Anti-Discrimination Laws

Attorney General Robert McClelland and Minister for Finance and Deregulation Penny Wong launched a public discussion paper on Sept 22, 2011 to seek community views on the consolidation of Federal antidiscrimination laws. Senator Wong said: “As part of this project, the Government is also delivering on its commitment to introduce prohibitions on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The Australian Sex Party is drafting a submission and has Christians in its sights. It is calling for people to come to them with stories of religious groups that have discriminated against them based on their sexuality and is asking people to comment on whether they think religions should be allowed to discriminate. They want to include these stories in their submission.

 For discussion paper: http://www.ag.gov.au/antidiscrimination

Submissions should be sent to the Attorney-General’s Department via email: antidiscrimination@ag.gov.au (preferred method), fax: 02 6141 4925 or mailed to:

Assistant Secretary
International Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Branch
Attorney-General’s Department
Robert Garran Offices
3-5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600

The submissions will inform the development of exposure draft legislation, which will be released for further public consultation in early 2012. Submissions on the discussion paper can be made until 1 February 2012.

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POSTED 23 Dec 2011
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Victorian Rights Charter

The Church and doctors want Victoria’s charter of human rights overhauled to protect the rights of unborn children and the rights of health professionals to object to abortions, reports Farrah Tomazin, 24 July 2011, in the Age. Full story: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/doctors-church-want-rights-charter-extended-to-unborn-20110723-1hubt.html

Or: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=27356

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POSTED 15 Aug 2011
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UN First

The Human Rights Council of the United Nations has passed the first-ever resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity. The resolution was presented by South Africa and Brazil. It was based by a vote of 23 in favour to 19 against and 3 abstaining. The resolution was co-sponsored by Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and 36 other countries. It is the first UN resolution to bring specific focus to “human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity”. For press release: http://www.ishr.ch/council/428-council-not-in-feed/1098-human-rights-council-adopts-landmark-resolution-on-lgbt-rights

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POSTED 2 Jul 2011
CAT Events
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Child Rights

The Australian Human Rights Commissioner Catherine Branson has called for a national Children’s Commissioner to be established which would raise awareness of the importance of children’s rights. She says: “Children are often voiceless in mainstream society and hold little power in our political process.” Her comments on Nov 19, 2010 coincided with the 20th anniversary of Australia’s adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. For press release: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/about/media/media_releases/2010/114_10.html

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POSTED 4 Dec 2010
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Human Rights Talk

This year’s United Nations Association of Australia (WA) Human Rights Day Address will be given by The Honourable Robert Hill on the topic: Human Right and Justice for all… the Global Agenda. It will be held 8 Dec 2010@6-7pm at the Social Sciences Lecture Theatre, UWA. For more see: http://events.uwa.edu.au/event/20101109T031657Z-790-29115@events.uwa.edu.au/whatson/publicaffairs

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POSTED 4 Dec 2010
CAT Events

Tasmanian Human Rights Charter

Tasmania’s Attorney General Lara Giddings has launched “A charter of human rights and responsibilities for Tasmania.” It includes a model charter and consultation questions.

For details on the charter and consultation times see: http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/corporateinfo/projects/human_rights_charter

The department of justice will be visiting all areas of the state including: in Queenstown, 2 Nov; Ulverstone, Nov 3; Burnie, Nov 3; Hobart, 9,10 Nov. For list of places see: http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/corporateinfo/projects/human_rights_charter

Action: Saltshakers asks people to write a submission on the discussion paper. The deadline is 29 Nov, 2010. Send to: Dale Webster, Project Manager: legislation.development@justice.tas.gov.au or mail

GPO Box 825
Hobart, TAS 7001

Action: Saltshakers asks people to attend a consultation meeting to have your say.

Action: Saltshakers asks people to pray about this development.

Action: If you don’t live in Tasmania, Saltshakers asks that you send to your Tasmanian contacts and ask them to act!

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POSTED 30 Oct 2010
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Rights Agenda

The Australian Attorney-General, Robert McClelland has reintroduced The Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Bill 2010 and the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2010. The bills will establish a Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights that will ensure all new bills are compatible with Australia’s international human rights treaties.

For more on the Bills: http://christiangleanings.com/2010/06/stealth-human-rights-bill/

In addition, the Sex and Age Discrimination Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 was introduced to create a stand alone Age Discrimination Commissioner.

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POSTED 17 Oct 2010

Canada Campaign

ARPA Canada has launched the ‘Stand Up for Freedom Canada Campaign.’ ARPA Canada has been preparing a large new campaign with the purpose of educating the public about Canada’s human rights commissions and how they are increasingly replacing our fundamental freedoms (speech, conscience, religion etc) with a new set of demands that they call “human rights.” For more on campaign: http://arpacanada.ca/index.php/events/1068-arpa-events-bc-a-ontario

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POSTED 13 Oct 2010
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Rights Agenda

A June 9, 2010 report in the Sydney Morning Herald by Paul Sheehan said that the Fed Govt was introducing a stealth version of the charter of human rights. The Govt said in May it would not introduce a Human Rights Bill. However, in early June it tabled the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Bill 2010 which is designed to increase the parliamentary scrutiny of legislation. If passed by parliament, the bill will establish a new Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights which will be responsible for making sure that all new bills introduced into Parliament are compatible with Australia’s international human rights treaties. Saltshakers has expressed concern with the legislation. However, the Australian Christian Lobby and the Human Rights Commission welcomed the bill.

For SMH article: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/rudds-electoral-cracks-about-to-open-further-20100609-xugc.html?autostart=1

For ACL comments: http://australianchristianlobby.org.au/2010/06/a-g-introduces-human-rights-scrutiny-laws/

HR Commission comments: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/about/media/media_releases/2010/52_10.html

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POSTED 29 Jun 2010

Tassie Greens

The ACL reports in its June 24 e-news that the Tasmanian Attorney-General, Lara Giddings, has indicated a progressive law reform agenda which includes legalising euthanasia, a charter of rights, introducing surrogacy laws and ‘reforming’ sex industry laws. The ACL Tasmanian Director Nick Overton said he was concerned that the Govt was promoting the Green party agenda.

For ACL media statement: http://australianchristianlobby.org.au/2010/06/acl-questions-greens%E2%80%99-influence-on-tasmanian-government%E2%80%99s-euthanasia-stance/

For Lara Giddings agenda statement: http://www.media.tas.gov.au/release.php?id=29810

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POSTED 29 Jun 2010
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