News hand Fotolia 43542893 320x200With our Prayer Focus being distributed last week, we have news from the past two weeks in this News Update.

I don’t like to overload you with too many single-issue emails, so this ‘News Update’ is a bit longer than usual, to catch up on recent news.

If you’re short of time, just browse and read the summaries of the items that interest you!

So make a coffee or tea and read on!

Jenny

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News Update – 10 April 2015

Australian News

1. PM Tony Abbott affirms halal certification
2. Same-sex adoption – South Australia and Victoria
3. Adelaide’s Catholic Archbishop charged with concealing sex abuse
4. Asylum seeker breaks hunger strike after prayer vigil
5. FOUR Christian churches burnt in Melbourne
6. Second AMF marriage ad NOT SHOWN by Channel 9
7. Free speech - Reclaim Australia rallies – and counter protests
8. Federal government sets up National Taskforce on the drug ‘ice’
9. Rev Gordon Moyes dies on Easter Sunday
10. Update: same-sex ‘marriage’ and corporate support
11. Update: NSW Election result
12. Queensland politics – Government on knife edge
13. Sexual abuse of aboriginal children in WA

Overseas News
1. UK: Homosexuals 'marry' in UK Prison
2. UK: Children, sexual abuse and satanic worship
3. Kenya: Massacre of Christian university students
4. USA: President Obama wants to BAN ‘gay conversion therapy’ for youth

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News Update – 10 April 2015

Australian News

1. PM Tony Abbott affirms halal certification
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said that Australians accept the ‘halal industry’ because they want to see ‘export markets’ grow. He made the comments following a visit to a halal-certified meat supplier in Hobart.

Mr Abbott’s comments:

QUESTION:
You're visiting a business today that prides its self on producing halal meats. There have been some calls within your own party for inquiry into certification. Do you have any concerns about the funding or where the money goes for certification fees?

PRIME MINISTER:
I'm just really pleased that a business like this is growing its exports all the time, particularly to the Middle East. If we want to export to the Middle East, we have to have certain procedures in place and this is just part of exporting to the Middle East and if we want our exports to grow all the time, this is what we need to do and I think that's what Australians want. They want to see our agricultural industries expanding, they want to see our exports growing, and good on Tasmanian Quality Meats for all the work they've done and all the employment they've created.

Perhaps he needs more POLITE letters! Contact Mr Abbott via his websiteclick here.

Doorstop interview – 30 March, 2015 – click here.

Article: Australians OK with halal industry: Prime Minister Tony Abbott, AAP, 30/3/2015.


2. Same-sex adoption – South Australia and Victoria
Homosexual activists are celebrating the fact that Labor governments in Victoria and South Australia are planning to legalise adoption by homosexuals.

2.1 Victoria
In February 2015, we reported that the Andrews Labor government in Victoria had appointed a barrister, Eamonn Moran QC, to consult with the community and organisations over the next few months about the best way to change the laws.” [Emphasis added.]

Who is the ‘community’?
You can guarantee that they didn’t want to hear from GROUPS THAT OPPOSE the legalisation of same-sex adoption! Submissions closed on March 23, and the report is due to the government in May.

Read Salt Shakers report on 24 Feb, 2015click here.

Article: Same-sex adoption a step closer in Victoria, as barrister appointed to review laws, ABC, 21/2/2015.

Government Media Release from Minister for Equality Martin Foley:
Same-sex adoption a step closer with review of laws, Media Release, 23/2/2015.


2.2 South Australia reviews ALL remaining ‘discrimination’
The South Australian government has asked the South Australian Law Reform Institute to “review all legislation to see what discrimination remains against homosexuals”. Homosexual activists see this as a move toward legalising adoption (and surrogacy and IVF) by homosexuals.

The Law Reform Institute website notes that it is a ‘current project’ for them – but there is no ‘Issues Paper’ or Questionnaire yet, and no date for ‘Submissions’.
We will let you know when the Issues Paper and Questionnaire are published.

Article: SA to review all remaining discriminatory laws, GayNewsNetwork, 11/2/2015.

Law Reform Institute: Current Projects

ACTION: If you live in South Australia or Victoria, PLEASE contact your MPs to express your opposition to adoption by homosexuals.

Victoria - Click here for contact details for MPs in Victoria.
South AustraliaClick here for SA MP contact details.

 

3. Adelaide’s Catholic Archbishop charged with concealing sex abuse
NSW Police have confirmed that they have charged the Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson with concealing child sex abuse. The alleged sexual abuse was committed by another priest during the 1970s in NSW.

Archbishop Wilson “strenuously denies the allegation of concealing a serious indictable offence”.

News.com.au reports, “The charge follows investigations by Strike Force Lantle — a team of NSW detectives set up to specifically investigate allegations of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in the 1970s by paedophile priest Jim Fletcher. Archbishop Wilson, 64, who at the time of the alleged offence in 1976 was a junior priest working in the diocese, will appear in Newcastle Court on April 30.”

Article: Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson charged with failing to report child abuse by colleague in 1970s, Adelaide Advertiser, 18/3/2015.
Statement from Archbishop Wilson: Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson Denies Charge of Concealing Child Sexual Abuse


4. Asylum seeker breaks hunger strike after prayer vigil
Saeed Hassanloo arrived in Australia from Iran in 2009, and is reported to have converted to Christianity shortly afterwards. He has been refused refugee status by the Australian government and had begun a hunger strike, which had lasted for almost 40 days.

Over the Easter weekend, a group of Christians held a prayer vigil for him outside his Perth hospital. After being shown photographs of the prayer vigil, Saeed started eating again. Refugee advocates say that he is fearful of persecution if he is returned to Iran, because of his conversion to Christianity. Please pray about this situation.

Articles: Perth vigil brings hunger strike asylum seeker Saeed Hassanloo back from brink, WA Today, 7/4/2015.
Iranian asylum seeker on hunger strike in Perth hospital reportedly near death, ABC, 31/3/2015.


5. FOUR Christian churches burnt in Melbourne
In the week leading up to Easter, FOUR Christian churches in Melbourne were destroyed by fire. Three of the churches were Catholic churches and the fourth was an Anglican church.

It was reported that the three Catholic churches were “connected to notorious paedophiles, including priests Kevin O'Donnell and Ronald Dennis Pickering”.

Andrew Bolt writes that the “leftist media” are hesitant to criticise attacks against Christianity. He begins, “CRITICISE Islam and you’re an “Islamophobe”. You risk court, as two Christian pastors in Melbourne found in 2004. But criticise Christianity — celebrate even the burning of a church — and you’re a “progressive”. The ABC is your friend. Islamophobia bad; Christophobia good.

Andrew interviewed Mark Durie on the Bolt Report on Easter Sunday, about hatred agaisnt Christians, and also about Islam.
Watch episode - click here - Mark appears at the beginning.

Article: Suspicious fire at fourth Melbourne church, The Age, 4/4/2015.

Comment: The ABC of our Islamophobia, Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, 9/4/2015.


6. Second AMF marriage ad NOT SHOWN by Channel 9
After scheduling and uploading the second ad by the Australian Marriage Forum group, focusing on ‘Motherhood’, Channel 9 didn’t show the ad. The ad was scheduled for the 6 pm News slot.

AMF initially contended that there was ‘censorship’ by Channel 9 (see Media Release), but then reluctantly accepted Channel 9’s ‘explanation’ that they decided that showing the ad during the CRICKET might not be suitable for younger viewers!

That’s despite the fact it wasn’t supposed to be shown during the cricket anyway!

The ad quoted former PM Julia Gillard saying “the bond between a mother and her baby” is “the most primal and sacred bond there is”. Now Ms Gillard is talking about suing the AMF for defamation!

Watch the SECOND ADclick here.

AMF explanation: EXPLANATION FROM CHANNEL 9 RE PULLING THE AD: OUR RESPONSE

AMF response re Ms Gillard: NOW A FORMER PM IS TRYING TO INTIMIDATE US!


7. Free speech - Reclaim Australia rallies – and counter protests
The notion of being able to express views that the left object to is continually being threatened in Australia. A group calling itself Reclaim Australia held rallies were held in 16 locations in capital cities and regional areas around Australia on Easter Saturday, to oppose the increasing Islamisation of Australia – specifically opposing sharia law, halal certification, FGM and the wearing of the burqa. For their outline of their aims – click here.

In Melbourne, violent scuffles broke out – with counter protesters calling themselves ‘No room for racism’ – it was reminiscent of the altercations at the ‘March for the Babies’ in 2013.

Danny Nalliah, who was a speaker at the Melbourne rally, put out a Media Release noting that the Andrews Labor government had repealed the new ‘Move On’ police powers, regarding the removal of such counter protesters, that had been introduced by the Napthine Coalition government just before the ‘World Congress of Families’ regional event in 2014.

Pauline Hanson was a speaker at the Brisbane rally – and opposed halal certification of food.

The Islamic Council of Victoria complained that Tony Abbott did not condemn the Reclaim Australia rallies. The Secretary of the ICV, Kuranda Seyit, wrote an Opinion piece – opposing the movement and any criticism of Islam.

