill them.

The Bad news - Five of the nine judges concluded that a ban on assisted suicide is incompatible with the right to private life, suggesting British politicians should amend the law to be in line with the human rights guaranteed under the European Convention.

Meanwhile in France two more decisions on euthanasia…
“a French doctor was acquitted of poisoning charges after giving lethal injections to seven terminally ill patients straight after a human rights court ordered doctors to keep a comatose man alive despite his prior instructions to the contrary.”

Article: British, French courts juggle the legalities of euthanasia, Mail and Guardian, 25/6/2014.


News Update - 20 June - Chaplaincy, 'Safe Schools', abortion in WA, ACCESS, PPL . . .

Newspaper and glasses SX 953849 15854849 320x200News from this week... a wide range of issues ....

May God protect and inspire, and give you wisdom and discernment, you as you read.
This report initially included items on Islam... they'll be in a separate post!


News Update - 20 June 2014

Australian News

1. UPDATE: Chaplaincy decision - change law OR give 'grants to states'
Following the High Court's decision ruling that the direct funding of Chaplains in schools is invalid (read our report here), Prime Minister Tony Abbott has re-iterated his support for chaplains in schools and is working on ways to continue the program.
Labor's Tony Burke said that Labor would support measures to ensure the continuation of the chaplaincy program and other programs funded by the Commonwealth.

Possible solutions include re-writing the legislation or for the federal government to provide the money ($243.5 million over five years) to the states and rely on the states spending the money on the chaplaincy program.
Article: High Court school chaplaincy funding ruling forces Tony Abbott to rely on states, SMH, 20/6/2014.
Article: High Court rules against federal government funding of school chaplains,, 19/6/2014.

2. WA: Abortions after 20 weeks for ‘conditions compatible with life’
Congratulations to Hon Nick Goiran MLC, who has given a speech this week in WA’s Legislative Council highlighting the number of babies that are aborted more than 20 weeks after conception, for “conditions compatible with life”. In other words, the babies would LIVE!
He stated that, of the 474 post 20 week abortions performed since November 2001, (when the notification form was amended to require information on the reason for abortion), 52 abortions were for Spina Bifida and 35 for Down Syndrome.

Other conditions clearly ‘compatible with life’ were also given as allegedly justifying the abortion: skeletal dysplasia (dwarfism) – 4 cases; a hand defect – 1 case; upper limb abnormality – 1 case; 47XYY (minor chromosomal disorder) - 1 case.

ACTION: If you live in WA, please write to Hon Kim Hames, the Minister for Health.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Encourage your friends to write as well - express your concern and ask that he introduce a Bill to “prohibit post-20 weeks abortion for conditions compatible with life”.
Also write to your local MLA – click here for contact details.

Read Nick’s speech: Part 1 (p 6-8)Part 2 (P 1-4) (Uncorrected proofs.)

3. Safe Schools Coalition – be SHOCKED by the Symposium…
Last week we mentioned that the Safe Schools Coalition, promoting the acceptance of homosexuality and campaigning against ‘homophobia’, was being expanded across Australia. Safe Schools Coalition Australia, which is receiving $8 million in funding, was launched at a SYMPOSIUM last Friday.

If you want to know what it is REALLY about, READ this compelling report by Vickie Janson, of Australian Christians, who attended the Symposium!

Report: Safe Schools Coalition 2014 First National Symposium 13 June 2014

4. Chaplaincy, Safe Schools Coalition and LGBTI issues…
You wouldn’t expect to see these words in the SAME sentence! But homosexual activist Rodney Croome is praising the Chaplaincy program… you have to read his full article to see why…

This week, outgoing WA Labor Senator Louise Pratt, who is a lesbian, criticised the work of chaplains in relation to homosexual students and called for the program to be stopped....

