Our October OnPoint magazine features the extraordinary story of Tasmanian Liberal Senator Claire Chandler, so I thought I should update you on the latest news.
Last month, Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sarah Bolt ordered the senator to attend a “conciliation conference” with a person who claimed to be offended and insulted by a newspaper column she wrote in July.
The senator had pointed out the significant danger to women in contact sports from transgender women who, being born male, were significantly bigger and stronger. She also said: “Women’s sport, women’s toilets and women’s changing rooms are designed for the female sex and should remain that way.”
I believe most Australians would agree. But Sarah Bolt told Senator Chandler that these reasonable words were potentially “prohibited conduct” under Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act.
Section 17 of this law says a “person must not engage in any conduct which offends, humiliates, intimidates, insults or ridicules another person on the basis of an attribute…” (including race, age, sexual orientation, religious or political belief and gender identity).
I’ve lost count of the newspaper columns that offended and insulted my political or religious beliefs! But I didn’t call the thought police.
Last week I wrote about Bernard Gaynor being hauled before the NSW Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. Archbishop Porteous had the same experience when he was hauled before the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commissioner in 2015, merely for distributing a booklet about his church’s teaching on marriage.
Bravo Senator Chandler for standing firm!
On 30 September she said: “I have written to Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner to reiterate that I will not be withdrawing, retracting, modifying or apologising for my comments on women’s sport and women’s facilities…
“All Australians should be free to discuss public policy issues and to acknowledge the realities of biological sex without being silenced by anti-discrimination tribunals and unelected bureaucrats…
“The appropriate course of action for the Commissioner to now take is to dismiss this complaint as vexatious, trivial and without substance…”
The Commissioner didn’t do that. Instead she required Senator Chandler to sign a confidentiality agreement that would have prevented her speaking about the complaint process. Senator Chandler refused to sign.
The complainant backed down. He withdrew his complaint. Victory!
On 1 October Senator Chandler wrote: “I have learnt this afternoon via the media that the anti-discrimination complaint against me has been dropped by the complainant. I am both relieved at this outcome and furious at the abuse of process which has occurred.
“If I had not refused to sign a confidentiality agreement, I would be currently sitting in a conciliation conference on the basis of a spurious complaint which the Commissioner had no legal authority to accept…
“It’s clear that the Anti-Discrimination Act needs to be substantially amended to prevent these tactics being used in the case of frivolous complaints…”
This is a victory for free speech, and I salute Senator Chandler for her courage. But the battle, which FamilyVoice has been waging for two decades, continues.
With your prayers and support, we can keep fighting!
Peter Downie - National Director
A grand jury in the US has indicted Netflix over its controversial “Cuties” film.
On September 23, a Tyler County Grand Jury in Texas indicted Netflix over the film due to its “promotion of lewd material depicting a child”.
Texas Rangers served the company with a Summons on October 1.
It is a State Jail Felony, however, no jail time applies to criminal convictions relating to companies.
“After hearing about the movie Cuties and watching it, I knew there was probable cause to believe it was criminal,” said Criminal District Attorney Lucas Babin.
“The legislators of this state believe promoting certain lewd material of children has destructive consequences. If such material is distributed on a grand scale, isn’t the need to prosecute more, not less?
“A grand jury Tyler County found probable cause for this felony, and my job is to uphold the laws of this state and see that justice is done,” said Babin.
Netflix has faced a fierce backlash over the film with the streaming giant losing 2.5 million subscribers.
On September 4th the Andrews’ government narrowly passed the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (State of Emergency Extension and Other Matters) Bill 2020 with the help of three cross benchers - Greens, Reason Party and Animal Justice Party.
The bill extended the government’s emergency powers for a further six months and allows a state of emergency to be declared in rolling four-week blocks.
The Coalition, most cross benchers, and many thousands of concerned Victorians, including FamilyVoice supporters, opposed the extension of powers.
The Herald Sun (25th August 20) stated, “State of emergency powers allow our democratically elected governments to, for a limited time, impose a level of authoritarian rule. These powers, by their nature and ambit, are in essence the opposite of our cherished, democratic freedoms. If left open-ended, such extraordinary powers invite abuse and result in an incremental move towards authoritarianism.”