Naturally, we oppose any violence or ‘hate speech’. However, it is important that we retain our free speech to criticise other ideologies - Islam, humanism or anything else that is opposed to Christianity. Miranda Devine makes that point in an excellent opinion piece exposing the actions of the ‘anti-racist’ protesters…

Articles:
- Reclaim Australia clashes with opposing groups at rallies around the country over extremism and tolerance, ABC, 4/4/2015.
- Victorian Islamic council criticises federal government over Reclaim Australia rallies, The Age, 6/4/2015.
- Pauline Hanson’s controversial claims on Halal certification reignite debate on issue, Nine News, 5/4/2015.
- Opinion piece: Free speech? Only if you agree with us, Miranda Devine, Daily Telegraph, 8/4/2015.


8. Federal government sets up National Taskforce on the drug ‘ice’
The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott has announced that a National Taskforce will be set up to investigate the use and supply of the drug ‘ice’ – or methamphetamine. The government’s Media Release states, “The Commonwealth Government will be working with States and Territories to develop a National Ice Action Strategy to tackle the growing scourge of ice (crystal methamphetamine).”

The Media Release states, “The first step in developing a National Ice Action Strategy will be the establishment of a National Ice Taskforce. Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash and Minister for Justice Michael Keenan will oversee the Taskforce and lead the government’s response to the ice issue. The Taskforce will be led by Ken Lay APM who was Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police from 2011 until very recently.”

-      Prime Minister’s Media Release: National Ice Taskforce, 8/4/2015.
-      Government webpage on ICE – with information, fact sheets on the drug etc – click here.


9. Rev Gordon Moyes dies on Easter Sunday
As the former leader of Wesley Mission in Sydney, Gordon Moyes increased the scope of the Mission’s work and was actively involved in working with those who were most disadvantaged. But his son David notes that preaching and evangelism was his life’s passion. Gordon said, “Essentially I am evangelist: I just want to tell people about Jesus Christ.” 

As a member of the NSW Legislative Council for nine years, representing CDP and then Family First, Gordon continued to be concerned about the disadvantaged. Gordon died on Easter Sunday after a short illness. Please pray for his wife, Beverley, and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at this time.

Gordon’s son, David, writes about Gordon’s life and ministry:
Media Release: Rev Dr Gordon Keith Moyes AC passes away, Media net, 5/4/2015.


10. Update: same-sex ‘marriage’ and corporate support
Senator Leyonhjelm has now said he is looking to begin debate on his homosexual ‘marriage’ Bill in AUGUST 2015 – following the Budget, and after parliament returns from its winter recess.

Meanwhile, large corporations are joining the PUSH for homosexual ‘marriage’, with some companies writing an Open Letter to MPs – these include Qantas, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SBS and Football Federation Australia.

The campaign is being organised by … yes, you guessed it, the Australian Marriage Equality group led by Rodney Croome. The campaign is also being promoted by the Diversity Council of Australia. This Council was originally begun to promote workplace equality for women, but has expanded to include ALL diversity. Chief executive Lisa Annese said, "The business benefits of marriage equality to corporate Australia go beyond just the significant financial gains. Marriage equality will truly cement workplace fairness and inclusion for the LGBTI community."

What about those who DON'T support homosexual ‘marriage’ – they seem to be overlooked and ignored!

The article notes that, “Over the past decade, organisations such as Telstra, Optus, ANZ, Westpac, IBM and David Jones have indicated their support for same-sex marriage. The Diversity Council of Australia is now urging others in corporate Australia to come forward and support the current campaign.”

Article: Corporate giants join push for same-sex marriage, SMH, 31/3/2015.


11. Update: NSW Election result
The Liberal/Nationals Coalition has been returned to government in New South Wales. There was a swing to the Labor Party of more than 9%, and the Coalition lost about 14 seats.

The official election results are online – http://vtr.elections.nsw.gov.au/

For Legislative Assembly results for each electorate, click here.
The results are not final yet – Lismore and Ballina were only decided two days ago – source.

Initially, the Greens were expected to win four seats in the Legislative Assembly, which Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce attributed to preference flows rather than ‘primary votes’ (source)

Labor is angry at Martin Ferguson, because of his support for the Coalition’s plan to “to lease a 49 per cent stake of state's poles and wires to the private sector and spend the proceeds on new infrastructure”. Mr Ferguson is being threatened with expulsion from the Labor Party (source)

The ABC has an interesting interactive map showing the CHANGE in support for the major parties in the Legislative Assembly since 2011 – click here.
Changing seats – click here for list of seats that changed hands.

Legislative Council:
For the first preference votes for political parties in the Legislative Council – click here.
The CDP gained 100,649 votes or 2.52% of the votes, whilst the Greens obtained 351,696 or 8.79% of the votes.


12. Queensland politics – Government on knife edge
The Queensland Labor Party currently holds power only with the support of Independent MP Peter Wellington – and two MPs from the Shooters and Fishers Party.

Last week, Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszscuk, called on Labor MP, Billy Gordon, to resign when the media revealed that he had previous criminal convictions that he had not declared before the election, as well as allegations of domestic violence.

Mr Gordon said he should have declared his criminal convictions, but denied the accusations of domestic violence. Mr Gordon, an aboriginal man, has resigned from the Labor Party, but not from parliament. The Premier and aboriginal Labor leader, Warren Mundine have called on him to resign from parliament. Meanwhile, Cape York Indigenous leader Noel Pearson said it should be up to the people of the Queensland electorate of Cook to decide if Mr Gordon should leave Parliament.

Former Nationals Senator Bill O’Chee declared that the Premier should call a new election.

If Mr Gordon resigns, a bi-election would be held, and Labor’s ‘government’ would be threatened.

Article: Billy Gordon denies domestic violence allegations, vows to remain in Queensland Parliament, ABC, 1/4/2015.

Article: Annastacia Palaszczuk should call an election over Billy Gordon affair, Brisbane Times, 1/4/2015.


13. Sexual abuse of aboriginal children in WA
Karl O’Callaghan, the WA Police Commissioner, writes about the sexual abuse of aboriginal children in WA – saying the reality is far worse than previously thought.

He compellingly concludes, “In the past few days I have seen images of people trying to save whales at Bunbury and dolphins in the Serpentine River, to get them back to a place where they can survive and thrive. It’s a pity we are not all showing the same resolve for children in our remote communities.”

Article: Reality of Aboriginal child abuse far worse, Karl O’Callaghan, West Australian, 30/3/2015.


Overseas News

1. UK: Homosexuals marry in UK Prison
Two homosexual men, who are both serving life sentences for murder, have ‘married’ in prison…

We have separate prisons for men and women – put homosexuality into the equation and it makes a mockery of the reasons for keeping men and woman separate!

Article: Convicted gay killers are first couple to marry in a UK prison, Gaystarnews, 28/3/2015.


2. UK: Children, sexual abuse and satanic worship
In recent months, there have been revelations regarding child abuse and satanic worship connected with British investigations into child sexual abuse and a pedophile ring and the arrest of Jimmy Saville. A Taskforce has been set up to investigate the VIP pedophile sex ring alleged to have operated in Westminster in the 1980s. A Bishop has recently named former Tory MP Enoch Powell.

These allegations of satanic abuse are serious and need to be carefully investigated. However, some allegations are used for other ends – the British High Court ruled last month that a mother and her partner had tortured her children, forcing them to claim that their father was the head of a satanic cult – in order to prevent the father from having custody (article).

Meanwhile, satanic groups are actively trying to ‘appeal’ to children. Late last year, the Satanic Temple in Florida, USA claimed they should be able to hand out colouring books to high school students that feature children performing satanic rituals! As a result, the School Board considered banning the distribution of ALL religious materials.

In January 2015, it was reported that Florida schools were handing out the activity books, called ‘The Satanic Children's Big Book of Activities’.

The Florida School Board then voted, by 7 to 1, in early February, to ban the distribution of all religious material so that this book could not be handed out.

Article: Bishop names late Tory MP Enoch Powell in child sex abuse, satanic worship ..., RT, 30/3/2015.

Article: Satanic worship group seeks to hand out coloring books to high ..., Daily Mail, 15/11/2014.

Article: Florida schools hand out Satanic colouring books to children, Metro, 20/1/2015.

Article: Florida School Board Bans Bibles to Prevent Satanic Group From Giving Books to Students, Christian Post, 11/2/2015.


3. Kenya: Massacre of Christian university students
An Islamic group has attacked and killed university students in Kenya – actively seeking out Christians to kill.

Bill Muehlenberg writes… “Another Islamic massacre of Christians. Believers all over the world are going through the most horrific persecution, torture and murder, yet all some Western preachers can do is blabber on and on about ‘your best life now’.
Article: Your best life now - not


4. USA: President Obama wants to BAN ‘gay conversion therapy’ for youth
In his latest statement regarding homosexuality, President Obama has called for an end to ‘gay conversion therapy’ for young lgbt people.

So much for those who want to change or want to deal with unwanted same-sex attraction! 

Truth Revolt reports that ‘The USA White House wants to make the path from normal sexuality to homosexuality/lesbianism a "one-way" street.

Media report: Obama calls for end to conversion therapy for lgbt youth, ABC, 9/4/2015.

 

News with man Fotolia 60714122 320x200A wide range of challenges are facing us…

As John Anderson, former Deputy PM, said on radio this week, we are in serious trouble in the West. He encouraged us to know, and practise, our Christian worldview! (See item 3)

This week we are reading Ecclesiastes, which reminded us that we are to stand firm in trusting and following God and His Word, despite what the world is doing!

