Archive for the ‘Gay Marriage’ Category

Playboy founder Hefner editorializes for gay marriage – Wisconsin Gazette

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, in the September issue of the magazine, says that U.S. conservatives continue to assault the right of gays.

Hefner,according to Politico, says that the marriage equality fight is a fight for all.

Hefner writes, The fight for gay marriage is, in reality, a fight for all of our rights. Without it, we will turn back the sexual revolution and return to an earlier, puritanical time. Today, in every instance of sexual rights falling under attack, youll find legislation forced into place by people who practice discrimination disguised as religious freedom. Their goal is to dehumanize everyones sexuality and reduce us to using sex for the sole purpose of perpetuating our species. To that end, they will criminalize your entire sex life.

Conservatives, Hefner adds, continue to assault the right of gays, whether by denying them to right to marry or, as in Kansas, by attempting to empower landlords, business owners and employers to discriminate against gays on religious grounds.

The editorial concludes with a recognition of religious and secular interests.

No one should have to subjugate their religious freedom, and no one should have their personal freedoms infringed. This is America and we must protect the rights of all Americans, Hefner writes.

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Playboy founder Hefner editorializes for gay marriage – Wisconsin Gazette

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed

This Trump nominee suggested gay marriage leads to pedophilia – Queerty

This week we saw President Trumps regard for science, as he stared blankly into the solar eclipse against the safety precautions of both the scientific community and also basic common sense. He has a knack for defying both.

It made for an absurd and fairly amusing photo, but far less comical is the news that Sam Clovis is currently awaiting confirmation for the position of chief scientist at the Department of Agriculture.

Clovis is a former Air Force colonel, talk-radio host, and one-time political candidate in Iowa. He lost his US Senate race there, and thank god he did.

CNN dug up an old blog post he wrote in which he draws the (ill)logical conclusion that if gay marriage became the law of the land, pedophilia was just around the river bend:

Follow the logic, if you engage in a particular behavior, what also becomes protected? If we protect LGBT behavior, what other behaviors are we going to protect? Are we going to protect pedophilia? Are we going to protect polyamorous marriage relationships? Are we going to protect people who have fetishes? Whats the logical extension of this? It cant be that were going to protect LGBT and then well pull up the ladder. Thats not going to happen, it defies logic. Were not thinking the consequences of these decisions through.

The news network also notes that, when a questioner said some might call what Clovis words extreme comparing the approval of same-sex protections to allowing pedophilia. Clovis said it was logical.

And it gets worse if you can believe it.

He also believes being gay is a choice:

Clovis has repeatedly argued that the science on homosexuality is unsettled and that LGBT behavior is a choice. The American Psychological Association has said that while there is no scientific consensus on the causes of sexual orientation, most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.

Clovis, who holds a bachelors degree in political science, shouldnt be chief scientist of a seventh grade biology class let alone an entire governmental department.

But hey, he served as candidate Trumps national campaign co-chair, so why not give him a fancy new title he isnt remotely qualified for?

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This Trump nominee suggested gay marriage leads to pedophilia – Queerty

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed

Trump nominee: Same-sex marriage could lead to legalizing pedophilia – The Hill

President Trump’s nominee for the top science position at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has argued that the legalization of same-sex marriage could lead to legalized pedophilia, CNN’s KFile reported on Monday.

Sam Clovis made the comments on his conservative radio show and in an op-ed in a conservative blog in separate incidents ranging from 2011 to 2015, according to the news network’s investigative unit.

If we protect LGBT behavior, what other behaviors are we going to protect? Are we going to protect pedophilia? he asked in avideouncovered by the CNN team. We’re not thinking the consequences of these decisions through.”

“I think it’s a logical extension of thought. And if you cannot follow the logic, then you’re denying youre in denial.”

Questioned by CNN about Clovis’s comments, aUSDA spokeswoman referred to the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.

“The Supreme Court settled the issue in 2015, the spokeswoman said.

CNN also found that Clovis repeatedly argued that being a member of the LGBT population is a “choice.”

The science on this issue seems to be uncertain, and if one followed the arguments from plaintiffs, the issue argued was that these individuals, because of ‘love,’ should be allowed to marry just like opposite-sex couples, he said in 2011, for example.

Clovis has made a number of controversial statements in the past, including hissuggestion that former President Obama wanted to enslave his opponents and that Obamawas happy after the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Reportssurfacedafter Clovis’s nomination that he was a climate change denier who holds no science degree.

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Trump nominee: Same-sex marriage could lead to legalizing pedophilia – The Hill

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed

Hillsong Pastor Urges Christians Not to be ‘Silent Majority’ in Same-Sex Marriage Vote – CBN News

Hillsong senior pastor Brian Houston is telling Christians to take action and not be a “silent majority” during Australia’s upcoming same-sex marriage vote in September.

“Whatever your view on this issue, it is undeniably one that is important to the fabric of our social structure. Changing the definition of marriage has wide-reaching ramifications and should not be taken lightly by any society,” Houston wrote in a press release.

“All Australians should be a part of this process, not just a select few,” he added.

More than $122 million worth of paper ballots will be sent to Australians asking them whether gay marriage should be legal.

It comes after the country’s ruling party refused to vote on a gay marriage bill. This vote will serve as public feedback only.

However, if the majority of the country says they are in favor of same-sex marriage, a bill could pass through Parliment rather quickly.

“Of all the concerns one might have about this issue, the least one to be concerned about is what will happen in the Parliament if the plebiscite is approved by the Australian people,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said last year. “It will sail through, absolutely sail through.”

The prime minister told CNN the vote will “give all Australians a say” in the matter.

“I’ll be voting yes, as well (my wife), I’m very open about that but the Australian people are never wrong when they vote, whether it’s for governments or on matters like this, their vote will be respected,” he said.

Houston tells Christians to be a part of the conversation and not waste the opportunity to take a stand for their beliefs.

“I believe that many Australians who are often referred to as the ‘silent majority’ feel strongly on this subject but allow louder and often more aggressive voices to control the public dialogue,” Houston wrote.

Houston said that believers should not allow the fear of being labeled a “bigot” stop them from casting a vote.

“For Christians, the issue is also a matter of faith and biblical teaching, something that should never be mocked or downplayed by those with opposing views,” he said.

“Some of those advocating for change to the definition of marriage have confused faith convictions with bigotry however they must understand that Christian – and other religious beliefs – are extremely important to those who hold them and in fact are vital to a tolerant and free society,” he added.

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Hillsong Pastor Urges Christians Not to be ‘Silent Majority’ in Same-Sex Marriage Vote – CBN News

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August 21, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed

How Aussie Gay Marriage Debate Moved to Mailboxes: QuickTake Q&A – Bloomberg

Hold your celebration.

A majority of Australians, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, support changing the law to allow same-sex marriage. Yet while neighboring New Zealand and other English-speaking nations have legalized such unions, it remains a divisive political issue Down Under. With Turnbulls governing coalition at loggerheads and his authority on the line, the government plans to hold a nationwide postal vote to help decide the way ahead. Marriage equality advocates say that could unleash a tide of bigotry, while Turnbulls refusal to campaign on the issue is raising fresh questions about what he stands for.

It is indeed. The largest city, Sydney, hosts one of the worlds biggest Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parades and is known as the San Francisco of the Southern Hemisphere for its large gay community. But while the U.S., the U.K, Canada and New Zealand now allow same-sex unions, Australia remains a laggard.

Far from it — a poll last year showed 64 percent of respondents backed changing the law, with only 26 percent against. Major companies such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Qantas Airways Ltd. have also been vocal in their support. And the number of same-sex couples is rising, about 46,800 in the 2016 census, up 39 percent from 2011

Because the ruling center-right Liberal Party is split between social progressives like Turnbull, and conservatives like his predecessor Tony Abbott. When Turnbull seized the leadership two years ago, he needed to keep conservatives on-side so retained Abbotts policy on same-sex marriage. That was allowing Australian voters to make the final decision through a mandatory public vote, known as a plebiscite. But that path has been blocked in the Senate twice, so he needs to find another way to break the deadlock.