Rodney Croome says that chaplains can be a helpful support to young LGBTI young people, writing, “No-one is better placed to reconnect these young people to their families, friends and faith than a school chaplain.”
But there is a PROVISO!
He follows that with, “The obvious barrier to the support a chaplain can offer LGBTI students are any negative attitudes the chaplain may harbour to same-sex attraction and gender diversity. Concerns about such attitudes have found voice in the current chaplaincy funding debate.” [Emphasis added.]

Croome then highlights a recent ‘TRAINING” for chaplains in Tasmania: “groups of chaplains participated in professional development training about the needs of LGBTI young people. The training was conducted by Relationships Australia (RA) with the support of the Scripture Union of Tasmania which runs the Tasmanian school chaplaincy program.”  
Croome writes, “The Chaplaincy Development Manager at the Scripture Union, Peter Swift, was also pleased with the results: "There have been many misunderstandings about the chaplaincy program. Chaplains support and work alongside anyone in a non judgmental, caring way. It has been good to be part of this training and we look forward to continuing to work with the LGBTI community in training our chaplains."

Croome wrote, “My hope is that from small beginnings in Tasmania, training of chaplains in LGBTI issues will become standard across Australia. I’m optimistic that this training, together with clear state education department guidelines about how chaplains deal with LGBTI students, can turn chaplains into a valuable resource for these students and their families.”

As Bill Muehlenberg wrote, “Let me translate that last line for you: “I am thrilled that we can turn these formerly Christian chaplains into willing dupes, pawns and facilitators of the anti-biblical homosexual agenda.” That is really what is happening here. And if that is the case, then all the more reason to tell the state to get lost.”

Vickie's report on the Safe Schools Coalition (see No 3 above) noted that chaplains are leading the support for SSC in some schools!

Not all homosexuals are so ‘supportive’ of Croome’s ideas… in the comments below Croome’s article, some homosexuals (Doug Pollard and Rodney Chiang-Cruise) opposed Rodney Croome’s idea of working with chaplains, and called for religion to have no place in schools!
FIRIS activist Scott Hedges has also written about homosexuality , chaplaincy and ACCESS, calling on them to support homosexuality!

Article: School Chaplains can be Friends not Foes in Anti-Homophobia Fight, ABC Religion and Ethics, 17/6/2014.

Article: Anti-gay chaplains driving children to self-harm, says outgoing Labor Senator Louise Pratt, SMH, 18/6/2014.

5. Religious freedom - case DISMISSED under threat of going to High Court
During the 2013 federal election, Andrew Roberts stood as an Independent candidate in Tasmania. During the campaign he prepared a leaflet about homosexuality and arranged to have it distributed by Australia Post. After being 'alerted', Australia Post refused to distribute it - and homosexual activist Rodney Croome lodged an anti-discrimination complaint (see report at Sydney Star Observer). The police intervened and seized the leaflets as ‘evidence’. The case was turned over to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution and a court case ensued.

The good news… the case has been DISMISSED. . .

Perhaps it was the threat of moving the case to the High Court on the question of religious freedom…

Andrew has written, “On Friday 13th June, criminal charges against James Durston and myself for using Australia Post to issue political letters telling the truth about homosexuality and the agenda for "same-sex marriage" have been dismissed.  The prosecution (Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution, CDPP) on being served notice that the cases were filed for removal to the High Court, suddenly decided they had no evidence to tender on both cases and forced the issue with the Magistrates Court to dismiss the charges.”

Andrew has spoken about the ‘vested interests’ that pursued the case when there was insufficient evidence – he will be pursuing the matter by seeking legal costs and damages.

6. Getting the Budget passed - and Paid Parental Leave
The federal Coalition government is still struggling to get support for a variety of measures proposed in the Budget. Generally we don’t write on financial matters, except to note that nations, like families, have to ‘live within their means’. This Budget was essentially aimed at restructuring government finances on the principle that ‘we can’t spend what we don’t have’ – a principle we support.

Some matters have been controversial and Opposition Parties are threatening to vote against them in the Senate - even some Coalition MPs are beginning to speak up on matters concerning families and welfare.