Jenny

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News Update 27 March 2015

Australian News
1. Senator Bernardi calls for parliamentary inquiry into halal certification
2. NSW Election – Voting BELOW the line in the Legislative Council!
3. NSW election - Twenty-Twenty podcast – one hour panel
4. Marriage and children ads by Australian Marriage Forum
5. SBS – marriage ad and mardi gras
6. Family Violence – caring for ALL the victims
7. Homosexual activists continuing to CAMPAIGN
8. Special Religious Instruction – now we have the ‘Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’

Overseas News
1. USA: Largest Presbyterian denomination supports homosexual ‘marriage’ and ordains lesbian couple
2. UK: Street preacher convicted
3. Ireland: Ashers Baking Co under threat

Ongoing action
1. Marriage Update – the KEY is contacting our MPs
2. TV standards – submission to Free TV Review of Standards – close 3 April
3. FamilyVoice Campaign – Letters to Mr Abbott opposing funding for ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ – extended to END of March

 
___________________________________________

News Update 27 March 2015

Australian News

1. Senator Bernardi calls for parliamentary inquiry into halal certification
Cory Bernardi, Liberal Senator for South Australia, has been outspoken about Islam and halal certification. This week he announced that he is planning to call for a parliamentary inquiry into halal certification. Cory mentioned the Halal Choices website, and the fact that Kirralie is facing a legal challenge.

Cory wrote, “No one has been able to explain why water, milk and cat food need halal certification. No one has been able to explain all the groups involved in the certification racket and where the money paid actually ends up. I have seen emails from purported halal certification entrepreneurs that do not inspire any confidence in the integrity or intent of such schemes…”

Cory’s blog: Getting to the bottom of the halal certification racket, Cory Bernardi, 25/3/2015.


2. NSW Election – Voting BELOW the line in the Legislative Council!
In our NSW election overview, we explained how voting works. In the Legislative Council, voters can vote above the line (either by just putting a 1 in the box of the Party of their choice OR by numbering any number of Party boxes in order) OR BELOW the line where voters must put numbers in at least 15 boxes. We’ve explained that you can vote FIRST for a SMALL Party (or two…), such as CDP, and then number other major parties, without wasting your vote!

Unfortunately, numbering ABOVE the line means accepting the ORDER of the candidates as specified by the PARTY.

We encourage you to vote BELOW the line – if you do this you MUST fill in at least 15 numbers. We urge you to vote for as many candidates as you are happy ‘endorsing’ and include at least one ‘major party’. If choosing to vote for, say, CDP, it is important that you follow your ‘small party preferences’ with people from the large parties, so your vote isn’t wasted. [Note: Giving CDP a ‘2’ after’ giving the Coalition a ‘1’ will NOT benefit CDP!]

It is important to note that SOME candidates at the TOP of the Liberal/National Legislative Council group list are far from conservative.

So, when choosing to vote for the Liberal/Nationals please choose carefully!
In their Grouped List, click here, then choose ‘Legislative Council Candidates by Group and Ungrouped’, then “NSW Group E - LIBERAL / NATIONALS”.

For instance, when you come to choosing candidates in Group E, you could choose No 3, Matthew Mason-Cox, then go to the fifth candidate Bronnie Taylor and so on…

Check our NSW election overview and the NSW Election Surveys and Guides email for more information.


3. NSW election - Twenty-Twenty podcast – one hour panel
Vision Radio’s Twenty-Twenty host, Neil Johnson, held a one-hour panel discussion (Thursday 26 March) on the NSW election.

The panel consisted of John Anderson, former Nationals leader and deputy PM, Ros Phillips (Family Voice), Mark Makowiecki (Australian Christian Lobby) and Jenny Stokes (Salt Shakers).
Click here to listen to the podcast.

4. Marriage and children ads by Australian Marriage Forum
The first ad screened on TV by the Australian Marriage Forum, speaking of the effect on children from legalising homosexual ‘marriage’, has been seen by more than half a million people.
Watch the ad – click here.

AMF is now planning to screen a second ad on Sunday 29 March, in the 6 pm Channel 9 News in all State and Territory capitals.
It will be posted on their You Tube page after Sunday evening.

Article by David van Gend: Saying sorry means not doing it again, Online Opinion, 23/3/2015.


5. SBS – marriage ad and mardi gras
SBS has responded to complaints about showing the mardi gras by saying they fully support the program and it is very ‘popular’!

Perhaps that isn’t surprising... Andrew Bolt pointed out that Michael Ebeid, the managing director of SBS, is openly homosexual!

Andrew highlighted the fact that SBS REFUSED to show the ad supporting marriage between a man and a woman – but has been showing a sleazy Ashley Madison ad, promoting adultery.

Andrew wrote, “He ‘Mr Ebeid] also signed up SBS as the official broadcaster of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and staff were asked by email to “pop, sparkle and shimmy down Oxford St behind the SBS float”, which some might take as a message to get on board.

STILL, why presume Ebeid wouldn’t allow others to defend gay marriage? It’s not his SBS but ours.”

Article: Andrew Bolt: SBS takes a controversial stance on family values, Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, 18/3/2015.


6. Family Violence – caring for ALL the victims
With the current awareness of family violence, the Royal Commission in Victoria and Rosie Batty being the Australian of the Year, a group of people, including academics and social workers, are highlighting what they say is an unseen aspect of ‘family violence’.

Called ‘One in Three’, they highlight the data that reveals one in three victims of family violence are male.

We need to be concerned about all those who experience violence… teaching a culture of kindness and respect, and ‘no meanness’ is part of the solution.

Website: http://www.oneinthree.com.au/

Article: We need to speak out for all victims of family violence, Roger Smith, Online Opinion, 2/3/2015.


7. Homosexual activists continuing to CAMPAIGN
The homosexual activists are actively and persistently campaigning – they do NOT give up!
Of course, the fact that they change direction, and argue about ‘strategy’, doesn’t get in the way of their efforts.

Browsing through the Australian Marriage Equality Media Releases on their website highlights the extensive efforts they are making. In this media release, Ivan Hinton-Teoh said that ‘support for marriage equality within the Coalition is high than ever’.

He said, “I have spent most of this week meeting with Coalition members and I can confidently say that support for marriage equality is higher than ever. It’s time for these members to be free to vote for what they and the majority of Australians believe.”

A sample of Media Releases and posts:

8. Special Religious Instruction – now we have the ‘Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’
In New South Wales, the ‘Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster’ has applied for permission to teach religion in NSW Schools. They say they are ‘pastafarians’ and claim to have millions of members.

In November 2014, Greens MP John Kaye even moved a motion in the NSW parliament urging that their application be taken seriously!

Their application wasn’t approved, so they have now taken a complaint to the Ombudsman.
Read their Facebook page for full details… click here.

Now the group has applied to the Victorian Education Department – wanting to be approved as a ‘provider’ of religious instruction in schools!

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
Yes, it is rather a spoof… but ‘followers’ are said to believe a ‘spaghetti monster’ created the universe and they wear ‘religious head-gear’ – a colander – and pirate costumes!

The ‘Flying Spaghetti Monster’ idea comes from a statement by Richard Dawkins in an article titled ‘Why there almost certainly is no God: “We cannot, of course, disprove God, just as we can't disprove Thor, fairies, leprechauns and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. But, like those other fantasies that we can't disprove, we can say that God is very, very improbable.”

Article: Victoria - Victorian schools to get a pasta class in religion, The Age, 20/3/2015.

Article: NSW - Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, SMH, 23/11/2014.


Overseas News

1. USA: Largest Presbyterian denomination supports homosexual ‘marriage’ and ordains lesbian couple
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the largest (and most liberal) of the Presbyterian Churches in the USA, has voted to support homosexual ‘marriage’…

Having voted to move in that direction last year, they got the ‘required number’ of Presbytery votes on 17 March.
Just days later, on Sunday 22 March, a PCUSA church ordained a lesbian couple as ministers…

Article: PCUSA Church Ordains First Married Lesbian Couple as Ministers, Days After Denomination's Marriage Amendment, Christian Post, 22/3/2015.


2. UK: Street preacher convicted
British street preacher, Michael Overd, has been convicted of ‘preaching homophobic sermons’. A previous case in 2012 had failed, but new charges were brought. 

Christian Voice reports that police went LOOKING for complaints: “After the failed case in 2012, the police began looking for complaints against the long-standing Taunton preacher again last year, appealing in a local newspaper for the public to record him making “offensive remarks”.  A number of witnesses said they could not remember what Mr Overd said, just that it was ‘offensive’.”

Christian Voice reports, “He was cleared of a second similar charge and another of causing “racially-aggravated” harassment aimed at Muslims. During the case, Mr Overd told the judge he must be born again. The charges were brought under the Public Order Act….”

Another important point: “A campaign by the Christian Institute to remove the word ‘insulting’ from the Public Order Act was meant to stop preachers being prosecuted, but the police have just switched to charging them with ‘threatening and abusive’ behaviour instead.

Article: Street preacher convicted, Christian Voice, 23/3/2015.