A voluntary postal vote, conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, will now be held, with polling closing on Nov. 15. Should opinion polls be replicated and the majority back same-sex unions, Turnbull says he will tell his lawmakers to support a marriage equality bill and the legislation could be approved by the end of the year.

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Not so fast. Some gay-rights lobbyists hate the idea of a public vote, saying it will unleash a tide of bigotry against a vulnerable part of the community; they have vowed to try to stop the process in the courts. Some say the idea of a postal vote, costing taxpayers A$122 million ($97 million) and conducted by a bureau that was criticized for its handling of a problem-plagued national census last year, is outdated in the internet era. They fear older, more conservative Aussies who back the status quo will be more likely to vote than younger generations. And even if a pro-gay marriage result is returned, Turnbull cant compel his lawmakers to respect the result — indeed some are already indicating they wont.

He says no. The prime minister says the issue isnt of major concern to average Australians, who are more focused on economic growth and national security. Meanwhile Abbott, who remains a thorn in Turnbulls side on the backbenches, is urging Australians to vote against same-sex marriage, saying it would undermine religious freedoms.

Since becoming prime minister, Turnbull, 62, has disappointed many Australians by not taking a more progressive approach on issues hed previously championed — such as tough action on climate change and leading Australia to become a republic. His leadership and political judgment have been questioned since he triggered an early election last year, which he subsequently won by a single seat — a margin now in doubt due to eligibility concerns over Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Conflict in the party over marriage equality has the potential to further undermine his authority and some question whether he can survive to lead the government to elections due in 2019. That could see a return to the political chaos that resulted in Australia churning through five prime ministers in the past decade, bringing with it crippling policy inertia. Meanwhile, theres a chance Australias gay and lesbian community will be forced to wait a lot longer for the equality it craves.

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How Aussie Gay Marriage Debate Moved to Mailboxes: QuickTake Q&A – Bloomberg

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Australia to say ‘Yes’ to gay marriage, Newspoll shows – NEWS.com.au

Ian Thorpe and his partner Ryan Channing are calling for people to enrol to vote so they can support the same-sex marriage plebiscite.

Ian Thorpe and his partner Ryan Channing in their ad, asking for Australia’s to enrol before the postal plebiscite. Picture: Supplied

IAN Thorpe and his partner Ryan Channing have released a new video urging Australians to vote in next months postal plebiscite on whether to legalise gay marriage.

The Olympic swimming champ is making a last-ditch effort to get Australians to update their electoral roll details before the list is finalised this Thursday ahead of the postal ballot.

In the video, he challenges Channing to swim 100m in the time it takes to update his details online.

If you support marriage equality you need to enrol to vote or update your details by midnight August 24, Thorpe says.

Ian Thorpe and his partner Ryan Channing in their video asking for Australia’s to enrol before the postal plebiscite. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Thorpe, who signed on as an Equality Campaign Ambassador earlier this month, has lobbied for gay marriage since coming out in 2014.

After the pair prove it takes less than a minute to update your enrolment details online, Channing says: Every Australian should have the right to take the plunge with the person they love.

More than 215,800 Australians have updated their details and more than 16,990 people have been added to the roll in just a week since the postal vote was announced, the Australian Electoral Commission confirmed last week.

You can watch the video above.

Ian Thorpe and his partner Ryan Channing in their marriage equality video. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

ABBOTTS FEUD WITH HIS SISTER

THE Abbott family feud has flared again after Tony Abbott claimed legalising gay marriage would be a big leap into the dark for Australia.

Mr Abbotts sister Christine Forster hit back at his remarks, saying they were trying to instil fear and obfuscate the issue.

It comes as a new poll shows most Australians will vote Yes in the upcoming postal plebiscite.

This isnt just about marriage, Mr Abbott told Sydney radio 2GB this morning.

Sure, marriage is the immediate focus but there are lots and lots of implications here and weve got to think them through before we take this big leap into what I think is the dark, he said.

Gay marriage will be a big leap into the dark for Australia, Tony Abbott has warned. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

Mr Abbott said religious schools in Britain and Canada had been impacted, along with Catholic adoption agencies, by gay marriage being legalised.

He also warned curriculum programs such as Safe Schools would follow if same-sex marriage was introduced here.

I really hope every single Australian, particularly people who are concerned about where our country is going, has their say, Mr Abbott told 2GB.

And the best way of standing up for traditional values, the best way of saying that you dont like the direction our country is heading in right now is to get that ballot paper out and vote No.

Ms Forster took to social media shortly after the interview to slam her brothers comments.

Those trying to link the vote on same-sex marriage with religious freedom are simply seeking to obfuscate and instil fear, she said.

Nothing will come in its wake except a lot of people who love each other will get married.

Liberal MP Tim Wilson said religious freedoms would be considered by the parliament after the vote.

A vote for Yes is a vote for the Parliament to then properly consider these issues, balancing out the need for same-sex couples to be able to access civil marriage while also making sure that we protecting religious liberty, he told Sky News.

Voting No would handball the issue to Labor and the Greens, he said.

The former prime ministers warning was somewhat backed by the special Newspoll today, which also showed a majority of Australians wanted parliament to legislate to protect religious freedoms if same-sex marriage was made legal.

The poll, conducted for The Australian less than a month out from the postal plebiscite, shows 63 per cent of Australians are planning to vote Yes.

It also shows 67 per cent of Australians are definitely going to vote, putting to rest fears a low response to the plebiscite could jeopardise the result.

A further 15 per cent of respondents said they probably would vote in the poll.

The poll showed most Australians (62 per cent) wanted parliament to include protections for religious freedoms in any legislation to legalise same-sex marriage.

Lobby groups, MPs and church leaders urging Australians to vote No in the upcoming plebiscite have made this central to their campaign.

Christine Forster and Tony Abbott are in a family feud over gay marriage.Source:Supplied

The Newspoll showed there was strong support for same-sex marriage across the political spectrum however, with 55 per cent of Liberal voters, 75 per cent of Labor voters and 82 per cent of Greens voters saying they would back the change.

Australians have until Thursday to update their electoral details to receive a ballot for the postal plebiscite.

The postal plebiscite, to be run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, must also be ruled legal by the High Court before ballots can be sent out on September 12.

BIG BUSINESS STAYING OUT OF THE CAMPAIGN

Corporate Australia will not be actively joining the Yes campaign in the lead up to next months postal plebiscite.

Most major companies that have publicly called for same-sex marriage in the past will be staying out of the fight and will not support the Yes campaign financially or with advertising.

Aside from adding their brand to the list of supporters in the past, many major companies will simply be encouraging Australians to have their say.

The heads of ANZ, Optus, Holden, Deloitte Access Economics, Football Federation Australia, Telstra and REA were among more than two dozen major corporations to write to the Prime Minister in March urging the Australian Parliament to introduce same-sex marriage as soon as possible.

The companies have confirmed to NewsCorp over the past week that they will not be actively lobbying for either side.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is urging businesses to campaign for same-sex marriage. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

Deloitte will encourage all its staff to participate in the postal survey but in respecting views across the firm I wont be telling our people how they should vote, Deloitte chief executive Cindy Hook said.

I signed the letter in March in my personal capacity and my personal view is to support the Yes campaign, she said.

A Holden spokesman said: While not financially active in this particular campaign, Holden has been a public supporter of marriage equality for some time now.

Its important that Australians have the opportunity to have their say on this issue.

An Optus spokesman said: Optus supports diversity, inclusion and choice. The issue of the proposed postal plebiscite is a matter for individuals.

