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Thread: No More Legalised Discrimination

  1. #1
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    Default No More Legalised Discrimination

    The Atheist Foundation of Australia was today horrified to read that the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal handed down its decision to allow the Wesley Mission the right to continue discriminating against homosexual Australians who are willing to provide foster homes to children in need.

    Despite receiving vast government benefits and taxpayer money, the Wesley Mission and other Christian religions are legally allowed to discriminate against gay people who are putting themselves forward to help care for orphaned and abandoned children.

    “While there are children requiring much needed loving homes, and that these homes and families are available, the Church may refuse the good willed applicants on the basis of their sexual orientation,” David Nicholls, President of the Atheist Foundation of Australia, said.

    “The majority of Australian citizens agree that discriminating on the basis of religious belief is no longer acceptable in this day and age.

    “And where is the morality in the fact that the Catholic Church can be happy about circumventing democratic principles?” Mr Nicholls added.

    Most revealing were the comments publicly made by the Tribunal decision makers outlining that they were effectively bound by the broad exemptions of the Anti-Discrimination Act, and that Parliament may wish to revise those laws.

    The NSW Parliament must act urgently and quickly to revise the anti-discrimination laws that allow this unjust law to continue.

    Media Contact:

    David Nicholls
    President
    Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
    Private Mail Bag 6
    MAITLAND SA 5573

    Ph: (08) 8835 2269

    Email: info@atheistfoundation.org.au
    Web: http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au
    Forum: http://atheistfoundation.org.au/forums/
    Convention: http://www.atheistconvention.org.au
    Facebook: http://facebook.com/atheistfoundation
    Twitter: http://twitter/atheistaus

    Link http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/media-releases/government-must-act-now-protect-rights-ordinary-australians-no-more-legalised-discrim
    Last edited by Lee; 29th December 2010 at 11:09 AM.



  2. #2

    Default Re: No More Legalised Discrimination

    As a current resident of New South Wales I am also dismayed to hear about this. Religious people are no special than people who believe in Santa Claus or the Loch Ness monster; they do not deserve any special exemptions.

    The church is a private business, albeit a corrupt and corrupting one. It deserves to be treated like any other large enterprise, with no tax or discrimination exceptions.

    Either that, or give everybody the same tax exemptions and anti-discrimination laws.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: No More Legalised Discrimination

    Quote Crocodile said View Post
    As a current resident of New South Wales I am also dismayed to hear about this. Religious people are no special than people who believe in Santa Claus or the Loch Ness monster; they do not deserve any special exemptions.

    The church is a private business, albeit a corrupt and corrupting one. It deserves to be treated like any other large enterprise, with no tax or discrimination exceptions.

    Either that, or give everybody the same tax exemptions and anti-discrimination laws.
    *sniff* beautifully said Croc.



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    Default Re: No More Legalised Discrimination

    It should be a requirement that parliamentarians should have to face vigourous questioning and the obligation should be on them to prove the case of exemption from discrimination laws.
    Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifiable hypotheses to destruction.

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    Default Re: No More Legalised Discrimination

    Nice response.

  6. #6
    Logic please's Avatar
    Logic please is offline Some need an imaginary wingman Super Moderator
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    Default Re: No More Legalised Discrimination

    Thanks for the OP, completely agree with the AFA media release.

    I've had a quick read of the "Wesley Mission" case trancript, and it struck me that this case seemed to turn on a Uniting Church claim that there was no central "doctrinal determination" about homosexuality, so individual congregations were able to make their own determination:

    36 (in part)... because the Uniting Church has decided not to make a doctrinal determination on the issue of homosexuality and leadership, whether to appoint a homosexual leader is an issue that local congregations can determine on the basis of their own conscience and guidance.
    Wesley Mission et al being treated as a "parish congregation" in its own right, allowed them to come up with this locally-developed edict:

    56 Consistent with what I say in paragraph 54 above, Wesley Mission's tradition views a monogamous heterosexual partnership in marriage as the ideal family role model for the vulnerable and sometimes damaged children we foster. Other understandings fall short of that norm. In foster care, we believe that the needs of the children in care are more important than the needs of foster carers.
    And it seems their selfish religious "needs" trump the needs of children, potential carers and everyone else

    Perhaps Wesley Mission's conduct should also be tested against the "false and misleading" provisions of the Trade Practices Act - as their only advertising I'm aware of, trumpets their good humanitarian works, and "forgets" to mention that provision of these is ultimately subject to their raison d'etre - propogation of their chosen religious messages.