3. Ireland: Ashers Baking Co under threat
The McArthur Family, who are the owner-operators of Ashers (which refers to one of the 12 Tribes of Israel), are undergoing a legal challenge… 

In May 2014, a homosexual man, Gareth Lee, ordered a cake with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”. The McArthurs declined, because of their conscience. But Mr Lee made a complaint to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, claiming they discriminated against HIM because of his sexual orientation. The Commission decided to pursue legal action.

‘In a video, Daniel McArthur, the General Manager of Ashers Baking Co (and, son of the founders), clearly says that Mr Lee's sexual orientation had nothing to do with their refusal to decorate the cake. Rather, Mr McArthur says that the refusal was a matter of conscience. In this particular instance, the McArthurs would not be forced to violate their own consciences and beliefs by advocating for a cause in which they do not believe (and which is contrary to the Bible).’

Citizen Go is running a petition – sign it at this link:
Support Ashers Baking Co as they defend Christian ethics in the workplace (19/3/2015)

 

Ongoing action

1. Marriage Update – the KEY is contacting our MPs
With the debate about homosexual ‘marriage’ back in full swing, it is vital that we personally contact our OWN MPs – visit your local MP or write to them identifying yourself as a constituent.

We need to present convincing arguments about why we should be supporting marriage only being between a man and a woman.

It is important that we continue to contact our OWN federal MP and 12 State Senators and urge them to oppose any change to the Marriage Act – click here for contact details.


2. TV standards – submission to Free TV Review of Standards – close 3 April
Free TV is conducting a review of TV standards.
Submissions close on 3 April, 2015.

Send your response to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See our Campaign page for details – click here.

Tell them we want the Code of Practice to stay as it is…
Reject the proposed changes:
- removal of G-rated times and replaced with PG all day
- M-rated timeslots move from 8.30 pm back to 7.30 pm (currently it is PG from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm);
- MA-rated timeslots proposed for 8.30pm (currently 9.30 pm);
Please note that advertising prohibitions on alcohol and gambling also change as they are tied to the ‘ratings’.


3. FamilyVoice Campaign – Letters to Mr Abbott opposing funding for ‘Safe Schools Coalition’ – extended to END of March
Thank you to those who have sent in signed letters to FamilyVoice, urging Mr Abbott to stop the funding of the Safe Schools Coalition.

The date for sending letters has been extended to the end of March.

If you haven’t sent in your letter, please click here to read our post.
OR read the Open Letter – direct link.

 

News jigsaw Fotolia 59083953 320x200Some of the items this week need a commentary and explanation… perhaps I’m having recollections about the sort of article I used to write for the Journal!

Just a sample…

-      An update on reactions to the ‘marriage ad’,
-      More Muslim boys going to fight with ISIS/Islamic State
-      The federal government gives $500,000 to the Islamic Museum for ‘online education’,
-      A homosexual man in the UK has a son using his MOTHER as a surrogate!
Next week there won’t be a News Update – just a couple of information emails…

If you live in NSW, the election is on 28 March - check out our Election Overview (and the Christian Values Checklist).

Happy reading!

Jenny

_______________________________________

News Update – 12 March 2015

Australian news
1. Federal government gives $500,000 to Islamic Museum!

2. GOOD NEWS!  Ashley Madison ADS BANNED by the Advertising Standards Board
3. Catholic psychologist BANNED because of statements on homosexuality
4. Update on the marriage ad – responses, petitions, banning and more
5. Launceston Council votes AGAINST homosexual ‘marriage’
6. More Australian teenagers fighting with ISIS/Islamic State

     6.1 Melbourne teenager fighting – and dying - with ISIS
    6.2 Two brothers prevented from leaving Sydney
    6.3 Responses of Muslim leaders
7. Halal certification - update
8. Overseas food – loophole regarding New Zealand


Overseas News
1. UK: Mother is surrogate for homosexual son

2. Climate Change & Religion – IPPC Chief leaves

Ongoing Action
1. TV standards – submission to Free TV Review of Standards
2. Victoria: Submission on adoption by same-sex couples
3. FamilyVoice Campaign – Letters to Mr Abbott opposing funding for ‘Safe Schools Coalition’

4. Victoria – Euthanasia motion – please write to MLCs

__________________________________________________________

News Update – 12 March 2015

Australian news

1. Federal government gives $500,000 to Islamic Museum!
The federal government has just given $500,000 to the Islamic Museum in Melbourne for ‘online education…’ The state government gave another $450,000.

The questions we should ask are, “WHY is the government giving this money to the museum?” and “WHAT SORT or education will it be?”

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who announced the funding at a ‘gala dinner’, said the education was to promote ‘social cohesion and cross-cultural understanding in a world where it was important to understand our history to give us a sense of future’. She said, “The Islamic Museum of Australia is key to promoting a greater understanding of Islamic faith, heritage, history, and its cultural significance and connection to Australia.”

It is of enormous concern that the government is funding the promotion of Islam!

Also of great concern is that the Saudi government is giving $1 million to the museum for ‘infrastructure’…
Will the Saudi government have influence over the type of ‘education’ to be provided?

Article: Islamic Museum of Australia gets government cash to develop online education program, Herald Sun, 5/3/2015.


2. GOOD NEWS!  Ashley Madison ADS BANNED by the Advertising Standards Board
During 2014 and 2015, a company called Ashley Madison, which is an online ‘dating agency’, screened ads that encourage people to engage in extra-marital affairs – the ad featured a man “looking for someone other than my wife”.

Many people complained about the ads – and the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has now BANNED the ad. In August 2014, the ASB rejected the complaints, but then received a huge number of complaints about the ad in the following months.

With the extra complaints, and new members on the Board, the ASB re-considered complaints about the ad. This time they decided to BAN the ad!

Smart Company reports, “While the Ad Standards Board stated there is no restriction on a service such as Ashley Madison being advertised in Australia, it found it did breach Section 2.1 of the Advertising Code, which prohibits the discrimination and vilification of a person or section of the community on the basis of gender. The Board said, “The emphasis on the term ‘wife’ gave a strong message that wives are inadequate or somehow lacking … this suggestion is degrading to wives and does amount to material that demeans or makes people think less of wives”.”

There were a total of 481 complaints against the ad – this is the HIGHEST number of complaints the ASB has received about an ad since 1998!
Overall the ASB received 5,600 complaints this year, the highest number of complaints recorded since 1998 (source).

This is a timely reminder that ACTION does work – so please be persistent and don’t give up!

Media report: Ashley Madison forced to pull “immoral” ad after flood of complaints to advertising watchdog, Smart Company, 10/3/2015.

ASB DecisionsAugust 2014February 2015


3. Catholic psychologist BANNED because of statements on homosexuality
Philip Pocock, a Catholic psychologist in Canberra, has been banned from practising psychology ‘until further notice’. The Canberra Times reported, “Philip Pocock's case is one of the rare occasions when the nation's medical watchdog has suspended a practitioner without any complaints received by patients”. 

Last year the Psychology Board, which sits under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), and considers cases as part of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, placed severe restrictions on him, including “further education and an assessment by a psychiatrist”. The report states, “In August the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruled Mr Pocock could not have his public utterances regarded as "personal views" if they were accompanied by declarations he was a psychologist.”

It appears Mr Pocock ran for election as an MLA in the ACT and made public statements about sex and homosexual relationships. Apparently Mr Pocock refused to undertake the ‘further education’ and it now seems that the Board has banned him from practising until further notice whilst they ‘assess professional reports about him’.

Mr Pocock says he is ‘considering leaving the profession’ because he ‘doesn’t want his free speech curtailed’. “I said I'll resign my registration because I feel I've got the right to make public statements."

Article: Catholic psychologist banned from practising due to views on homosexual relationships, Canberra Times, 18/2/2015.
Decison re Mr Pocock - click here.

4. Update on the marriage ad – responses, petitions, banning and more
This week, David Van Gend’s Facebook page was REMOVED after the homosexual lobby complained about the Australian Marriage Forum’s ads promoting heterosexual marriage and opposing same-sex ‘marriage’ because of the rights of the child. So much for tolerance!

As we mentioned in our email, Andrew Bolt was almost a lone voice supporting the right to screen such ads. Since then, Dean Smith (Liberal, WA) and David Leyonhjelm (LDP, NSW) have said they support free speech and said that SBS was wrong to dump the ad (source).

Mind you, it wasn’t because they support the ad Dean Smith is openly homosexual and supports homosexual ‘marriage’ - and David Leyonhjelm is planning to introduce a Bill to legalise homosexual ‘marriage’!

Apparently many people complained to the Advertising Standard Board – the ASB has stated on their website/blog that they will NOT be taking complaints about the advertisement because they say it “falls under the scope of political advertising” (Read ASB Statement.)

Petition: A website called the ‘Sum of Us’ is running a petition calling for Channels 7 and 9 to “apologise”.
They urge, “Tell Channels 7 and 9 to apologise now and make amends by broadcasting ads that promote marriage equality.”

You could write to them, commending them for showing the ad – Channel 7Channel 9.

The Toowoomba Chronicle (David is from Toowoomba) reported that local church supporters raised the money for the ads – the newspaper also ran a POLL (also on Rural Weekly and Queensland Times):

Are children raised in same-sex families at a disadvantage?
This morning the result was: Yes - 19% No - 80%

Click here to vote in the POLL.