A Telstra spokesman said: Telstra has long advocated and often pioneered the fostering of a more supportive, diverse workplace. As a supporter of marriage equality, we continue to show our support of diversity, inclusion and equality, while recognising and respecting the right of the individual to hold their own view on this issue.

Deloitte chief executive Cindy Hook says she supports same-sex marriage but wont be telling people how they should vote. Picture: John Feder/The Australian.Source:News Corp Australia

Qantas did not respond to News Corps query on whether it would back the campaign financially or with advertising but chief executive Alan Joyce said today he would personally be backing the Yes campaign.

Mr Joyce urged other businesses to do the same.

There are 1300 companies that have published their logo to support marriage equality including all the banks, all the airlines and I believe that those companies should go out there and support it, Mr Joyce said.

They have given their logos and support to that campaign before and I have no doubt a large element of the business community will be out there supporting this campaign.

Mr Joyce said he was disappointed the government turned to a postal ballot rather than just decide the issue in parliament.

I believe we have to get behind it and make sure that we have a Yes vote and certainly I will be out there strongly campaigning for a Yes vote, he said.

I think it is very important for our employees, for our customers and for our shareholders and that is why Qantas is a supporter of marriage equality, why were a supporter of gender equality and why were a supporter of indigenous rights.

We believe these social issues are very important of all of our stakeholders and are very important for this country and we will be active out there and supporting a yes vote.

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Australia to say ‘Yes’ to gay marriage, Newspoll shows – NEWS.com.au

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Australias gay marriage debate goes to the vote | Asia | DW … – Deutsche Welle

Australia is one of the least religious nations in the anglo-speaking world, less so than Catholic Ireland or the United States, which both allow same-sex marriage. Results of a 2016 census, made public only recently, have shown that “No Religion” is now the leading religion. So how does an irreligious nation home to the Sydney Mardi Gras, and one that polls suggest is broadly in favor of same sex marriage, tie itself in such knots?

This non-binding vote on whether or not to allow same-sex marriage means that Parliament will not necessarily have to pass it into law. It may still vote on it afterwards. Unusually for Australia, voting will not be compulsory and the vote will be run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, not the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

Peter Brent, a research fellow at Melbourne’s Swinburne Institute for Social Research who writes on Australian politics, told DW that he saw it as “a malfunction in the political class, on the Labor side in particular… A plebiscite on same-sex marriage is unnecessary. It was something that Tony Abbott came up with to save his [leadership].” Though then-Prime Minister John Howard changed the words of the Marriage Act in 2004 to include ‘man’ and ‘woman’ Labor had six years in government to bring same-sex marriage into law.

Read more:Australia scuttles gay marriage referendum

A non-binding vote – with repercussions

Catholic and conservative former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has long resisted same-sex marriage and put the idea of a plebiscite out to avoid a conscience vote in Parliament.

The issue of legalizing gay marriage in Australia has triggered plenty of controversy

Meanwhile, within the Liberal Party there is a distinct shift towardfavoring same-sex marriage. Tim Wilson is one such proponent. The openly gay MP from Melbourne has long argued for same-sex marriage. “The decision has been difficult to resolve because while Australians aren’t religiously conservative, but they are culturally conservative… Ultimately once the public was given the choice of having a public vote to resolve the issue people both frustrated by a failure to resolve it, and those opposed, have supported this pathway,” he told DW.

One worry is that as the rules governing an AEC-run vote don’t apply hate speech and divisive ‘no’ campaigns might proliferate and have adamaging influence on young people. A study by the University of Queensland and the University of York found that only 23 percent of participants in Ireland’s 2015 gay marriage vote would want to go through the process again.

The Australian Christian Lobby has called the children of gay parents the new ‘stolen generation,’ a reference to the generation of Indigenous children removed from their families and put into orphanages. Senator Penny Wong, a lesbian and Leader of the opposition in the Senate, gave a speech last week saying, “We love our children… It is (not unifying) exposing our children to that kind of hatred.”

Different culture, different views

Wong in 2008 stood by her government’s stance that the traditional concept of marriage would not be changed. “On the issue of marriage, I think the reality is there is a cultural, religious and historical view around that which we have to respect,” she said then. She, and Labor, now fully support the yes vote.

Read more:Australia’s Labor Party rejects plebiscite on gay marriage, pushes for vote in parliament

In May Australian tennis superstar and grand slam winner Margaret Court spoke against same-sex marriage, a position the evangelical Christian and founder of the Victory Life Center in Perth, has long held. Many swiftly suggested the tennis court named after her in Melbourne, home of the Australian Open, be renamed. The speed of her censure was remarkable. She wrote only last week in a newspaper letter, “let us vote no to gay marriage for the sake of Australia, our children and our children’s children.”

Read more:Navratilova calls for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed

Connections Nightclub, in Perth’s busy Northbridge, is the Southern Hemisphere’s longest running gay club.

Michael Edwards, a Perth hairdresser and founder of the Facebook group Lost Gay Perth says he’s “really fed up” with the gay marriage debate and just wants the government to get on with it. “Either way we just want to know.” However, after coming out some 30 years ago he’s less worried about the effects of possible hate speech.

Toughing it out

“I’ve gotta tell you, we’re a tough lot. We’ve heard it all before, we’re resilient and we keep going.” Younger people, who’ve grown up a different way, may feel differently, he says. “They’ll hear things that are detrimental to their view of themselves.”

Tim Wilson, a proponent of free speech who has been behind the scrapping of one section of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act, urges caution. “I think we have to be careful what we call hate speech. Hurtful things are said by people who should know better… Hurtful things will be said before and after a change in the law.”

The question is now, barring a successful challenge in the High Court to block the vote, what answer the postal vote will yield. Brent believes that though voters would vote ‘yes’ in a random survey tomorrow, results would be different in a drawn out vote. “These things can become, in the minds of many voters, about something other than the question at hand… a chance to give the government of the day a bloody nose.”

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Australias gay marriage debate goes to the vote | Asia | DW … – Deutsche Welle

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Married Sunday, fired Monday: Churches threaten to dismiss staff who wed same-sex partners – The Sydney Morning Herald

Australia’s Catholic church isthreatening to fire teachers, nurses and other employees who marry their same-sex partnerif gay marriage is legalised, in a dramatic move led by the country’s most senior Catholic.

Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart, speaking exclusively to Fairfax Media, pointedly warnedthe church’s 180,000 employees they were expected to uphold its teachings “totally”, and defiance would be treated “very seriously”.

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A Liberal MP has challenged Christian MPs to devote as much time and energy to getting refugees off Manus Island and Nauru than they do to opposing same sex marriage.

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A seven-year-old Sydney boy was one of 13 people killed in last week’s terrorist attack at Las Ramblas in central Barcelona. Vision: Seven News

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Police have put out a call for any information relating to the murder of Melbourne grandmother Jeanette Moss, as they continue to search for the 69-year-old’s killer.

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The father of an Australian boy missing since the terrorist attack in Spain has touched down in Barcelona.

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One Australian is unaccounted for and seven others injured after a van mowed people down in a popular Barcelona tourist spot, killing more than a dozen people and injuring about 100 more.

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Schools are divided over a proposed reading test that could soon be asking Grade 1 students to pronounce made-up words as part of a new phonics test.

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Three world champion skippers from Brisbane are attempting to break the world record at double-dutch.

A Liberal MP has challenged Christian MPs to devote as much time and energy to getting refugees off Manus Island and Nauru than they do to opposing same sex marriage.

“I would be very emphatic that our schools, our parishes exist to teach a Catholic view of marriage,” hesaid.”Any words or actions which workcontrary to that would be viewed very seriously.

“Our teachers, our parish employees are expected totally to uphold the Catholic faith and what we believe about marriage.Peoplehave to see in words and inexample that our teaching of marriage is underlined.