Paid Parental leave scheme
Tony Abbott is continuing to promote his Paid Parental Leave scheme which pays women on high incomes more money than those on low incomes if they leave work to have a child.

A major concern is that the Paid Parental Leave scheme encourages (even requires) women to return to the workforce when their baby is just six months old and disadvantages women who choose to stay at home to raise their family – reasons that have led us to oppose the Coalition’s scheme.

The removal of the Baby Bonus for all women has also adversely impacted mothers who do not work in ‘paid employment’.

A complicating factor is that the current Budget CHANGES the Family Tax Benefit B – a measure that was introduced to partly compensate single income families as they only get ONE tax threshold, not the TWO tax thresholds that double income families get. 
One proposal was to remove this totally - but the government is proposing reducing the income threshold from $150,000 to $100,000 and also only having it for families whose children are under six (read government's explanation here and article here).
This recent article highlights how rural families are adversely affected by this move.

Article: PPL splits cities from the bush, The Australian, 17/6/2014.

This article and chart from the Australian Family Association explains how the Family Tax Benefit Part B works… they are also running a petition on retaining FTB Part B.
FTB part B did not even come close to meeting the gap, 27/5/2014.

7. ACCESS Ministries responds to claims made in media
Following recent media reports, including the report by A Current Affair, about the work of ACCESS Ministries in providing Special Religious Instruction (SRI) in Victorian primary schools, ACCESS Ministries has responded by publishing a ‘Statement of Facts’. It begins, “Recent media coverage regarding ACCESS ministries has presented information that is simply untrue. ACCESS ministries (AM) thanks the numerous individuals and organisations that have contacted us seeking clarification and in response, the truth is provided below…”

The Statement of Facts includes information about the role of SRI, the legislative framework, the funding of the work and training of volunteers. ACCESS concludes the Statement with acknowledgement of the wide support they receive in schools.

Read the Statement of Facts by ACCESS Ministries.

ACCESS has also noted that the new Guidelines from the Minister for Education mean that the program will now be referred to as 'SRI Christian Instruction' as part of the overall Special Religious Instruction program.

In another development, homosexual activist Jacqui Tomlins is celebrating her campign that has resulted in Kew Primary School CANCELLING the ACCESS SRI program!
ACCESS has denied claims that they are 'anti-gay'.

Overseas News

1. USA: Prayer and Hollywood…
You might think that prayer and Hollywood don’t go together. But actor Denzel Washington “recently told a group of young actors that a good way to make sure you pray every morning is to put your shoes "way under the bed at night" so you "gotta get on your knees in the morning." The Academy Award-winning actor was seen speaking to the young people in a video R&B singer and actor Tyrese Gibson posted on Facebook last Sunday. He encouraged the group of seemingly aspiring actors to use their talent for good and always remember to pray.

Denzel Washington went on to underscore the foolishness of focusing on material wealth, explaining that, though he has earned millions of dollars during his career, not a cent of it will follow him into eternity.

Article: A Prayerful Denzel Washington Tells Young Actors, 'Get on Your Knees in the Morning', Charisma, 28/5/2014.

2. USA: Satanic group - ‘gay marriage is a sacrament’
Yes, that is what the Satanic Temple is saying… but what else would you expect from them?
Article: Satanic Temple: Gay Marriage is 'a Sacrament’, CNS News, 11/6/2014.

3. IRAQ: Plea for help from Canon White in Baghdad
Please pray for the situation in Baghdad – especially for Christians who are suffering persecution under the present attacks on Iraqi cities by ISIS. Canon Andrew White highlights the dire situation and appeals for your help…

Read article: Andrew White in Anglican Ink – 11/6/2014.

4. USA: UMC – support grows for ‘local option’ on homosexuality
Last week we report on a growing schism in the United Methodist Church in the USA. One group of 80 ministers had talked of a division rather than the church as they could not accept the endorsement of homosexuality – but others had advocated UNITY with local congregations deciding on their own policy (which would mean some congregations/ministers endorsing homosexual relationships).

