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Christian advocacy group FamilyVoice Australia has applauded concerns about safety raised by Liberal Senator Claire Chandler and World Rugby (the governing body of Rugby Union).

Senator Chandler is concerned about biological males competing in women’s sport, while World Rugby is considering a ban on transgender players to prevent injuries and unfairness.

According to a report in The Australian (25/7/20), World Rugby experts have evidence of a 20-30 per cent higher risk of injury for women tackled by biological males who identify as female, and new research showing biologically male players lose little of their physical advantage after taking drugs to lower their testosterone in line with 2015 International Olympic Committee rules.

“These findings are consistent with concerns raised by many athletes, participants and administrators about biological males competing in women’s sport,” said Senator Chandler.

The concerns of Senator Chandler and World Rugby are commended by FamilyVoice Australia National Director Peter Downie:

“A key reason society has developed gender-specific sporting competitions is to safeguard players in the rougher games such as rugby,” he said.

“Additionally, it is patently unfair when men and women compete in such events as running, boxing, wrestling or gymnastics.

“Women are more flexible while men are physically stronger,” he said.

“We reject the ideologically-driven ambition for gender fluidity that makes a mockery of biology, fairness and sporting safety.

“It is time to restore common sense to gender in sport.”

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The General Register Office for Northern Ireland has apologised after threatening to no longer recognise marriages conducted by Northern Irish churches that decline to indicate whether they will or will not perform same-sex weddings.

Officials recently wrote to Northern Irish churches, demanding to learn if they would hold same-sex marriages, and threatening to no longer recognise wedding rites if those churches did not answer to the state’s satisfaction.

However, the General Register Office has apologetically withdrawn its threat, after the Christian Institute reminded officials that churches have the legal freedom to conduct male-female weddings (or opt into a scheme recognising same-sex weddings).

Same-sex “marriage” was legalised in Northern Ireland earlier this year.

“The problem of statist overreach can eventually be expected here in Australia,” said FamilyVoice spokesman David d’Lima.

“As the culture and the law increasingly accept same-sex behaviour, churches holding to the created order and biblical teaching will become marginalised and targeted,” he said.

“Governments historically served the community by recognising wedding ceremonies conducted by faith institutions, without interference.

“Increasingly governments want to control the meaning of marriage and the conduct of faith institutions, which is a trend in the wrong direction.”


A Christian Ministry which helps individuals overcome unwanted same-sex attraction has been advised that it will lose its bank account.

Core Issues Trust, a non-profit Christian ministry, supports men and women who voluntarily want to deal with unwanted same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria.

In July, Twitter users began pressuring Barclays Bank to stop providing financial services to CIT. Barclay’s Bank, one of the UK’s biggest banks, subsequently notified CIT that its bank account would be terminated in September.

The International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice, an initiative supported by CIT, has also been informed that its account will be closed.

CEO of CIT Mike Davidson said he rejected the accusatory term “conversion therapy”:

“This is a pejorative, imposed term, coined by an American gay activist, Dr Douglas Haldeman in 1991, that names some extremes such as electro-shock and aversion techniques only ever conducted by medics, long since abandoned from the 60s, or extreme behaviours already outlawed such as ‘corrective’ rape for which there are no prosecutions in the UK.

“Because the term speaks of talking therapies and counselling as ‘pseudo-science’ in association with these extremes, to be heard defending talking therapy and counselling for unwanted same-sex attractions is then taken to be a defence of the indefensible ‘Conversion Therapy’ label.”

UK-based advocacy group Christian Concern reported that CIT has been subjected to an abusive harassment campaign:

On social media there has been a campaign of aggressive trolling and dehumanising of Mike Davidson, Trustee Matthew Grech and staff worker Kylie Delia – extending also to personal accounts. One text message hoped that staff family members are raped and killed. A text message with a satanic image was sent to the CIT mobile phone. Multiple complaints to social media sites were made about CIT. Videos and live broadcasts, previously reviewed and agreed as valid adverts with the platform were taken down by Facebook as was the CIT banner on more than one occasion. CIT Instagram content was also removed, despite being acceptable for more than two years. CIT staff were blocked from posting on Facebook and were unable to block trolls.

“If it is CIT first, it will be churches next,” said Andrea Williams CEO of Christian Concern.

“If banks and other service providers start to placate social media campaigns by unilaterally terminating their accounts then the UK will be a very difficult place for Biblically faithful Christian ministries."

In 2016, prominent financial institution PayPal announced it would boycott the city of Charlotte in US state North Carolina, after the city restricted men who think they are women from using female restrooms.