“We shouldn’t be slipping on that,” said Archbishop Hart, who also chairs the powerfulAustralian Catholic Bishops Conference. He said individual hiring and firing decisions “are best dealt with on the local scene”.

Archbishop Hart was backed up by Archbishop TimothyCostelloe, chair of theBishops Commission for Catholic Education, who cautioned teachersagainst “undermining” their schools’ values if same-sex marriage becamelaw.

ArchbishopCostelloesaid parents who sent their children to a Catholic school wanted them educated within a Catholic framework, of which marriage was a vital part.

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“In accepting a role in a Catholic school, staff will recognise their responsibility to conduct themselves in such a way as not to undermine the fundamental ethos of the school,” he told Fairfax Media.

“Like all other employers, the Catholic Church should be able to ensure its values are upheld by those who choose to work for the organisation.”

The Anglican Church, while declining to comment directly on employees, also emphasised the importance of protecting religious freedom and warned safeguards had “quickly unravelled” overseas.

Under Australia’s anti-discrimination laws, churches already enjoy wide-ranging exemptions allowing them to hire and fire on the basis of sexual orientation, marital status and other characteristics.

While LGBTIemployees are often tolerated by church employers, a same-sex wedding may be considered a public denunciation of church teachings on marriage.

Father Frank Brennan, chief executive of Catholic Social Services Australia, this week defended the ability for church schools to refuse employment to a same-sex attracted person, and for aged care facilities to reject a married gay couple.

Writing in The Guardian, he indicated he could vote “yes” in the upcoming postal survey, but wanted the church’s right to discriminate maintained.

However, Catholic Health Australia, the country’s largest non-government, non-profit health group, distanced itself from those threats.

Chief executive Suzanne Greenwood told Fairfax Media she would not expect doctors and nurses to adhere so strictly to the church’s teachings, though conceded it may be different for teachers.

“We’re not converting people toCatholicism,” she said. “It’s not really relevant tothe jobs people are performing within the care environment at a hospital or an aged care facility.

“It’s not like people are currently screened [for sexuality or marital status]. I would see absolutely no reason why that would change.”

Religious organisations have had exemptions to the Sex Discrimination Act since its inception in 1984. Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow backed the act and said any attempt to legalise same-sex marriage would need to maintain those exemptions.

“It’s a matter for each religious organisation how far they want totake that exemption,” Mr Santow said. “Most religious organisations are very careful and respectful of the diversity of our community.”

According to a 2015 paper by the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations, more than 180,000 Australians work for the Catholic church in some respect -about 2 per cent of the workforce.

Bishop Michael Stead, chairman of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney’s Religious Freedom Reference Group, declined to answer directly whether the Anglican Church would seek to dismiss employees.

In a statement, he called forthe maintenance of current exemptions to anti-discrimination law, and said attemptsto legislate same-sex marriage in Australia so far were”manifestly deficient” in protecting civil and religious freedoms.

“The experience in countries where marriage has been redefined has been a quick and steady erosion of freedom of speech, conscience and belief,” Bishop Stead said.

“The fact that promised safeguards for freedom of religion have quickly unravelled overseas should serve as a warning to Australians.”

The US has seen a number of high-profile cases of employees being fired after wedding a same-sex partner, and the scenario was dramatised in the 2014 Ira Sachs film Love Is Strange.

In June, former parish music director Colin Collette lost a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Chicagoafter he was fired upon becoming engaged to his male partner.

Lyle Shelton, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby and one of the leading public campaigners for the “no” side, also defended the power of Christian organisations to dismiss staff who married a same-sex partner.

“Religious organisations should have the same freedoms as political parties to ensure that staff share their ethos,” he said.

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Married Sunday, fired Monday: Churches threaten to dismiss staff who wed same-sex partners – The Sydney Morning Herald

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Australia’s gay marriage debate goes postal – Deutsche Welle

Australia is one of the least religious nations in the anglo-speaking world, less so than Catholic Ireland or the United States, which both allow same-sex marriage. Results of a 2016 census, made public only recently, have shown that “No Religion” is now the leading religion. So how does an irreligious nation home to the Sydney Mardi Gras, and one that polls suggest is broadly in favor of same sex marriage, tie itself in such knots?

This non-binding vote on whether or not to allow same-sex marriage means that Parliament will not necessarily have to pass it into law. It may still vote on it afterwards. Unusually for Australia, voting will not be compulsory and the vote will be run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, not the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

Peter Brent, a research fellow at Melbourne’s Swinburne Institute for Social Research who writes on Australian politics, told DW that he saw it as “a malfunction in the political class, on the Labor side in particular… A plebiscite on same-sex marriage is unnecessary. It was something that Tony Abbott came up with to save his [leadership].” Though then-Prime Minister John Howard changed the words of the Marriage Act in 2004 to include ‘man’ and ‘woman’ Labor had six years in government to bring same-sex marriage into law.

Read more:Australia scuttles gay marriage referendum

A non-binding vote – with repercussions

Catholic and conservative former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has long resisted same-sex marriage and put the idea of a plebiscite out to avoid a conscience vote in Parliament.

The issue of legalizing gay marriage in Australia has triggered plenty of controversy

Meanwhile, within the Liberal Party there is a distinct shift towardfavoring same-sex marriage. Tim Wilson is one such proponent. The openly gay MP from Melbourne has long argued for same-sex marriage. “The decision has been difficult to resolve because while Australians aren’t religiously conservative, but they are culturally conservative… Ultimately once the public was given the choice of having a public vote to resolve the issue people both frustrated by a failure to resolve it, and those opposed, have supported this pathway,” he told DW.

One worry is that as the rules governing an AEC-run vote don’t apply hate speech and divisive ‘no’ campaigns might proliferate and have adamaging influence on young people. A study by the University of Queensland and the University of York found that only 23 percent of participants in Ireland’s 2015 gay marriage vote would want to go through the process again.

The Australian Christian Lobby has called the children of gay parents the new ‘stolen generation,’ a reference to the generation of Indigenous children removed from their families and put into orphanages. Senator Penny Wong, a lesbian and Leader of the opposition in the Senate, gave a speech last week saying, “We love our children… It is (not unifying) exposing our children to that kind of hatred.”

Different culture, different views

Wong in 2008 stood by her government’s stance that the traditional concept of marriage would not be changed. “On the issue of marriage, I think the reality is there is a cultural, religious and historical view around that which we have to respect,” she said then. She, and Labor, now fully support the yes vote.

Read more:Australia’s Labor Party rejects plebiscite on gay marriage, pushes for vote in parliament

In May Australian tennis superstar and grand slam winner Margaret Court spoke against same-sex marriage, a position the evangelical Christian and founder of the Victory Life Center in Perth, has long held. Many swiftly suggested the tennis court named after her in Melbourne, home of the Australian Open, be renamed. The speed of her censure was remarkable. She wrote only last week in a newspaper letter, “let us vote no to gay marriage for the sake of Australia, our children and our children’s children.”

Read more:Navratilova calls for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed

Connections Nightclub, in Perth’s busy Northbridge, is the Southern Hemisphere’s longest running gay club.

Michael Edwards, a Perth hairdresser and founder of the Facebook group Lost Gay Perth says he’s “really fed up” with the gay marriage debate and just wants the government to get on with it. “Either way we just want to know.” However, after coming out some 30 years ago he’s less worried about the effects of possible hate speech.

Toughing it out

“I’ve gotta tell you, we’re a tough lot. We’ve heard it all before, we’re resilient and we keep going.” Younger people, who’ve grown up a different way, may feel differently, he says. “They’ll hear things that are detrimental to their view of themselves.”

Tim Wilson, a proponent of free speech who has been behind the scrapping of one section of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act, urges caution. “I think we have to be careful what we call hate speech. Hurtful things are said by people who should know better… Hurtful things will be said before and after a change in the law.”