    IMHO, society is fast approaching a sticking point - in striving for true non-discrimination, some religious toes are going to need to be trampled on, because any further progress will be in direct conflict with tightly-held religious beliefs. The same-sex marriage issue is probably at a similar juncture. Does society go with evidence and the law? Or will it cave in to their special interest pleading, and by extension, impose their doctrines on everyone else?

    BTW, it seems that atheism also got dragged into this, and not in a good way:

    Q. But an atheist can be approved, assessed and approved as a foster carer?
    A. As you said yourself we don’t ask religious questions and an atheist is a very committed religious position of non religion so I don’t know that we would ever really ever say, are you a – anymore, “Are you an atheist,” than “Are you a Christian?” (my emphasis)
    As well as objecting to the oxymoron, I don't like seeing atheists or atheism "verballed", both fundamentally incorrectly, and in a way completely unnecessary to actually answer the question posed.

    Diosclaimer: I'm not a legal expert, so please don't read any legal advice or expertise into the above.
    *Gods* are not only a legal fiction, but a fiction in every way. Just ask the nearest hippie...

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    Default Re: No More Legalised Discrimination

    Quote Logic please said View Post
    Thanks for the OP, completely agree with the AFA media release.

    I've had a quick read of the "Wesley Mission" case trancript, and it struck me that this case seemed to turn on a Uniting Church claim that there was no central "doctrinal determination" about homosexuality, so individual congregations were able to make their own determination:

    36 (in part)... because the Uniting Church has decided not to make a doctrinal determination on the issue of homosexuality and leadership, whether to appoint a homosexual leader is an issue that local congregations can determine on the basis of their own conscience and guidance.
    Interesting. A key issue with Christians views about homosexuality and homosexuals is their very very false proposition that homosexuality is a choice, and their failure to grasp the reality it is innate / hard-wired in almost all cases - in a Christian sense it is "god-given".

    Q. But an atheist can be approved, assessed and approved as a foster carer?
    A. ... an atheist is a very committed religious position of non religion
    A good example of the "thinking" of the religious being fixed in a doctrinal sense: as Logic please points out - "doctrinal determination".
    Belief means literally to love one's opinion more than the actual reality

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    simonecuttlefish's Avatar
    simonecuttlefish is offline I could forgive the atrocities of the monster called God without filicide.
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    Default Re: No More Legalised Discrimination

    Something else that concerns me here, is there seems to be a gradual building of a case for voluntary submission to Sharia law courts. England already has multiple recognised Sharia law courts dealing with non criminal cases due a loophole created to allow orthodox Jews access to religiously sensitive legal dealings. Given that under Sharia law women are "worth" half of a man in terms of evidence and compensation there is a lot to be disturbed about when religions gets the "right" to special pleading, and are effectively allowed to break the law.
    I have no requirement for the supernatural or magic to explain anything, finding purpose in life other than trying to enjoy it, fantasies to explain wonder, fear that reason might trivialise me, or demand of wonders greater than those that are evident.



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    Default Re: No More Legalised Discrimination

    So we don't actually have an Anti-Discrimination law, it's a selective Discrimination law
    “The figures looked more or less human. And they were engaged in religion. You could tell by the knives (it's not murder if you do it for a god).”
    ― Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

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    Default Re: No More Legalised Discrimination

    When as a society will we stop allowing our women and children to be used as pawns in church agendas? And can someone please explain just what is supposed to be wrong with those in our society that we call homosexual? I really dont understand. And why is that the first way they are labelled?

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