Of course, these polls aren’t scientific – but this poll doesn’t give the total number of votes, and it allows people to vote repeatedly!

A comment on the reasons for opposing homosexual ‘marriage’ and homosexuality

Some of our readers questioned the campaign on the basis that it opposed homosexual ‘marriage’ because of the ‘child’.

In opposing homosexual ‘marriage’, and homosexuality, at Salt Shakers we always begin with the principle that God says in His Word that homosexuality, and thus homosexual relationships, is a sin. In addition, there are a lot of other reasons for opposing homosexual ‘marriage’, and we can use secular reasons for opposing the normalisation of homosexuality. But we must always begin with the Bible and God’s authority.

Regarding homosexual ‘marriage’ and children, some Australian states have already legalised adoption by homosexual couples, as well as surrogacy and IVF, without having homosexual ‘marriage’ or ‘relationship registers’.

5. Launceston Council votes AGAINST homosexual ‘marriage’
This week the Council in Launceston, Tasmania, voted AGAINST a motion supporting same-sex ‘marriage’ by eight votes to three. Some councillors complained that there had been no public consultation, and some said their community were against the motion.

Homosexual activists such as Rodney Croome were angry that the Council voted against the motion. The Australian Christian Lobby had campaigned for a ‘No’ vote – they congratulated the councillors for not passing the motion and criticised Mr Croome’s response as being “intolerant”.

But WHY should a Council be even considering views on homosexual ‘marriage’?
Local government should be about ratepayers, local roads, collecting garbage and so on.

Of course, Launceston isn’t the first Council to consider such a motion (or to introduce ‘relationship registers). We have seen local Councils around the nation succumb to the demands of homosexual activists!

Article: Anger over Launceston council vote rejecting gay marriage, ABC, 11/3/2015.

 

6. More Australian teenagers fighting with ISIS/Islamic State

6.1 Melbourne teenager fighting – and dying - with ISIS
Early this week, an 18 year old boy, who is fighting with ISIS/Islamic State, was identified as coming from Craigieburn, in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. In December 2014 he was described as ‘‘Britain’s White Jihadi with the baby face".

Jake Bilardi’, now known as “Abu Abdullah Al Australia”, apparently dropped out of school last year, after converting to Islam. He is reported to have attended two local mosques/Islamic centres, and then headed to the Middle East to fight with ISIS. The Herald Sun reports that he had lived with his older siblings after his mother died a few years ago.

Just days later, reports claim that he has now died in a ‘suicide mission’ for ISIS/Islamic State. A BBC journalist who interviewed him in December 2014 said that ‘Jake’ told him he was “chasing death” and planned to carry out a suicide attack. ISIS posted photos on Twitter and claimed that he was a ‘martyr’. Another media report states that a blog, thought to have been written by Bilardi, talked of carrying out terror attacks in Melbourne.

Articles:
‘British White Jihadi’ revealed as Melbourne teenager, The Australian, 9/3/2015.
‘Shy’ Melbourne teenager called Jake joins Islamic State, Herald Sun, 9/3/2015.
Here's what we know about Jake, 'Britain's white jihadi' who was a talented maths student from Melbourne, Business Insider, 9/3/2015.
Islamic State: Melbourne teen Jake Bilardi in suicide attack — reports, Herald Sun, 12/3/2015.


6.2 Two brothers prevented from leaving Sydney
Two teenage brothers, aged 16 and 17, have been stopped from leaving Australia – a bag search found ‘extremist’ literature, and authorities suspected they were planning to fight with ISIS/Islamic State. They were handed over to their parents and have now been placed on a ‘Watch List’.
Article: Teen brothers stopped at Sydney Airport suspected of trying to join Islamic State in Syria, ABC, 9/3/2015.


6.3 Responses of Muslim leaders
In response to the news that more Australian teens are going to fight with ISIS/Islamic State, there are calls for ‘help’ from some Muslim leaders such as Dr Jamal Rifi… who says ‘nothing works…’

But just two weeks ago, another Muslim leader, Dr Ameer Ali, placed the responsibility squarely with Muslim leaders… He said, when commenting on a Perth uni student leaving to fight, that religious leaders need to voice their OPPOSITION to Islamic State. “I haven't heard so far any single imam in this country that has named IS and condemned it. They should have done this very often in their sermons but I haven't come across any of this."

Article: Islamic State: Perth university student Muhammed Sheglabo joins fighters in Middle East, ABC, 21/2/2015.


7. Halal certification - update
The court case against Q Society and Kirralie of Halal Choices, by Mohammed El-Mouelhy of the Halal Certification Authority, will have another directions hearing on 27 March – but the case is unlikely to be heard then.
Support Kirralie – check out her website – click here.

Bernard Gaynor writes about Mr Mohammed El-Mouelhy’s claim that he isn’t working to install sharia law in Australia.
Article: Halal certification without Sharia Law? You bewdy


8. Overseas food – loophole regarding New Zealand
Over the years we have all been encouraged to ‘Buy Australian made’. In recent years, that has become increasingly difficult as we have seen clothing, footwear and homewares increasingly made in China and other countries where labour is cheaper.

But we still had much of our FOOD coming from Australia. The recent scare about frozen berries from China has alerted people even more to the importing of food from overseas. We may have seen the ‘Made from Australian and imported ingredients’ label!

One loophole in the law is that some foods that are labelled ‘Product of New Zealand’ actually come from China. They may be packaged in NZ and are then sent to Australia with a label that makes us think they are grown in NZ!

I recently changed the brand of peas I buy – I had noticed they didn’t taste the same – then a close inspection of the label said they were a ‘Product of New Zealand’. In the supermarket I noted that some packets of peas were now labelled on the FRONT ‘Australian grown peas’ to emphasise that they ARE Australian grown!

We may have lost a lot of our manufacturing overseas markets to overseas producers – but let’s protect our farmers by buying ‘Australian grown’ whenever we can!

CHOICE conducted an investigation – their report gives a helpful overview of the labels and their meaning – including WHICH frozen fruit and vegetables are GROWN in Australia!

Choice is running a campaign calling for CLEARER LABELLING!

Report: Australians can't be sure where their frozen fruit and veggies come from, Choice, 21/2/2015.


Overseas News

1. UK: Mother is surrogate for homosexual son
The reader who sent me this item said, ‘Words fail me!’

A single homosexual man in the UK has had a baby son – his mother acted as a surrogate for a baby who was created from a donated egg from an anonymous donor and the sperm of the homosexual son!

Yet, it doesn’t surprise me. Many years ago, when we did a TV panel on IVF and surrogacy for homosexuals, lesbians and single women, there was one woman and her homosexual son on the program. They explained their story - the boy would get a lesbian friend to donate an egg and the mother would be the surrogate.
Even the presenter said, ‘What are you thinking?’

Article: A mum, her son and THEIR baby: Mother reveals how she became a surrogate for gay supermarket worker who was desperate to become a father, Daily Mail, 7/3/2015.


2. Climate Change & Religion – IPPC Chief leaves
The UN IPCC Chief has GONE – Mr Pachauri has ‘resigned’ following a complaint of sexual harassment.

In his resignation letter, he made the following comment about environment and ‘religion’!

'For me the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.' 

UN IPCC critic Journalist Donna Laframboise responds:

'Yes, the IPCC – which we’re told to take seriously because it is a scientific body producing scientific reports – has, in fact, been led by an environmentalist on a mission. By someone for whom protecting the planet is a religious calling.'

Articles:

- Outgoing UN IPCC Chief reveals global warming ‘is my religion and my dharma’ 
- IPCC Chair Pachauri forced out at UN climate panel after sexual harassment complaint

 

Ongoing Action

1. TV standards – submission to Free TV Review of Standards
Free TV is conducting a review of TV standards.
Submissions close on 3 April, 2015.

Send your response to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See our Campaign page for details – click here.

Tell them we want the Code of Practice to stay as it is…
Reject the proposed changes:
- removal of G-rated times and replaced with PG all day
- M-rated timeslots move from 8.30 pm back to 7.30 pm (currently it is PG from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm);
- MA-rated timeslots proposed for 8.30pm (currently 9.30 pm);

Please note that advertising prohibitions on alcohol and gambling also change as they are tied to the ‘ratings’.


2. Victoria: Submission on adoption by same-sex couples
The Victorian Government is doing an Inquiry into same-sex adoption.

Click here for our webpage about this Inquiry.
Submissions close on 23 March, 2015.

 

3. FamilyVoice Campaign – Letters to Mr Abbott opposing funding for ‘Safe Schools Coalition’
Thank you to those who have sent in signed letters to FamilyVoice, urging Mr Abbott to stop the funding of the Safe Schools Coalition.

The date for sending letters has been extended to the end of March.

If you haven’t sent in your letter, please click here to read our postlease click here to read our post.
OR read the Open Letter – direct link.

 

4. Victoria – Euthanasia motion – please write to MLCs
See our previous post – click here – for details about Greens’ MLC Colleen Hartland’s motion to get the Victorian Law Reform Commission to conduct an Inquiry into euthanasia.

Motion could be debated on 18 March. So please write now if you haven’t done so!

 

News Update – 6 March 2015 – Islam, abortion, sex ed, ‘civil unions’…

News mike Fotolia 57267122 320x200It’s always a challenge to select a few items that are significant in our endeavours to highlight the way society is drifting from the Biblical model laid out in Scripture as the ideal.