Now the Andrews government is trying to push through another radical piece of legislation – what former Victoria Police chief commissioner Kel Glare calls a “dangerous grab for unfettered power.”
The Covid-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2020 allows the ongoing operation of essential services like courts, local governments, support payments, permits, hearings and renewals etc.
Dangerously, however, the bill also gives authorised officers - anyone nominated by the Department of Health and Human Services - the right to detain, as long as necessary, those whom they deem to be a serious risk to public health.
Victorians would not even need to be diagnosed with COVID-19 to be subject to detention, but merely a "close contact" of someone with the virus - and authorised officers’ decisions would be difficult to contest.
Significant abuses of power and the disregarding of checks and balances have already occurred during the state government’s mishandling of the Covid-19 outbreak. The government should not be handed open-ended permission to trample the rights of Victorians.
The bill has already passed the state’s lower house. Please tell upper house MPs that you are not happy with the Andrews governments power grab and that the ‘Omnibus’ bill must be amended.
Or use this link below to enter your address, then > region > view member. Send an email to the address provided, letting your representative politely know how you feel.
Victoria’s Upper House members of parliament by region
Bruce Atkinson email@example.com;
Matthew Back firstname.lastname@example.org;
Rodney Barton Rodney.Barton@parliament.vic.gov.au;
Shaun Leane email@example.com;
Sonja Terpstra Sonja.Terpstra@parliament.vic.gov.au;
Melina Bath firstname.lastname@example.org;
Jeff Bourman email@example.com;
Jane Garrett firstname.lastname@example.org;
Harriet Shing email@example.com;
Edward O’Donohue Edward.ODonohue@parliament.vic.gov.au;
Georgie Crozier firstname.lastname@example.org;
David Davis email@example.com;
Enver Erdogan firstname.lastname@example.org;
Clifford Hayes Clifford.Hayes@parliament.vic.gov.au;
Nina Taylor Nina.Taylor@parliament.vic.gov.au;
South East Metropolitan
Tien Kieu Tien.Kieu@parliament.vic.gov.au;
David Limbrick David.Limbrick@parliament.vic.gov.au;
Gordon Rich-Phillips email@example.com;
Adam Somyurek firstname.lastname@example.org;
Lee Tarlamis email@example.com;
Catherine Cumming Catherine.Cumming@parliament.vic.gov.au;
Bernie Finn firstname.lastname@example.org;
Cesar Melhem email@example.com;
Ingrid Stitt Ingrid.Stitt@parliament.vic.gov.au;
Kaushaliya Vaghela Kaushaliya.Vaghela@parliament.vic.gov.au;
Stuart Grimley Stuart.Grimley@parliament.vic.gov.au;
Bev McArthur Beverley.McArthur@parliament.vic.gov.au;
Andy Meddick Andy.Meddick@parliament.vic.gov.au;
Jaala Pulford firstname.lastname@example.org;
Gayle Tierney email@example.com;
Nazih Elasmar firstname.lastname@example.org;
Craig Ondarchie email@example.com;
Fiona Patten firstname.lastname@example.org;
Samantha Ratnam email@example.com;
Mark Gepp firstname.lastname@example.org;
Jaclyn Symes email@example.com;
Wendy Lovell firstname.lastname@example.org;
Tania Maxwell Tania.Maxwell@parliament.vic.gov.au;
Tim Quilty Tim.Quilty@parliament.vic.gov.au;
Catholic bishops in Queensland have issued a pastoral letter warning against the legalisation of euthanasia in Queensland.
The move comes as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited the state’s Governor to mark the official beginning of the election campaign.
Palaszczuk’s Labor Government supports euthanasia and has delayed disclosure of a planned bill until after the election.
But Palaszczuk’s Labor Government may now regret its push for euthanasia with the Catholic bishops making it an election issue.
Two Australian states, Victoria and Western Australia, have legalised euthanasia.