In retaliation for the move to protect women and girls, PayPal announced it would axe a plan that would have seen 400 jobs and a $3.6 million investment in the city.

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A survey in the UK has found that close to half the population oppose easing restrictions to enable gender to be changed on official documents.

YouGov conducted an online poll of 1,688 adults in June and found 47% opposed moves to make it easier to change gender on documents, while only 28% supported the move.

According to UK government estimates, between 200,000 and 500,000 people in the UK claim to have a gender different to their biological sex.

At present, 5,500 of these people have legally changed their birth certificate from the biological reality.

The YouGov poll also found that most oppose giving individuals who claim a gender different from their biological sex access to opposite sex bathrooms unless they have had “sex-change” surgery.

The survey highlights that the transgender movement, which has been heavily marketed by the mainstream media in recent years, has made great inroads into convincing people that gender is a social construct.

The poll found that 40% agreed with the statement that “a transgender woman is a woman”, while 36 percent disagreed.

But there are reasons for hope with signs the tide is turning back to a common sense view of gender.

World Rugby is looking at banning men who think they are women from playing women’s rugby.

A World Rugby report detailed that there is “at least a 20-30% greater risk” of injury when a female player is tackled by a man who thinks he’s a woman.

The document reported the obvious: men who think they’re women have significant physical strength advantages over women.

There is also a growing detransition movement, with those suffering gender dysphoria seeking to return to living as their biological sex.

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Sir John Kerr with a portrait of the Queen

You may have heard about the kerfuffle over recently published letters between Australia’s Governor-General Sir John Kerr and Buckingham Palace back in 1975.

In one sense they reveal nothing new – confirming that Sir John dismissed then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam on 11 November before he informed the Queen.

The events leading up to that dismissal have been described many times. They include the books “Matters for Judgment” by Sir John Kerr and “Head of State” by his private secretary Sir David Smith.

In October 1975, the Whitlam Government was in trouble. The Senate was refusing to pass the supply bills needed to authorise payment for Whitlam’s controversial spending program.

The Australian Constitution (s 57) wisely provides a way to resolve stalemates of this kind between the two houses of federal parliament. Prime Minister Whitlam could have asked the Governor-General to dissolve the entire parliament and hold elections for both the House of Representatives and the full Senate – a “double dissolution”.

If Whitlam had won such an election, he could have convened a joint sitting of both houses to pass the supply bills. But he refused to follow the constitutional process, possibly fearing an election loss.

What started as a political problem for Whitlam then became a constitutional problem for Kerr. Whitlam was seeking to govern without supply, in breach of the Constitution. Kerr’s duty as Governor-General was to ensure that parliament operated in accordance with the Constitution. A clash was inevitable.

The events that followed throw considerable light on the “reserve powers” of the Governor-General.

The Governor-General’s “ordinary powers” include assenting to laws passed by both houses of parliament and acting in accordance with the advice of Commonwealth ministers. In a small number of matters, the Governor-General exercises “reserve powers”, acting without ministerial advice.

The two most important reserve powers are to appoint or dismiss the Prime Minister (s 64). Ordinarily, by convention, the Governor-General will appoint the leader of the party or coalition with a majority in the House of Representatives. In unusual circumstances, the Governor-General may dismiss or appoint a Prime Minister on his own initiative.

On 11 November 1975, John Kerr was faced with a situation that needed to be resolved by the Australian people in a general election. Since calling an election is an “ordinary power”, Kerr could only do this on the advice of the Prime Minister, which Whitlam refused to give. The only way an election could be called was for Kerr to dismiss Whitlam and appoint Malcolm Fraser as caretaker prime minister, on condition that Fraser would advise him to call an election.

Fraser agreed. The election a few weeks later gave him a landslide win, endorsing the Governor-General’s action.

The correspondence with the Palace confirms that the Queen could not tell Kerr what to do, since the reserve powers of the Crown under the Australian Constitution can only be exercised by the Governor-General.

These events, and the Palace letters, confirm that the Constitution makes the Governor-General the effective Australian Head of State.

Those who are campaigning for “an Australian Head of State” ignore the fact that the past eleven Governors-General have all been Australians – from Sir Paul Hasluck in 1969 to David Hurley today.

Australia has one of the oldest constitutions in the world. Drafted by leading Australian statesmen, many of whom professed a Christian faith, it has given us stable government for nearly 120 years.

FamilyVoice has defended the Australian Constitution for nearly 50 years, and will continue to do so with your help and support.

Peter Downie - National Director