Jenny

News Update – 6 March 2015

Australian News
1. Islam – threat to Jacquie Lambie – ‘introduce sharia law or be beheaded’
2. Protests outside abortion clinics – now there are ‘counter protests’
3. Mardi gras – SBS interview with Tony Abbott’s sister & Police liaison
4. Defence Forces to appoint imam to ADF ‘religious advisory committee’
5. Queensland brings back ‘civil unions’ for homosexuals
6. Increase in number of Muslim school students in Victoria
7. Update: Court case against Kirralie of Halal Choices and Q Society
8. Vic: Royal Commission on family violence – Terms of Reference
9. Alcohol and domestic violence

Overseas news
1. The pursuit of science – growing the kidneys of aborted babies in animals
2. UK: Labour will make ‘LGBTI-inclusive’ sex ed COMPULSORY!
3. UK: House of Lords APPROVES ‘three-parent babies’

Ongoing Action
1. TV standards – submission to Free TV Review of Standards
2. Victoria: Submission on adoption by same-sex couples

_____________________________________

News Update – 6 March 2015

Australian News

1. Islam – threat to Sen Jacqui Lambie – ‘introduce sharia law or be beheaded’
Senator Jacqui Lambie has been outspoken regarding Islam, terrorism, halal certification and sharia law. During the past week, a letter was sent to her office, demanding that Senator Lambie convert to Islam and help introduce sharia law in Australia BY 18 March – or face BEHEADING!

Dr Phyllis Chesler has written an article commending her for her stand, highlighting Mark Durie’s article on jihad in broken Hill, and urging people to be aware.

She writes, “Jihad has been building for years in Australia … These jihadists are not crazy or stupid or impoverished or justifiably angry because they have been persecuted. This is, pure and simple, “a manifestation of Islamic theology.” Westerners, especially our leaders and elites, do not want to believe this. As I have pointed out elsewhere, contrary to Western myth, many Islamic terrorists come from stable homes and have advanced educations; their leaders are often men of enormous wealth.”

Phyllis has an interesting story – as an American feminist of Jewish background, she married an overseas student from Afghanistan and found herself trapped by Islamic practices in that country… she wrote about her experiences in ‘An American Bride in Kabul: A Memoir’.

Article: ISLAMISTS DEMAND AUSTRALIAN SENATOR ‘INTRODUCE SHARIA LAW’ OR BE BEHEADED, Dr Phyllis Chesler, Breitbart, 2/3/2015.

Media report: Jacqui Lambie receives beheading threat, ordering her to help implement Sharia law in Australia, ABC, 1/3/2015.


2. Protests outside abortion clinics – now there are ‘counter protests’
The Tasmanian government has outlawed any ‘protests’ outside abortion clinics. In Victoria, the Sex Party want ‘protest exclusion zones’ outside abortion clinics to ban ‘protesters’. (Read report.)

Currently 40 Days for Life are conducting a prayer vigil outside abortion clinics, providing information and support to women who are considering having an abortion.
Now some pro-abortion activists have decided to have a counter protest in Sydney… to encourage women seeking an abortion to go ahead with it… and criticise those praying.

Article: How to beat anti-choice protesters at their own game, Daily Life, 2/3/2015.


3. Mardi gras – SBS interview with Tony Abbott’s sister & Police liaison
In our mardi gras BRIEFING, we mentioned that SBS, along with broadcasting a program on the ‘pride parade’, had done an interview with Christine Forster, Tony Abbott’s sister. Of course, the interview covered the issues of politics and marriage. The 6 minute story was on ‘The Feed’ on SBS2 and is now online.

Article/Video: SBS journalist and Mardi Gras host Patrick Abboud reveals rare insight into the life of Tony Abbott’s lesbian sister, News.com.au, 26/2/2015.

Video on You Tube SBS2 – click here.

Meanwhile the NSW Police are ‘celebrating’ and ‘GLLO-ing’ about the fact that it is 25 years since they introduced the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer (GLLO) program. They launched an exhibition for mardi gras – and announced that there are now more than 200 GLLOs across NSW.

Police Media Release - '25 years and GLLO-ing' NSW Police celebrates GLLO anniversary as 2015 Mardi Gras is officially launched, 20/2/2015.


4. Defence Forces to appoint imam to ADF ‘religious advisory committee’
Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert told federal parliament this week that he is asking the Defence forces to "renew efforts" on recruiting a more "culturally and linguistically diverse workforce". He said that he wants to appoint a part-time imam to serve on the ADF’s religious advisory committee, which ‘provides advice to the force on policies to meet its personnel's spiritual needs’.

Mr Robert said, “I have asked my department to move as quickly as possible to identify a part-time Islamic Imam to join the ADF's religious advisory committee to ensure those 96 ADF members of an Islamic faith have appropriate representation.”

The advisory committee currently has five Christian members and one Jewish member.

The ADF has chaplains in all sections of the defence forces. The chaplains belong to a list of religious denominations and faith groups that are approved by the religious advisory committee. “These denominations are currently the Anglican Church, Catholic Church, Uniting Church, Presbyterian Church, Baptist Union of Australia, Lutheran Church of Australia, Churches of Christ, Salvation Army and Council of Australian Jewry.”

As to the number of chaplains, as of 2012, “there are 67 Regular Army and 83 Army Reserve Chaplains (commonly known as "padres") in the Australian Army; these belong to either one of several Christian churches, or to the Jewish faith” (source). See this webpage for details of the job of ‘army chaplain’. In addition, there are chaplains in the other services.

There are currently 96 Muslims members in the ADF – but there are moves to increase that number – see here, here and here. There is currently no chaplain for Buddhist or Muslim personnel. With an imam joining the religious advisory committee, that could well change!’
Bernard Gaynor was not impressed – he highlighted the fact that Stuart Robert announced he wanted to recruit more Muslims, in the name of ‘capability through diversity’. Bernard noted, “Then, about 48 hours later, the Prime Minister stood up in front of the national media to warn about the very real risk of insider attacks against Australian diggers. Oh, the irony. It’s killing me….”

Article: Australian Defence Force to get its first Muslim Imam, SMH, 2/3/2015.

Commentary: Stupid is as stupid does: the Australian Defence Force ordered to recruit Muslims, Bernard Gaynor, 4/3/2015.

As for official Australian Defence Forces publications on RELIGION:

The ADF has published an extensive official guide to religion, belief and diversity – revealing reading!

Guide to Religion and Belief in the Australian Defence Force

In 2013, Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Hoglin, wrote an extensive article calling for more ‘religious diversity’ in the Australian Defence Force.
Religious Diversity in the Australian Army: The Next Diversity Frontier?
Australian Army Journal, Culture edition 2013, Volume X, Number 3.


5. Queensland brings back ‘civil unions’ for homosexuals
The Queensland Labor Party is wasting no time in introducing their pro-homosexual policies. The Labor Attorney-General, Yvette D’Ath, has announced the government will re-introduce ‘civil unions’ for homosexuals. The previous Labor government introduced them just before the last election – and the Liberal National Party CHANGED them to be ‘Registered Relationships’. Heterosexual couples are ALSO able to ‘register a relationship’.
No ‘timeframe’ has been announced yet for the proposed change.

How many couples have ACTUALLY registered their relationships?
The Australian notes that the number of homosexual couples formalising their relationships has fallen, inferring that there were more when they were called ‘civil unions’…
- In the first half of 2012, 466 couples took out ‘civil unions’.
- In the second half of 2012, after the Newman LNP government changed it to ‘registered relationships’, another 138 homosexual couples registered their relationships.
- In 2013, there were 227 and in 2014, there were 184.
This gives a total of 1,015 homosexual relationships.

Perhaps the reason for the ‘decline’ is that there actually aren’t very many homosexual couples who WANT to formally register their relationships!

Of particular concern is the fact that “4,677 heterosexual couples have also registered their relationships”. This is creating a second tier of relationships, or ‘marriage lite’…

Article: Queensland moves to bring back gay civil unions, The Australian, 25/2/2015.

 

6. Increase in number of Muslim school students in Victoria
The number of students attending Islamic schools in Victoria has grown markedly in recent years. It is reported that enrolments have increased by 70% over the past eight years.

The Age reports that, “Of the 9040 students enrolled at Islamic schools last year, 5874 were primary school aged and 3166 were secondary school aged.”

Article: Victorian students flock to Islamic schools as Muslim population grows, The Age, 28/2/2015.


7. Update: Court case against Kirralie of Halal Choices and Q Society
The defamation claim brought by Mohamed El-Mouelhy, of the Halal Certification Authority against Kirralie Smith of Halal Choices and Q Society has now had three appearances (Directions hearings or 'mentions') in the NSW Supreme Court. Last Friday Mr El-Mouelhy’s barrister “indicated that he would supply particulars of his case by next Monday (2/2/2015) to allow the defendants to consider any objections they wish to take to the statement of claim. . . The matter will have a further mention on 6 March.”