This week, the UMC News reports that, “The idea of letting United Methodist churches and annual (regional) conferences choose to depart from church law regarding homosexuality is gaining support. But it’s also seeing heated opposition from those who say “local option” would violate Methodist connectionalism and merely shift longstanding conflict to the church and conference level. . .”
Article: Support, pushback for `local option’ on homosexuality, UMNS, 13/6/2014.


News Update - 13 June - Homosexual 'marriage', 'Safe Schools Coalition' expands, Senate 'reform', Meriam appeal . . .

News with man Fotolia 60714122 320x200Another host of news and issues from Australia and around the world. Time for that coffee or tea and catch up on recent events...
News Update 13 June 2014

Australian News

1. Child of lesbian writes to PM Tony Abbott on same-sex ‘marriage’
Orlando Burcham, an 11 year old boy, has written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the topic of same-sex ‘marriage’. He called Mr Abbott’s stance ‘pathetic’!

Mr Abbott has politely replied, stating his opposition to any changes to the Marriage Act.

Whilst it might be reasonable for a child to write to the PM, what happened next has made it into a POLITICAL CAMPAIGN by ACTIVISTS!

Orlando’s mother, Cordelia Troy, is a lesbian, who ‘married’ her partner in New York. She is also a member of the Liberal Party and a Councillor in the Hunter Valley. She is campaigning for homosexual ‘marriage’ to be legalised.

The letter by Orlando, and the response from Tony Abbott was POSTED on Facebook – and then reported around the world.
This article, from has the story AND copies of the letters!
Inspired by his mum, 11-year-old Orlando Burcham writes to Tony Abbott about gay marriage, calls his stance pathetic

2. ‘A Current Affair’ - ACCESS and CRE - Chaplaincy - ‘Homophobia’ claims
Channel 9’s ‘A Current Affair’ is the latest group to criticise ACCESS Ministries and their Christian Religious Education program.
Would you expect a fair and balanced report – sorry, that isn’t what they provided!
They accuse them of being a ‘secretive, fundamentalist group’ with ‘cult-like behaviour’. The segment features a school principal, Joe Kelly and parent Lara Woods who is associated with FIRIS – Fairness in Religion In Schools. Apparently she uploaded one of the ACCESS books to the FIRIS website and ACCESS asked her to take it down - and she is upset!

Please pray for those involved with ACCESS Ministries and for many people who are instructors for CRE in primary schools in Victoria.
ACA Segment: Evangelist ministry converts kids but refuses access, ACA, 11/6/2014.

Recently the Gay News Network and MCV complained about the funding of chaplaincy programs in schools – they claim that some groups associated with the provision of chaplains to schools have run ‘homophobic campaigns”. They highlighted the involvement of a person in NSW who has “ties to Hillsong” – and mention that Rob Ward, the former Australian Christian Lobby Victorian State Director, is now the “General Manager of Development and Communications at ACCESS Ministries, and has campaigned against same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption.”

Article: Chaplaincy program to fund groups with links to homophobia, GNN/MCV, 26/5/2014.

3. Perth: Walk and Rally for Life
Around 700 people attended the Walk and Rally for Life this week – in cold weather! Congratulations to the members of parliament attended and/or spoke: They included Hon Nick Goiran MLC, Hon Michelle Roberts MLA, Dr Graham Jacobs MLA, Margaret Quirk MLA, Peter Abetz MLA, Hon Kate Doust MLA, Bill Johnson MLA, Glenys Godfrey MLA, Tony Krsticevic MLA and Frank Alban MLA. Senator elect Joe Bullock was also present. Read ACL’s report.