The question is now, barring a successful challenge in the High Court to block the vote, what answer the postal vote will yield. Brent believes that though voters would vote ‘yes’ in a random survey tomorrow, results would be different in a drawn out vote. “These things can become, in the minds of many voters, about something other than the question at hand… a chance to give the government of the day a bloody nose.”

See the rest here:

Australia’s gay marriage debate goes postal – Deutsche Welle

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Playboy founder Hefner editorializes for gay marriage – Wisconsin Gazette

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, in the September issue of the magazine, says that U.S. conservatives continue to assault the right of gays. Hefner,according to Politico, says that the marriage equality fight is a fight for all. Hefner writes, The fight for gay marriage is, in reality, a fight for all of our rights. Without it, we will turn back the sexual revolution and return to an earlier, puritanical time. Today, in every instance of sexual rights falling under attack, youll find legislation forced into place by people who practice discrimination disguised as religious freedom. Their goal is to dehumanize everyones sexuality and reduce us to using sex for the sole purpose of perpetuating our species. To that end, they will criminalize your entire sex life. Conservatives, Hefner adds, continue to assault the right of gays, whether by denying them to right to marry or, as in Kansas, by attempting to empower landlords, business owners and employers to discriminate against gays on religious grounds. The editorial concludes with a recognition of religious and secular interests. No one should have to subjugate their religious freedom, and no one should have their personal freedoms infringed. This is America and we must protect the rights of all Americans, Hefner writes.

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This Trump nominee suggested gay marriage leads to pedophilia – Queerty

This week we saw President Trumps regard for science, as he stared blankly into the solar eclipse against the safety precautions of both the scientific community and also basic common sense. He has a knack for defying both. It made for an absurd and fairly amusing photo, but far less comical is the news that Sam Clovis is currently awaiting confirmation for the position of chief scientist at the Department of Agriculture. Clovis is a former Air Force colonel, talk-radio host, and one-time political candidate in Iowa. He lost his US Senate race there, and thank god he did. CNN dug up an old blog post he wrote in which he draws the (ill)logical conclusion that if gay marriage became the law of the land, pedophilia was just around the river bend: Follow the logic, if you engage in a particular behavior, what also becomes protected? If we protect LGBT behavior, what other behaviors are we going to protect? Are we going to protect pedophilia? Are we going to protect polyamorous marriage relationships? Are we going to protect people who have fetishes? Whats the logical extension of this? It cant be that were going to protect LGBT and then well pull up the ladder. Thats not going to happen, it defies logic. Were not thinking the consequences of these decisions through. The news network also notes that, when a questioner said some might call what Clovis words extreme comparing the approval of same-sex protections to allowing pedophilia. Clovis said it was logical. And it gets worse if you can believe it. He also believes being gay is a choice: Clovis has repeatedly argued that the science on homosexuality is unsettled and that LGBT behavior is a choice. The American Psychological Association has said that while there is no scientific consensus on the causes of sexual orientation, most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation. Clovis, who holds a bachelors degree in political science, shouldnt be chief scientist of a seventh grade biology class let alone an entire governmental department. But hey, he served as candidate Trumps national campaign co-chair, so why not give him a fancy new title he isnt remotely qualified for?

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Trump nominee: Same-sex marriage could lead to legalizing pedophilia – The Hill

President Trump’s nominee for the top science position at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has argued that the legalization of same-sex marriage could lead to legalized pedophilia, CNN’s KFile reported on Monday. Sam Clovis made the comments on his conservative radio show and in an op-ed in a conservative blog in separate incidents ranging from 2011 to 2015, according to the news network’s investigative unit. If we protect LGBT behavior, what other behaviors are we going to protect? Are we going to protect pedophilia? he asked in avideouncovered by the CNN team. We’re not thinking the consequences of these decisions through.” “I think it’s a logical extension of thought. And if you cannot follow the logic, then you’re denying youre in denial.” Questioned by CNN about Clovis’s comments, aUSDA spokeswoman referred to the 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states. “The Supreme Court settled the issue in 2015, the spokeswoman said. CNN also found that Clovis repeatedly argued that being a member of the LGBT population is a “choice.” The science on this issue seems to be uncertain, and if one followed the arguments from plaintiffs, the issue argued was that these individuals, because of ‘love,’ should be allowed to marry just like opposite-sex couples, he said in 2011, for example. Clovis has made a number of controversial statements in the past, including hissuggestion that former President Obama wanted to enslave his opponents and that Obamawas happy after the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Reportssurfacedafter Clovis’s nomination that he was a climate change denier who holds no science degree.

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Hillsong Pastor Urges Christians Not to be ‘Silent Majority’ in Same-Sex Marriage Vote – CBN News

Hillsong senior pastor Brian Houston is telling Christians to take action and not be a “silent majority” during Australia’s upcoming same-sex marriage vote in September. “Whatever your view on this issue, it is undeniably one that is important to the fabric of our social structure. Changing the definition of marriage has wide-reaching ramifications and should not be taken lightly by any society,” Houston wrote in a press release. “All Australians should be a part of this process, not just a select few,” he added. More than $122 million worth of paper ballots will be sent to Australians asking them whether gay marriage should be legal. It comes after the country’s ruling party refused to vote on a gay marriage bill. This vote will serve as public feedback only. However, if the majority of the country says they are in favor of same-sex marriage, a bill could pass through Parliment rather quickly. “Of all the concerns one might have about this issue, the least one to be concerned about is what will happen in the Parliament if the plebiscite is approved by the Australian people,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said last year. “It will sail through, absolutely sail through.” The prime minister told CNN the vote will “give all Australians a say” in the matter. “I’ll be voting yes, as well (my wife), I’m very open about that but the Australian people are never wrong when they vote, whether it’s for governments or on matters like this, their vote will be respected,” he said. Houston tells Christians to be a part of the conversation and not waste the opportunity to take a stand for their beliefs. “I believe that many Australians who are often referred to as the ‘silent majority’ feel strongly on this subject but allow louder and often more aggressive voices to control the public dialogue,” Houston wrote. Houston said that believers should not allow the fear of being labeled a “bigot” stop them from casting a vote. “For Christians, the issue is also a matter of faith and biblical teaching, something that should never be mocked or downplayed by those with opposing views,” he said. “Some of those advocating for change to the definition of marriage have confused faith convictions with bigotry however they must understand that Christian – and other religious beliefs – are extremely important to those who hold them and in fact are vital to a tolerant and free society,” he added.

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How Aussie Gay Marriage Debate Moved to Mailboxes: QuickTake Q&A – Bloomberg

