Parents choose faith-based schools, expecting that all staff will uphold their faith’s values

A bill which would have restricted the right of religious bodies to hire staff with consistent beliefs was defeated in the Victorian Parliament yesterday.

The Equal Opportunity Amendment (Religious Exceptions) Bill failed to pass after a 19 all tied vote in the upper house.

Please attribute the following statement to FamilyVoice State Director Peter Stevens:

“The Victorian Parliament has made the right decision in rejecting this appalling crackdown on religious freedom.

“It is only fair that faith-based organisations be able to hire staff with consistent beliefs and values.

“Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right which must be respected by government.

“The move smacked of hypocrisy.  Would Premier Daniel Andrews employ a member of the Liberals or One Nation as one of his key advisors?  Faith-based organisations should enjoy the same freedom to employ people with a consistent ethos."

A move by the South Australian parliament to embrace same-sex adoption comes at the expense of the rights of the child, says FamilyVoice Australia.

Please attribute the following statement to South Australia State Director David d’Lima:

“The homosexual community has benefitted at the expense of the rights of children who need a mother and a father wherever possible.  Fatherlessness and motherlessness should not be institutionalised.

“This is all about co-opting children into the same-sex agenda.

“The Premier and the Parliament have sent a strong message to the community that mums and dads don’t matter. 

“It’s a very sad day for South Australia. 

“This terrible law may take years to repeal.  Meanwhile children will suffer.”

Ashley Saunders begins his new ministry as FamilyVoice National Director on Monday 5 December

David and Ros Phillips, who have led FamilyVoice Australia and its predecessor Festival of Light as director and research officer for over 40 years, formally step down today (4 December).  Ashley Saunders will take over as national director tomorrow. 

Ashley comes to his new role as a former lawyer, alderman and senior church pastor in NSW and Queensland.  He and his wife Lindsay have four children.

“I have big shoes to fill,” Ashley says.  “But I am looking forward to working alongside people who are passionately dedicated to preserving the best of what this country has to offer. 

“There is a sense in which every generation stands at a crossroad, needing to choose the direction that it would take.  FamilyVoice Australia has a significant role in advocating wise choices that will not only well serve this generation, but also future generations. 

“Whether through its parliamentary submissions or publications, FamilyVoice has a message of hope as well as caution for the nation as a whole.”        

 Can Australians make the right decision about marriage when many facts are not on the table?

Yesterday (1/12/16) FamilyVoice Australia released a second “Marriage Reality” video in which former homosexual activist James Parker asks why Australia is being kept in the dark about important issues.

“Where is the wisdom in rushing to redefine marriage if Australians are not allowed to consider crucial information about homosexuality?” asks FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips.

“Public lobbying has greatly reduced the social rejection of LGBT individuals, but many measures of their wellbeing remain unchanged,” she said.

“Major LGBT groups blame higher rates of depression and suicide on discrimination, but a 2016 study found that in Sweden – one of the world’s most gay-friendly societies – married same-sex couples have nearly three times the suicide rate of their heterosexual counterparts.

“A 2014 Queensland study of gay suicides found that relationship problems, not family rejection or ‘homophobia’, were the biggest contributing factor.

“A 2006 Dutch study found that even in the gay-friendly Netherlands, rates of mental ill-health in the gay community were high. 

“Australians should take time to study all the evidence.  They should look at what is happening in the small number of countries worldwide that have redefined marriage.  They should ask whether there are better ways to address the mental health problems linked with homosexuality.”

The SA Labor government has quietly introduced a bill to almost eliminate preferential voting for the upper house

Last week, while media and most South Australians were focused on the euthanasia debate, SA Attorney-General John Rau quietly introduced the Electoral (Legislative Council Voting) (Voter Choice) Amendment Bill.  He incorporated most of his speech on 16/11/16 into Hansard p 7867 instead of reading it out.

“I and others are deeply concerned about the impact of this legislation if it passes both houses with Liberal Party support,” FamilyVoice South Australia director David d’Lima said today.

“The bill would eliminate voting tickets and private preference deals by ‘micro parties’ – that is a good thing,” he said.  “But instead of adopting the new Senate voting system, where people are required to number six parties above the line in order of their preference, the SA proposal would restrict people to voting for just one party above the line.  If they want to preference other parties as well, they would have to number every single box below the line – but few would do so.

“The result would be in effect, a ‘first past the post’ voting system,” Mr d’Lima said.  “The bill would make it very difficult for minor party candidates to gain seats. This would deprive parliament of significant minority views that deserve to be heard.”

Both Labor and Liberal parties are said to support the bill, believing it would give them more power.  “This view is short-sighted,” David d’Lima said.  “I urge them to think again!”