4. Senate reform… Inquiry and recommendations on ‘Voting for the Senate’
Following each federal election, a parliamentary Inquiry is held into election procedures. This is conducted by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.
During this Inquiry the election procedures for the Senate have been examined due to criticism of ‘Senate voting’ after the 2013 election and consideration of a Bill to reform Senate voting proposed by SA Senator Nick Xenophon. 
They have NOW released an Interim report on 'Senate Voting Practices' - see below.

Much of the criticism related to the election of a number of candidates being elected with very small primary votes, and the use of ‘group voting tickets’ to allocate ‘preferences’ by parties.

Some people/parties complain about the allocation of preferences and how ‘voting above the line’ and compulsory preferential voting means that our vote can go to people we don’t support. Others complain that people with VERY SMALL personal votes can get elected through the distribution of preferences. Click here for election commentator Antony Green’s comments to the Inquiry.

The problem is that the bigger parties seem to want to CHANGE the system to STOP candidates for small parties getting elected!

Some people propose OPTIONAL preferential voting ‘below the line’ and keeping the ‘1 above the line’.

We support the principle of ADDING preferential voting ABOVE the line (as well as keeping it below) to allow people to number the parties in their order of preference, which would perhaps alleviate the reliance on some of the questionable preference deals!

The Parliamentary Library has prepared an informative Briefing Paper on the issue: The Senate voting system: issues and suggestions for reform

The Committee has now released an ‘Interim Report’ – the Committee recommended that some changes be made: “Recommendations from the inquiry include tripling the number of party members needed to register a party, and changing the rules in the Senate so voters are not obliged to number every box.”
Media report: Parliamentary inquiry recommends Senate voting overhaul, ABC, 9/5/2014.

INQUIRY: Read the details about the Inquiry and the REPORT at the Committee’s webpage – click here. Actual Interim report – click here.

5. 'Safe Schools Coalition' goes NATIONAL! Promotes homosexuality...
We’ve had the ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ in Victoria since 2010. It was “founded as part of Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria within the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society at La Trobe University”. These two groups are fully supportive of homosexuality – in fact many of the researchers are homosexual – more on that next week…

The Coalition encourages schools to be supportive of homosexuality, campaigns against ‘homophobia and transphobia’ and urges schools to establish ‘Queer Straight Alliances’. So far, 132 schools in Victoria are part of the Coalition.

NOW the ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ program is being rolled out across Australia – starting on Friday 13 June - by the Foundation for Young Australians, which was a supporter of the Victorian Coalition.

Read all about the new national ‘Safe Schools Coalition Australia’ program at FYAclick here.

The launch coincides with the Foundation’s “National Safe Schools Symposium”.

The program is being funded federally by the federal Department of Education.

6. Transsexual students: push to allow them to CHOOSE TOILETS
One of the proposals related to the expanded Safe Schools Coalition: allowing transsexual students to CHOOSE which toilets and change rooms they use.

The program also encourages schools not to divide students into ‘boys and girls’ to avoid upsetting “gender diverse students” – challenges ‘homophobia’ - establish ‘diversity groups – and display POSTERS about “same-sex relationships, transsexuality, bisexuality and intersex”.

Article: Push for transsexual students to use the toilets they choose, Herald Sun, Susie O’Brien.

7. DEFCAN challenges Defence involvement in homosexual Mardi Gras
Bernard Gaynor reports that “The Australian Defence Force’s future involvement in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has been thrown into doubt by a decision acknowledging that military personnel cannot attend political events in uniform. A senior officer, Lieutenant Colonel Buxton, has refused permission for Defence personnel to attend a separate event, the March for Babies in Melbourne, because Defence policy forbids uniformed involvement in political activity.”

Bernard, who has set up a conservative group called DEFCAN, argues that it would be inconsistent for the Defence Force to then allow members to participate in the mardi gras parade IN UNIFORM since the mardi gras has ‘political objectives’!

Only time will tell if the Defence Forces agree!

Media Release: Defence involvement in Gay Mardi Gras in doubt, 4/6/2014.