Hold your celebration. A majority of Australians, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, support changing the law to allow same-sex marriage. Yet while neighboring New Zealand and other English-speaking nations have legalized such unions, it remains a divisive political issue Down Under. With Turnbulls governing coalition at loggerheads and his authority on the line, the government plans to hold a nationwide postal vote to help decide the way ahead. Marriage equality advocates say that could unleash a tide of bigotry, while Turnbulls refusal to campaign on the issue is raising fresh questions about what he stands for. It is indeed. The largest city, Sydney, hosts one of the worlds biggest Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parades and is known as the San Francisco of the Southern Hemisphere for its large gay community. But while the U.S., the U.K, Canada and New Zealand now allow same-sex unions, Australia remains a laggard. Far from it — a poll last year showed 64 percent of respondents backed changing the law, with only 26 percent against. Major companies such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Qantas Airways Ltd. have also been vocal in their support. And the number of same-sex couples is rising, about 46,800 in the 2016 census, up 39 percent from 2011 Because the ruling center-right Liberal Party is split between social progressives like Turnbull, and conservatives like his predecessor Tony Abbott. When Turnbull seized the leadership two years ago, he needed to keep conservatives on-side so retained Abbotts policy on same-sex marriage. That was allowing Australian voters to make the final decision through a mandatory public vote, known as a plebiscite. But that path has been blocked in the Senate twice, so he needs to find another way to break the deadlock. A voluntary postal vote, conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, will now be held, with polling closing on Nov. 15. Should opinion polls be replicated and the majority back same-sex unions, Turnbull says he will tell his lawmakers to support a marriage equality bill and the legislation could be approved by the end of the year. The most important business stories of the day. Get Bloomberg’s daily newsletter. Not so fast. Some gay-rights lobbyists hate the idea of a public vote, saying it will unleash a tide of bigotry against a vulnerable part of the community; they have vowed to try to stop the process in the courts. Some say the idea of a postal vote, costing taxpayers A$122 million ($97 million) and conducted by a bureau that was criticized for its handling of a problem-plagued national census last year, is outdated in the internet era. They fear older, more conservative Aussies who back the status quo will be more likely to vote than younger generations. And even if a pro-gay marriage result is returned, Turnbull cant compel his lawmakers to respect the result — indeed some are already indicating they wont. He says no. The prime minister says the issue isnt of major concern to average Australians, who are more focused on economic growth and national security. Meanwhile Abbott, who remains a thorn in Turnbulls side on the backbenches, is urging Australians to vote against same-sex marriage, saying it would undermine religious freedoms. Since becoming prime minister, Turnbull, 62, has disappointed many Australians by not taking a more progressive approach on issues hed previously championed — such as tough action on climate change and leading Australia to become a republic. His leadership and political judgment have been questioned since he triggered an early election last year, which he subsequently won by a single seat — a margin now in doubt due to eligibility concerns over Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Conflict in the party over marriage equality has the potential to further undermine his authority and some question whether he can survive to lead the government to elections due in 2019. That could see a return to the political chaos that resulted in Australia churning through five prime ministers in the past decade, bringing with it crippling policy inertia. Meanwhile, theres a chance Australias gay and lesbian community will be forced to wait a lot longer for the equality it craves.

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Australia to say ‘Yes’ to gay marriage, Newspoll shows – NEWS.com.au

Ian Thorpe and his partner Ryan Channing are calling for people to enrol to vote so they can support the same-sex marriage plebiscite. Ian Thorpe and his partner Ryan Channing in their ad, asking for Australia’s to enrol before the postal plebiscite. Picture: Supplied IAN Thorpe and his partner Ryan Channing have released a new video urging Australians to vote in next months postal plebiscite on whether to legalise gay marriage. The Olympic swimming champ is making a last-ditch effort to get Australians to update their electoral roll details before the list is finalised this Thursday ahead of the postal ballot. In the video, he challenges Channing to swim 100m in the time it takes to update his details online. If you support marriage equality you need to enrol to vote or update your details by midnight August 24, Thorpe says. Ian Thorpe and his partner Ryan Channing in their video asking for Australia’s to enrol before the postal plebiscite. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied Thorpe, who signed on as an Equality Campaign Ambassador earlier this month, has lobbied for gay marriage since coming out in 2014. After the pair prove it takes less than a minute to update your enrolment details online, Channing says: Every Australian should have the right to take the plunge with the person they love. More than 215,800 Australians have updated their details and more than 16,990 people have been added to the roll in just a week since the postal vote was announced, the Australian Electoral Commission confirmed last week. You can watch the video above. Ian Thorpe and his partner Ryan Channing in their marriage equality video. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied ABBOTTS FEUD WITH HIS SISTER THE Abbott family feud has flared again after Tony Abbott claimed legalising gay marriage would be a big leap into the dark for Australia. Mr Abbotts sister Christine Forster hit back at his remarks, saying they were trying to instil fear and obfuscate the issue. It comes as a new poll shows most Australians will vote Yes in the upcoming postal plebiscite. This isnt just about marriage, Mr Abbott told Sydney radio 2GB this morning. Sure, marriage is the immediate focus but there are lots and lots of implications here and weve got to think them through before we take this big leap into what I think is the dark, he said. Gay marriage will be a big leap into the dark for Australia, Tony Abbott has warned. Picture: AAPSource:AAP Mr Abbott said religious schools in Britain and Canada had been impacted, along with Catholic adoption agencies, by gay marriage being legalised. He also warned curriculum programs such as Safe Schools would follow if same-sex marriage was introduced here. I really hope every single Australian, particularly people who are concerned about where our country is going, has their say, Mr Abbott told 2GB. And the best way of standing up for traditional values, the best way of saying that you dont like the direction our country is heading in right now is to get that ballot paper out and vote No. Ms Forster took to social media shortly after the interview to slam her brothers comments. Those trying to link the vote on same-sex marriage with religious freedom are simply seeking to obfuscate and instil fear, she said. Nothing will come in its wake except a lot of people who love each other will get married. Liberal MP Tim Wilson said religious freedoms would be considered by the parliament after the vote. A vote for Yes is a vote for the Parliament to then properly consider these issues, balancing out the need for same-sex couples to be able to access civil marriage while also making sure that we protecting religious liberty, he told Sky News. Voting No would handball the issue to Labor and the Greens, he said. The former prime ministers warning was somewhat backed by the special Newspoll today, which also showed a majority of Australians wanted parliament to legislate to protect religious freedoms if same-sex marriage was made legal. The poll, conducted for The Australian less than a month out from the postal plebiscite, shows 63 per cent of Australians are planning to vote Yes. It also shows 67 per cent of Australians are definitely going to vote, putting to rest fears a low response to the plebiscite could jeopardise the result. A further 15 per cent of respondents said they probably would vote in the poll. The poll showed most Australians (62 per cent) wanted parliament to include protections for religious freedoms in any legislation to legalise same-sex marriage. Lobby groups, MPs and church leaders urging Australians to vote No in the upcoming plebiscite have made this central to their campaign. Christine Forster and Tony Abbott are in a family feud over gay marriage.Source:Supplied The Newspoll showed there was strong support for same-sex marriage across the political spectrum however, with 55 per cent of Liberal voters, 75 per cent of Labor voters and 82 per cent of Greens voters saying they would back the change. Australians have until Thursday to update their electoral details to receive a ballot for the postal plebiscite. The postal plebiscite, to be run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, must also be ruled legal by the High Court before ballots can be sent out on September 12. BIG BUSINESS STAYING OUT OF THE CAMPAIGN Corporate Australia will not be actively joining the Yes campaign in the lead up to next months postal plebiscite. Most major companies that have publicly called for same-sex marriage in the past will be staying out of the fight and will not support the Yes campaign financially or with advertising. Aside from adding their brand to the list of supporters in the past, many major companies will simply be encouraging Australians to have their say. The heads of ANZ, Optus, Holden, Deloitte Access Economics, Football Federation Australia, Telstra and REA were among more than two dozen major corporations to write to the Prime Minister in March urging the Australian Parliament to introduce same-sex marriage as soon as possible. The companies have confirmed to NewsCorp over the past week that they will not be actively lobbying for either side. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is urging businesses to campaign for same-sex marriage. Picture: AAPSource:AAP Deloitte will encourage all its staff to participate in the postal survey but in respecting views across the firm I wont be telling our people how they should vote, Deloitte chief executive Cindy Hook said. I signed the letter in March in my personal capacity and my personal view is to support the Yes campaign, she said. A Holden spokesman said: While not financially active in this particular campaign, Holden has been a public supporter of marriage equality for some time now. Its important that Australians have the opportunity to have their say on this issue. An Optus spokesman said: Optus supports diversity, inclusion and choice. The issue of the proposed postal plebiscite is a matter for individuals. A Telstra spokesman said: Telstra has long advocated and often pioneered the fostering of a more supportive, diverse workplace. As a supporter of marriage equality, we continue to show our support of diversity, inclusion and equality, while recognising and respecting the right of the individual to hold their own view on this issue. Deloitte chief executive Cindy Hook says she supports same-sex marriage but wont be telling people how they should vote. Picture: John Feder/The Australian.Source:News Corp Australia Qantas did not respond to News Corps query on whether it would back the campaign financially or with advertising but chief executive Alan Joyce said today he would personally be backing the Yes campaign. Mr Joyce urged other businesses to do the same. There are 1300 companies that have published their logo to support marriage equality including all the banks, all the airlines and I believe that those companies should go out there and support it, Mr Joyce said. They have given their logos and support to that campaign before and I have no doubt a large element of the business community will be out there supporting this campaign. Mr Joyce said he was disappointed the government turned to a postal ballot rather than just decide the issue in parliament. I believe we have to get behind it and make sure that we have a Yes vote and certainly I will be out there strongly campaigning for a Yes vote, he said. I think it is very important for our employees, for our customers and for our shareholders and that is why Qantas is a supporter of marriage equality, why were a supporter of gender equality and why were a supporter of indigenous rights. We believe these social issues are very important of all of our stakeholders and are very important for this country and we will be active out there and supporting a yes vote.