In their letter the three Catholic bishops write that:
“The Catholic Church is opposed to voluntary assisted dying. However, the Church strongly supports high-quality palliative care, respect for patient autonomy, preservation of personal dignity and a peaceful end to life. Nobody is morally compelled to suffer unbearable pain, nobody should feel like a burden, and nobody should feel that their life is worthless.”
The bishops write that research shows that many people do not understand the Church’s position on end-of-life care.
“Misunderstandings may lead people to support voluntary assisted dying (VAD) legislation on mistaken assumptions about what dying entails and how the Catholic Church teaches one should respond to it.
“There is confusion about the right to refuse or end treatment, about the moral legitimacy of advance care planning, about the use of pain-relieving medications, and about when hastening death may be morally acceptable.
“Moreover, many people struggle to see the potential implications for society as a whole of legalising intentional killing of another person, even in strictly limited circumstances.
The bishops say that societies in which life is cheap suffer from many maladies and injustices.
“But where the meaningfulness and purposefulness of life are held sacred from cradle to the grave, for the just and the wicked, for rich and for poor, in short, for all, a society can genuinely care for the common good. Because in such a society there is always the opportunity for a change of heart, for a conversion of the mind, for love and mercy to shine through.
The bishops also highlight remarks by Pope Francis, saying that he “has encouraged Catholic people everywhere to resist euthanasia and to ensure that the elderly, the young and the vulnerable are not cast aside in what he has called a ‘throw-away culture’”.
“Instead, the Pope calls us as Catholics to follow Jesus Christ by accompanying people at the end of their life with all the skill of palliative medicine and all the compassion of the human heart, since true palliative care embraces the whole person, physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. That is the ‘care-first’ approach which the Church supports being made available on a statewide basis – an alternative path to that of assisted dying legislation.”
The bishops say that they are investigating the development of a training program within Catholic communities to help people better understand what choices they already have and what pathways already exist to ensure a dignified and peaceful death.
“The aim is to train facilitators who can guide people to the experts they need and who can provide opportunities for those experts to interact with people in their particular contexts from time to time in a formative way, ”they say.
FamilyVoice has previously warned the Palaszczuk Government not to open the door to state-sanctioned killing and that it is appalling that there is a push for euthanasia during a time when many Australians are experiencing severe anxiety during the corona pandemic.
A Wisconsin court has placed on hold a district school policy that enables students to transition to another gender identity at school while keeping parents in the dark.
The court issued an injunction blocking the Madison Metropolitan School District policy on Monday.
The policy allows parents to be deceived as students can live at home as their real gender but be considered the opposite at school, including taking on a new name.
Under the policy, teachers are forbidden from revealing the child’s “new” gender or name to the child’s very own parents.
The court injunction stops the district from applying or enforcing any practice “allows or requires District staff to conceal information or to answer untruthfully in response to any question that parents ask about their child at school”.
Legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, which launched the legal action on behalf of parents, welcomed the move:
“It should go without saying that school district staff should be honest with parents, especially when it comes to critical matters concerning their children, but we are pleased that the court has issued an order now requiring it,” said ADF senior counsel Roger Brooks
“As this case moves forward, we will continue to argue for our clients’ legitimate concern over the Madison Metropolitan School District’s policy of deceiving parents and excluding them from profound decisions involving the wellbeing of their own children,” Brooks said.
In Australia, the ACT Government recently passed laws against “conversion therapy”.
As FamilyVoice reported at the time:
“Conversion therapy” is a red-herring term designed to conjure up images of shock therapy. Instead, the bill attacks people who offer evidence-based spiritual or clinical therapy to help people struggling with gender dysphoria and unwanted same-sex attraction.
The law is so extreme parents counselling their male child that he is a boy, when he wants to be a girl, may be subject to criminal proceedings. And yet affirming a child’s desire to live as the opposite sex is permissible.
FamilyVoice Australia upholds Christian values and the family: permanence of marriage, sanctity of human life, primacy of parenthood and limited government.
Don't miss out on quality research and news that will equip you to face the culture wars.
Join the growing movement of young people daring to be counter-cultural.