Overseas News

1. Malaysia: Muslims sue Cadbury over pork-tainted chocolates
A Malaysian Islamic group, Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM), is suing Cadbury because DNA tests on some Cadbury chocolates have shown that they included pork DNA!
Of course, Cadbury has prided itself on its ‘halal certification’ here in Australia (which is supposed to mean no pork!)

Article: Malay group to sue Cadbury over pig DNA chocolate for ‘mistreating’ Muslims, Malay Mail Online, 26/5/2014.

2. US Bus ads - highlighting the Quran's statements on Jews and US aid to Islamic nations
A campaign by the American Freedom Defense Initiative is attracting a lot of media attention. The AFDI has placed ads on buses in Washington DC - they highlight the Quran's statements on Jews and the amount of US aid given to Islamic nations.

Pamela Geller notes, "This campaign does so many things. First, it exposes the long-kept secret of the collusion between the Third Reich and the Muslim world. Second, it exposes the vicious anti-Semitic material in Islamic texts and teachings. Third, it informs people that two-thirds of all U.S. foreign aid goes to Muslim countries."

The ads have been run as a RESPONSE to ads on the SAME buses a while back by American Muslims for Palestine, which called for an end to US aid to Israel...

Article: USA Today: "Islamic Jew-hatred ads roll out on D.C. streets"

3. USA: United Methodist Church divided on homosexual ‘marriage’
The United Methodist Church in the USA is in the midst of a conflict over the issue of homosexual ‘marriages’ and the church’s position on homosexuality.

A group of 80 pastors who oppose the acceptance of homosexuality have called for a division in the church because of the issue. A group of clergy in Georgia responded by calling for UNITY (here).

There have been ‘trials’ of ministers in the UMC because they have supported and blessed homosexual relationships. One bishop is calling for the church members to “Declare a moratorium on celebrations and trials regarding same-gender unions” until the Church decides on a position. Annual conferences in the church are considering the issue.

Article - Overview of the issue:  Same-gender debate rekindles schism talk, UMC News, 29/5/2014.

4. Massachusetts: Counselling re unwanted homosexual feelings
The Massachusetts legislature is considering a Bill to BAN counselling for young people who choose to deal with unwanted homosexual feeling.

Mass Resistance report that a lobbying push by them has “derailed the Bill”!
REPORT: Bill in Massachusetts to ban counseling on homosexuality for youth -- derailed after MassResistance lobbying push!

5. USA: US Army colour guard marches in LGBT Pride Parade
The US Department of Defence has approved, for the first time, a colour guard presenting the American flag as well as each flag of the military, to march in the Capital Pride parade in Washington DC on Saturday 7 June 2014.

Apparently Capital Pride has requested ‘colour guards’ in the past but were refused…
Article: Another Historic Obama First As US Army Colour Guard Forced To March In LGBT Pride Parade, NTEB News, 6/6/2014.

Report at Washington Post – click here.

6. Meriam Ibrahim: Appeal being heard by Sudanese Court

The hearing of the appeal against the death sentence handed down to Miriam Ibrahim has commenced in a Sudanese court. Three judges are hearing the appeal.

The government has said that Meriam’s ‘acquittal’ and release depends on the ruling of the Appeal Court!

Defend Christians points out that, if Meriam loses the appeal, her children (who are American citizens) would probably be taken away and given to a Muslim family in accordance with sharia law.

Article: Sudan Court Hears Appeal of Apostasy Death Sentence, WSJ, 10/6/2014.

7. Google stops ads for ‘sexually explicit material’
In a win for lobby group Porn Harms and Morality in Media, Google has announced that it will stop accepting ads for sexually explicit pornography. The statement comes two weeks after Porn Harms met with Google executives…

Family Voice congratulated Google and said, “Early last month Google announced it had removed all pornographic apps and most sexual apps from Google Play.  The Microsoft search engine Bing has gone one step better.  Its searches are filtered as the default, unlike Google, which requires users to opt in for filtered searches.”

Article: Google Out of Porn Biz?, 6/6/2014.


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