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Australias gay marriage debate goes to the vote | Asia | DW … – Deutsche Welle

Australia is one of the least religious nations in the anglo-speaking world, less so than Catholic Ireland or the United States, which both allow same-sex marriage. Results of a 2016 census, made public only recently, have shown that “No Religion” is now the leading religion. So how does an irreligious nation home to the Sydney Mardi Gras, and one that polls suggest is broadly in favor of same sex marriage, tie itself in such knots? This non-binding vote on whether or not to allow same-sex marriage means that Parliament will not necessarily have to pass it into law. It may still vote on it afterwards. Unusually for Australia, voting will not be compulsory and the vote will be run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, not the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). Peter Brent, a research fellow at Melbourne’s Swinburne Institute for Social Research who writes on Australian politics, told DW that he saw it as “a malfunction in the political class, on the Labor side in particular… A plebiscite on same-sex marriage is unnecessary. It was something that Tony Abbott came up with to save his [leadership].” Though then-Prime Minister John Howard changed the words of the Marriage Act in 2004 to include ‘man’ and ‘woman’ Labor had six years in government to bring same-sex marriage into law. Read more:Australia scuttles gay marriage referendum A non-binding vote – with repercussions Catholic and conservative former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has long resisted same-sex marriage and put the idea of a plebiscite out to avoid a conscience vote in Parliament. The issue of legalizing gay marriage in Australia has triggered plenty of controversy Meanwhile, within the Liberal Party there is a distinct shift towardfavoring same-sex marriage. Tim Wilson is one such proponent. The openly gay MP from Melbourne has long argued for same-sex marriage. “The decision has been difficult to resolve because while Australians aren’t religiously conservative, but they are culturally conservative… Ultimately once the public was given the choice of having a public vote to resolve the issue people both frustrated by a failure to resolve it, and those opposed, have supported this pathway,” he told DW. One worry is that as the rules governing an AEC-run vote don’t apply hate speech and divisive ‘no’ campaigns might proliferate and have adamaging influence on young people. A study by the University of Queensland and the University of York found that only 23 percent of participants in Ireland’s 2015 gay marriage vote would want to go through the process again. The Australian Christian Lobby has called the children of gay parents the new ‘stolen generation,’ a reference to the generation of Indigenous children removed from their families and put into orphanages. Senator Penny Wong, a lesbian and Leader of the opposition in the Senate, gave a speech last week saying, “We love our children… It is (not unifying) exposing our children to that kind of hatred.” Different culture, different views Wong in 2008 stood by her government’s stance that the traditional concept of marriage would not be changed. “On the issue of marriage, I think the reality is there is a cultural, religious and historical view around that which we have to respect,” she said then. She, and Labor, now fully support the yes vote. Read more:Australia’s Labor Party rejects plebiscite on gay marriage, pushes for vote in parliament In May Australian tennis superstar and grand slam winner Margaret Court spoke against same-sex marriage, a position the evangelical Christian and founder of the Victory Life Center in Perth, has long held. Many swiftly suggested the tennis court named after her in Melbourne, home of the Australian Open, be renamed. The speed of her censure was remarkable. She wrote only last week in a newspaper letter, “let us vote no to gay marriage for the sake of Australia, our children and our children’s children.” Read more:Navratilova calls for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed Connections Nightclub, in Perth’s busy Northbridge, is the Southern Hemisphere’s longest running gay club. Michael Edwards, a Perth hairdresser and founder of the Facebook group Lost Gay Perth says he’s “really fed up” with the gay marriage debate and just wants the government to get on with it. “Either way we just want to know.” However, after coming out some 30 years ago he’s less worried about the effects of possible hate speech. Toughing it out “I’ve gotta tell you, we’re a tough lot. We’ve heard it all before, we’re resilient and we keep going.” Younger people, who’ve grown up a different way, may feel differently, he says. “They’ll hear things that are detrimental to their view of themselves.” Tim Wilson, a proponent of free speech who has been behind the scrapping of one section of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act, urges caution. “I think we have to be careful what we call hate speech. Hurtful things are said by people who should know better… Hurtful things will be said before and after a change in the law.” The question is now, barring a successful challenge in the High Court to block the vote, what answer the postal vote will yield. Brent believes that though voters would vote ‘yes’ in a random survey tomorrow, results would be different in a drawn out vote. “These things can become, in the minds of many voters, about something other than the question at hand… a chance to give the government of the day a bloody nose.”

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Married Sunday, fired Monday: Churches threaten to dismiss staff who wed same-sex partners – The Sydney Morning Herald