Thank you for your support of Kirralie and Halal Choices, and Q Society as they defend themselves in court.
WebsitesHalal Choices - Q Society


8. Vic: Royal Commission on family violence – Terms of Reference
The Victorian government has released the ‘Terms of Reference’ for the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Whilst it is important to address the increase in ‘family violence’, it is also vital that we as a society consider some of the causes… the use and abuse of alcohol is often a contributing factor, as is the increase in sexual permissiveness and pornography. There have been a number of cases of babies being killed by the de facto boyfriend of the mother where he is not the biological father…

On the other hand, we must promote what is good, noble and right! We must promote the importance of marriage and family, and the ideal of a married mother and father bringing up their children in accord with God’s word.

Read the Terms of Reference – click here


9. Alcohol and domestic violence
A new research report has found that ‘ALCOHOL abuse is behind up to half of all child protection and reported domestic violence cases…’

The report found that ‘More than 10,000 are in the child protection system because of a carer’s drinking, and more than one in four people say they have been harmed by the drinking of a family member.’

The Report has been done by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education and Centre for Alcohol Policy Research.

Article: FAMILY members who abuse alcohol behind half of reported child protection and domestic violence cases, News.com.au, 24/2/2015.

REPORT: The hidden harm: Alcohol’s impact on children and families
Available for purchase from FARE at a cost of $35. Click here for details.


Overseas news

1. The pursuit of science – growing the kidneys of aborted babies in animals
Over the years we have reported on the concerning sale of parts of aborted babies to ‘scientific institutions’ for research. Recently World Net Daily reported that science is lauding a new research project where the kidneys of aborted babies are transplanted into animals and then grown to become ‘organs for transplant’! More unethical behaviour, similar to the use of embryonic stem cells.

The article begins: “Science publications are hailing research breakthroughs in a new life-saving procedure that harvests the organs of aborted children and transplants them in animals, where they can grow and then be made available to patients. The Genetic Literacy Project website calls the process Xenotransplantation and suggests the biggest question would be, “Would you accept an organ from a pig, cow, baboon or a chimpanzee to save your child’s life, or your own?”…

The work was published in the American Journal of Transplantation. A lot of groups are expressing concerns about the ethics of such activity, but the researchers claim they are just using ‘available material’.

Article: Scientists grow kidneys of aborted babies in animals, WND, 4/3/2015.


2. UK: Labour will make ‘LGBTI-inclusive’ sex ed COMPULSORY!
UK’s Labour Party has announced plans to radically change sex education in schools. They have released a report titled, End homophobia together - Supporting LGBT young people and teachers.

Homosexual activist Peter Tatchell said, “The party's Shadow Education Secretary, Tristram Hunt, wants to make age-appropriate, gay-inclusive sex and relationship education compulsory and ensure that all teachers are trained to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.”

Even though this proposal is a huge imposition on families and children who do not support homosexuality, Mr Tatchell still isn’t happy – he wants them to go further!

Regarding the option of withdrawing their children from sex ed classes, he wrote, “Labour and other parties should pledge to either scrap the parental opt-out completely or require parents to come to the school and physically take their child out of each SRE lesson.”

He also wants MORE emphasis put on equality and diversity: “That's why I believe equality and diversity education against all prejudice - including racism, misogyny and homophobia - should be part of the core national curriculum and required teaching in every school….”

Article: Labour plans on gay sex education and homophobic bullying need to go further, IBT, 5/2/2015.


3. UK: House of Lords APPROVES ‘three-parent babies’
Recently we reported that the House of Commons has passed a law allowing the use of genetic material from THREE people in the IVF creation of a baby.

The House of Lords has now passed the law, making the United Kingdom the FIRST country in the world to allow this technique when genetic material from a second woman is used to replace ‘faulty DNA’ from the first woman’s egg.

This is a concerning development, since the genetic, and spiritual, integrity of the child is destroyed when the genetic material of THREE people is used.

Article: Britain's House of Lords approves conception of three-person babies, Guardian, 25/2/2015.

 

Ongoing Action

1. TV standards – submission to Free TV Review of Standards
Free TV is conducting a review of TV standards.
Submissions close on 3 April, 2015.

Send your response to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See our Campaign page for details – click here.

Tell them we want the Code of Practice to stay as it is…
Reject these proposed changes:
- removal of G-rated times and replaced with PG all day
- M-rated timeslots move from 8.30 pm back to 7.30 pm (currently it is PG from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm);
- MA-rated timeslots proposed for 8.30pm (currently 9.30 pm);
Please note that advertising prohibitions on alcohol and gambling also change as they are tied to the ‘ratings’.


2. Victoria: Submission on adoption by same-sex couples
The Victorian Government is doing an Inquiry into same-sex adoption.
Click here for our webpage about this Inquiry.
Submissions close on 23 March, 2015.

 

News ball Fotolia 31010118 320x200Every week seems to be full of news… much of it concerning!

Here is a selection from the past week: the Sydney mardi gras is starting, Labor has ‘won’ the Queensland election, a woman loses ‘polyamory’ court case, a Muslim man is being sentenced in Sydney after ‘marrying’ a 12 year old (who became pregnant), the case regarding halal certification goes to court…

Next week we will send out our monthly Prayer Focus, so the next News Update will be on 6 March. In the next week or so, there will be several posts (on the front page) relating to recent developments regarding some of the issues we deal with…

Jenny
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News Update 20 Feb 2015

Australian News

1. Sydney homosexual mardi gras begins 20 February – Parade on 7 March
2. Queensland election – Labor forms government
3. Woman sues Catholic Church for sacking her for being 'polyamorous' – case DISMISSED!
4. Homosexual groups CONTINUE CAMPAIGN for homosexual ‘marriage’
5. Sydney: Muslim man charged with sex offences - 12 year old ‘bride’ pregnant
6. Halal funding under scrutiny – court case and Jacqui Lambie’s Bill

Overseas News

1. USA: SPLC apologies to Ben Carson
2. USA: Texas Supreme Court STOPS homosexual ‘marriage’
3. India: Supreme Court ruling – BAN on multiple wives for Muslims
4. Persecution of Christians continues – please pray
5. USA: Duke Uni, minarets and multiculturalism
6. UK: Christian magistrate DISCIPLINED for belief about family
7. Pope Francis: Parents can smack their children for bad behaviour
8. UK: Sign petition opposing ‘three-parent babies’ through IVF
9. UK: Number of Muslim children increases – and ‘British Muslims’ stats
10. New Zealand: Bob McCoskrie, of Family First, resigns as a marriage celebrant
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News Update 20 Feb 2015

Australian News

1. Sydney homosexual mardi gras begins 20 February – Parade on 7 March
The homosexual mardi gras festival in Sydney begins this week (20 Feb). They always have a huge number of events – they call it an “extravaganza”. The parade, or, as they are now calling it, the ‘pride parade’, is on Saturday 7 March…
The mardi gras website has full details – please be discerning when viewing it.

In the next week or two we will have a separate email about the events, sponsors, messages of support from politicians and so on.
Please pray for those caught up in these events, and for Christians who provide support to the people attending events and offer help to those who seek it.


2. Queensland election – Labor forms government

With the finalisation of the vote by the Queensland Electoral Commission, Labor gained 44 seats out of 89, so the Governor invited Labor to form government. They have the support of the Independent Peter Wellington to give them a majority. The government was sworn in on 14 February.
Sources:


3. Woman sues Catholic Church for sacking her for being 'polyamorous' – case DISMISSED!

Important court decision – an Australian Federal Circuit Court judge has ruled that ‘polyamory’ is NOT a sexual orientation that is protected by the federal Sex Discrimination Act. Instead, the Judge ruled that the woman’s polyamorous sexual activities are ‘sexual BEHAVIOUR’, rather than ‘sexual orientation’ – thus they are NOT protected by the Act. He also explained how his decision related to OTHER legal and illegal ‘sexual behaviours’ (see quote below)…

The case involved a woman who sued the Catholic Church’s Brisbane Centacare social services agency after she was sacked for being polyamorous or ‘having too many sexual partners’. The agency found she was listed as a ‘poly-friendly counsellor’ on the Brisbane Poly Group’s website and also on a list of the group’s members. After questioning the woman, the agency sacked her, on the basis that her actions were inconsistent with the ethical standards of the Catholic Church.

The woman made a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission, claiming discrimination on the basis of ‘sexual orientation’. That was dismissed by the AHRC – she then took a case to the court, adding complaints about the length of notice given, etc. The Judge DISMISSED her case, saying she had NO CLAIM under the Sex Discrimination Act. He noted that the Act covers ‘sexual orientation’ which is defined in the Act as homosexual, lesbian or bisexual – the judge defined ‘orientation’ as a ‘state of being’, and said the Act does NOT cover ‘sexual activity’ or ‘lawful sexual activity’!

The woman claimed that sexual behaviour was a SUBSET of sexual orientation but the Judge rejected that argument.

Justice Vasta said, “If the contention of the applicant were correct, many people whose sexual activity might label them as sado-masochists, coprophiliacs or urophiliacs could claim that such is more than mere behaviour; it is in fact their very sexual orientation. If the contention were correct, then the illegal activities of paedophilia and necrophilia may have the protection of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984."

Sources:

 

4. Homosexual groups CONTINUE CAMPAIGN for homosexual ‘marriage’
The homosexual lobby groups are NOT resting – a new campaign has been launched by the homosexual lobby group Australian Marriage Equality, led by Rodney Croome. The campaign is supported by Ben & Jerry’s ice cream…

There is an ongoing campaign called ‘Say I DOugh’. The new campaign is part of that – it uses social media, with a hashtag of #EqualityCalling. The campaign “will allow voters who support marriage equality to record a message that will be automatically delivered to their federal representatives and highlighted on social media….”

A 1300 phone hotline has been set up, and a ‘phone box’ will be set up at mardi gras events to encourage people to make the recorded messages.
The details of the campaign were outlined in the Australian Marriage Equality Media Release.  

Are you talking to your federal politicians about this issue?They are certainly hearing from the OTHER SIDE! Click here for federal MP and Senator details.


5. Sydney: Court case - sentencing of Muslim man - sex offences - 12 year old ‘bride’ pregnant
We have previously reported on this case - now the court is considering sentencing...
From the Daily Telegraph:
“A 12-YEAR-OLD bride was found to be pregnant after the 27-year-old man she had ­“married” in an Islamic ceremony was charged with child sex offences. The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was initially charged with 25 counts of having sexual intercourse with a child in February last year. He later pleaded guilty to one count of persistent sexual abuse of a child, which carries a 25-year maximum jail ­sentence…”

The Lebanese man arrived in Australia on a student visa in 2013 and a 'marraige ceremony' was performed in January 2014.
He pleaded guilty to "one count of persistent sexual abuse of a child" in October 2014 - the court is currently considering a sentence. The man's student visa has been cancelled and he is being detained in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.

The sentence for the imam who performed the 'Islamic marriage' in a private home.... ?
"In March 2014 Tasawar, 35, plea to the offence of solemnisation of a marriage by an unauthorised person. He was fined $500 and his Religious Leaders visa was cancelled."

Article: A 12-year-old bride was found to be pregnant after the man she married was charged with multiple sex offences, Daily Telegraph, February 12, 2015.


6. Halal certification under scrutiny – court case and Jacqui Lambie’s Bill
With more than 20 organisations – Islamic bodies and private businesses – offering ‘halal certification' in Australia, and competing for business, this issue is coming under more scrutiny.

The Q Society, and Kirralie Smith of Halal Choices, are currently being sued by Mohamed El-Mouelhy, of the Halal Certification Authority Pty Ltd – see SBS report with audio – with video here); and Guardian report here).

Q Society has posted an explanation AND the legal ‘Statement of claim’ on their website – click here.

Please pray for Kirralie, Q Society and their lawyers at this time – for wisdom and discernment.

With Islamic bodies like AFIC, the halal certification money goes into their coffers and, at the very least, assists in their promotion of Islam in Australia. But there are reports internationally of some ‘halal’ money funding terrorism. Senator Jacqui Lambie is saying she plans to introduce a private Senator’s Bill to prevent any “halal money” going to fund Islamic state. Her Senate speech is on You Tube (click here).

Senator Lambie asked the Parliamentary Library to provide answers to her questions on halal certification in Australia and they provided a helpful OVERVIEW.
Sources:

 

Overseas News

1. USA: SPLC apologies to Ben Carson
The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) has a list of ‘hate groups’ which includes many Christian leaders and organisations that speak out against the acceptance of homosexuality. Recently they APOLOGISED to Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon and potential presidential candidate, who gave an inspiring speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast.

Dr Michael Brown asks, ‘When are they going to apologise to ME and other Christian leaders?”

Article: The SPLC Owes Me an Apology Too, Charisma, 13/2/2015.


2. USA: Texas Supreme Court STOPS homosexual ‘marriage’
The Texas Supreme Court has ruled this week to STOP the issuing of homosexual ‘marriage’ licences – one female couple had ‘married’ on 9 February, but this new ruling makes it unlikely that further licences will be issued…
Article: Texas Supreme Court blocks same-sex marriage licenses, CNN, 19/2/2015.

3. India: Supreme Court ruling – BAN on multiple wives for Muslims
The Indian Supreme Court has ruled that that ‘a Muslim's fundamental right to profess Islam did not include practicing polygamy.’

The Justices said, “What was protected under Article 25 (right to practice and propagate any religion) was the religious faith and not a practice which may run counter to public order, health or morality. Polygamy was not integral part of religion and monogamy was a reform within the power of the State under Article 25." The Times noted, ‘The bench said that polygamy was not integral to religion and the practice of polygamy did not acquire sanction of religion simply because it was permitted. . .’

Article: Polygamy not integral part of Islam: SC, Times of India, 10/2/2015.


4. Persecution of Christians continues – please pray
There has been a shocking escalation of persecution of Christians by Muslims in a number of nations. The murder of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya by ISIS/Islamic State has shocked the world.

Video of Melbourne rally
If you weren’t able to attend the recent Melbourne rally that highlighted the plight of persecuted Christians, the video of the rally is now ONLINE. There were some excellent speakers - including Elizabeth Kendal, Vickie Janson and representatives from the Iranian, Iraqi and Pakistani communities.


5. USA: Duke Uni, minarets and multiculturalism
ACTION works! The church bell tower on the chapel has been a long-time feature at Duke University, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. When the Muslim group applied to have their Friday call to prayer broadest from the Bell Tower, the university agreed. However, huge protests ensued and the university REVERSED its decision less than 24 hours later!

So no more using the Bell Tower on the chapel as a ‘minaret’ – the Muslim group continues to meet in the basement of the chapel but will broadcast their ‘call to prayer’ from OUTSIDE the chapel!

Article: From Church Bell Tower to Minaret and Back Again, American Spectator, 16/1/2015.


6. UK: Christian magistrate DISCIPLINED for belief about family
Christian Concern reports, “A Cabinet minister and England's highest judge have together disciplined a Christian Magistrate for saying that a child's best interests lie in being raised by both a mother and a father, telling him that his Christian beliefs about the family must not influence his work whilst sitting on the Bench. Richard Page, who has served as a Justice of the Peace in Kent for 15 years and is a well-respected member of the panel, expressed the view during a closed-door consultation with colleagues in an adoption case. . . “
Report: Lord Chief Justice disciplines Christian Magistrate for belief about family, Christian Concern, 19/1/2015.

Lifesite report: British judge suspended and ‘re-educated’ for thinking children do best with a mom and dad


7. Pope Francis: Parents can smack their children for bad behaviour
The Telegraph reports, that in one of his “weekly general audiences in St Peter’s Square, during a homily about the responsibilities of fatherhood, Pope Francis said that it was acceptable for a parent to smack their children for bad behaviour.”

Of course, there was lots of criticism of the statement, and the Telegraph reported, “The endorsement of corporal punishment was condemned by campaign groups . . .”

Article: Pope Francis: parents can smack their children for bad behaviour, Telegraph, 5/2/2015.


8. UK: Sign petition opposing ‘three-parent babies’ through IVF
We recently reported on the “recent vote in the United Kingdom Parliament where members voted overwhelmingly 382-128 to allow an IVF technique called mitochondrial DNA transfer. This technique replaces faulty mitchondrial DNA in an egg or embryo with healthy DNA from a female donor. Effectively this process means embryos are able to be made with the genetic material of three people: a man and two women.”

Citizen Go have a petition opposing this …. They write, “This law would allow man-made creation of a completely new kind of human embryo. There are also increased risks for the safety of both the pregnant mother and the baby with this experimental procedure. The bill to authorise the change in law still needs to be passed by the House of Lords so please sign this petition to oppose the change.”

Click here to SIGN the PETITION.


9. UK: Number of Muslim children increases – and ‘British Muslims’ stats
The Telegraph reports, “The number of children growing up as Muslims in the UK has almost doubled in a decade in what experts have described as an “unprecedented” shift in Britain’s social make-up. One in 12 schoolchildren in England and Wales are now officially classed as Muslim after a decade which saw the number of followers of Islam surge by just over 1.1 million, according to the most detailed study of its kind ever published. . .”

This statement is significant: “But the study of official census data by the Muslim Council of Britain also concludes that the Muslim population will continue expanding for “many decades” to come – something experts said could transform everything from social attitudes to foreign policy.”

Article: Number of ‘Muslim’ children in Britain doubles in a decade, The Telegraph, 11/2/2015.

The REPORT by the Muslims Council of Britain: British Muslims in Numbers
The MCB says that this is the “first detailed study of the characteristics of the Muslim population emerging from the 2011 Census. It is the only comprehensive report looking at Muslims from a data perspective prepared from within Muslim civil society.”


10. New Zealand: Bob McCoskrie, of Family First, resigns as a marriage celebrant
Bob McCoskrie, the leader of the Family First political group in New Zealand, opposed the legalisation of homosexual ‘marriage – it was eventually legalised in NZ in August 2014.

Now Bob has formally resigned as a ‘marriage celebrant’ in protest to the new law.

Mr McCoskrie says that ‘he will still perform marriage ceremonies [for heterosexual couples], but couples would need to go to a registry office before or after to "receive the state's recognition and benefits (if there are any benefits left!). He said, “But it would be wrong of me to allow myself to be appointed by the state to carry out that duty while rejecting the distorted definition that the state has adopted."

Some Christian ministers here in Australia are seriously considering resigning as state-registered marriage celebrants if Australia was to legalise homosexual 'marriage'.
Article: Bob McCoskrie resigns as celebrant, 3 News, 9/2/2015.

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