Australia’s Catholic church isthreatening to fire teachers, nurses and other employees who marry their same-sex partnerif gay marriage is legalised, in a dramatic move led by the country’s most senior Catholic. Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart, speaking exclusively to Fairfax Media, pointedly warnedthe church’s 180,000 employees they were expected to uphold its teachings “totally”, and defiance would be treated “very seriously”. Play Video Don’t Play Play Video Don’t Play Previous slide Next slide A Liberal MP has challenged Christian MPs to devote as much time and energy to getting refugees off Manus Island and Nauru than they do to opposing same sex marriage. Play Video Don’t Play A seven-year-old Sydney boy was one of 13 people killed in last week’s terrorist attack at Las Ramblas in central Barcelona. Vision: Seven News Play Video Don’t Play Police have put out a call for any information relating to the murder of Melbourne grandmother Jeanette Moss, as they continue to search for the 69-year-old’s killer. Play Video Don’t Play The father of an Australian boy missing since the terrorist attack in Spain has touched down in Barcelona. Play Video Don’t Play One Australian is unaccounted for and seven others injured after a van mowed people down in a popular Barcelona tourist spot, killing more than a dozen people and injuring about 100 more. Play Video Don’t Play Schools are divided over a proposed reading test that could soon be asking Grade 1 students to pronounce made-up words as part of a new phonics test. Play Video Don’t Play Three world champion skippers from Brisbane are attempting to break the world record at double-dutch. A Liberal MP has challenged Christian MPs to devote as much time and energy to getting refugees off Manus Island and Nauru than they do to opposing same sex marriage. “I would be very emphatic that our schools, our parishes exist to teach a Catholic view of marriage,” hesaid.”Any words or actions which workcontrary to that would be viewed very seriously. “Our teachers, our parish employees are expected totally to uphold the Catholic faith and what we believe about marriage.Peoplehave to see in words and inexample that our teaching of marriage is underlined. “We shouldn’t be slipping on that,” said Archbishop Hart, who also chairs the powerfulAustralian Catholic Bishops Conference. He said individual hiring and firing decisions “are best dealt with on the local scene”. Archbishop Hart was backed up by Archbishop TimothyCostelloe, chair of theBishops Commission for Catholic Education, who cautioned teachersagainst “undermining” their schools’ values if same-sex marriage becamelaw. ArchbishopCostelloesaid parents who sent their children to a Catholic school wanted them educated within a Catholic framework, of which marriage was a vital part. Get the latest news and updates emailed straight to your inbox. “In accepting a role in a Catholic school, staff will recognise their responsibility to conduct themselves in such a way as not to undermine the fundamental ethos of the school,” he told Fairfax Media. “Like all other employers, the Catholic Church should be able to ensure its values are upheld by those who choose to work for the organisation.” The Anglican Church, while declining to comment directly on employees, also emphasised the importance of protecting religious freedom and warned safeguards had “quickly unravelled” overseas. Under Australia’s anti-discrimination laws, churches already enjoy wide-ranging exemptions allowing them to hire and fire on the basis of sexual orientation, marital status and other characteristics. While LGBTIemployees are often tolerated by church employers, a same-sex wedding may be considered a public denunciation of church teachings on marriage. Father Frank Brennan, chief executive of Catholic Social Services Australia, this week defended the ability for church schools to refuse employment to a same-sex attracted person, and for aged care facilities to reject a married gay couple. Writing in The Guardian, he indicated he could vote “yes” in the upcoming postal survey, but wanted the church’s right to discriminate maintained. However, Catholic Health Australia, the country’s largest non-government, non-profit health group, distanced itself from those threats. Chief executive Suzanne Greenwood told Fairfax Media she would not expect doctors and nurses to adhere so strictly to the church’s teachings, though conceded it may be different for teachers. “We’re not converting people toCatholicism,” she said. “It’s not really relevant tothe jobs people are performing within the care environment at a hospital or an aged care facility. “It’s not like people are currently screened [for sexuality or marital status]. I would see absolutely no reason why that would change.” Religious organisations have had exemptions to the Sex Discrimination Act since its inception in 1984. Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow backed the act and said any attempt to legalise same-sex marriage would need to maintain those exemptions. “It’s a matter for each religious organisation how far they want totake that exemption,” Mr Santow said. “Most religious organisations are very careful and respectful of the diversity of our community.” According to a 2015 paper by the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations, more than 180,000 Australians work for the Catholic church in some respect -about 2 per cent of the workforce. Bishop Michael Stead, chairman of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney’s Religious Freedom Reference Group, declined to answer directly whether the Anglican Church would seek to dismiss employees. In a statement, he called forthe maintenance of current exemptions to anti-discrimination law, and said attemptsto legislate same-sex marriage in Australia so far were”manifestly deficient” in protecting civil and religious freedoms. “The experience in countries where marriage has been redefined has been a quick and steady erosion of freedom of speech, conscience and belief,” Bishop Stead said. “The fact that promised safeguards for freedom of religion have quickly unravelled overseas should serve as a warning to Australians.” The US has seen a number of high-profile cases of employees being fired after wedding a same-sex partner, and the scenario was dramatised in the 2014 Ira Sachs film Love Is Strange. In June, former parish music director Colin Collette lost a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Chicagoafter he was fired upon becoming engaged to his male partner. Lyle Shelton, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby and one of the leading public campaigners for the “no” side, also defended the power of Christian organisations to dismiss staff who married a same-sex partner. “Religious organisations should have the same freedoms as political parties to ensure that staff share their ethos,” he said.

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August 20, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed

Australia’s gay marriage debate goes postal – Deutsche Welle

Australia is one of the least religious nations in the anglo-speaking world, less so than Catholic Ireland or the United States, which both allow same-sex marriage. Results of a 2016 census, made public only recently, have shown that “No Religion” is now the leading religion. So how does an irreligious nation home to the Sydney Mardi Gras, and one that polls suggest is broadly in favor of same sex marriage, tie itself in such knots? This non-binding vote on whether or not to allow same-sex marriage means that Parliament will not necessarily have to pass it into law. It may still vote on it afterwards. Unusually for Australia, voting will not be compulsory and the vote will be run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, not the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). Peter Brent, a research fellow at Melbourne’s Swinburne Institute for Social Research who writes on Australian politics, told DW that he saw it as “a malfunction in the political class, on the Labor side in particular… A plebiscite on same-sex marriage is unnecessary. It was something that Tony Abbott came up with to save his [leadership].” Though then-Prime Minister John Howard changed the words of the Marriage Act in 2004 to include ‘man’ and ‘woman’ Labor had six years in government to bring same-sex marriage into law. Read more:Australia scuttles gay marriage referendum A non-binding vote – with repercussions Catholic and conservative former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has long resisted same-sex marriage and put the idea of a plebiscite out to avoid a conscience vote in Parliament. The issue of legalizing gay marriage in Australia has triggered plenty of controversy Meanwhile, within the Liberal Party there is a distinct shift towardfavoring same-sex marriage. Tim Wilson is one such proponent. The openly gay MP from Melbourne has long argued for same-sex marriage. “The decision has been difficult to resolve because while Australians aren’t religiously conservative, but they are culturally conservative… Ultimately once the public was given the choice of having a public vote to resolve the issue people both frustrated by a failure to resolve it, and those opposed, have supported this pathway,” he told DW. One worry is that as the rules governing an AEC-run vote don’t apply hate speech and divisive ‘no’ campaigns might proliferate and have adamaging influence on young people. A study by the University of Queensland and the University of York found that only 23 percent of participants in Ireland’s 2015 gay marriage vote would want to go through the process again. The Australian Christian Lobby has called the children of gay parents the new ‘stolen generation,’ a reference to the generation of Indigenous children removed from their families and put into orphanages. Senator Penny Wong, a lesbian and Leader of the opposition in the Senate, gave a speech last week saying, “We love our children… It is (not unifying) exposing our children to that kind of hatred.” Different culture, different views Wong in 2008 stood by her government’s stance that the traditional concept of marriage would not be changed. “On the issue of marriage, I think the reality is there is a cultural, religious and historical view around that which we have to respect,” she said then. She, and Labor, now fully support the yes vote. Read more:Australia’s Labor Party rejects plebiscite on gay marriage, pushes for vote in parliament In May Australian tennis superstar and grand slam winner Margaret Court spoke against same-sex marriage, a position the evangelical Christian and founder of the Victory Life Center in Perth, has long held. Many swiftly suggested the tennis court named after her in Melbourne, home of the Australian Open, be renamed. The speed of her censure was remarkable. She wrote only last week in a newspaper letter, “let us vote no to gay marriage for the sake of Australia, our children and our children’s children.” Read more:Navratilova calls for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed Connections Nightclub, in Perth’s busy Northbridge, is the Southern Hemisphere’s longest running gay club. Michael Edwards, a Perth hairdresser and founder of the Facebook group Lost Gay Perth says he’s “really fed up” with the gay marriage debate and just wants the government to get on with it. “Either way we just want to know.” However, after coming out some 30 years ago he’s less worried about the effects of possible hate speech. Toughing it out “I’ve gotta tell you, we’re a tough lot. We’ve heard it all before, we’re resilient and we keep going.” Younger people, who’ve grown up a different way, may feel differently, he says. “They’ll hear things that are detrimental to their view of themselves.” Tim Wilson, a proponent of free speech who has been behind the scrapping of one section of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act, urges caution. “I think we have to be careful what we call hate speech. Hurtful things are said by people who should know better… Hurtful things will be said before and after a change in the law.” The question is now, barring a successful challenge in the High Court to block the vote, what answer the postal vote will yield. Brent believes that though voters would vote ‘yes’ in a random survey tomorrow, results would be different in a drawn out vote. “These things can become, in the minds of many voters, about something other than the question at hand… a chance to give the government of the day a bloody nose.”

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August 19, 2017   Posted in: Gay Marriage  Comments Closed


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