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Religious freedom

Catholic bishops face more than prosecution over marriage leaflet

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 Contents - Dec 2015AD2000 December 2015
Religious freedom: Catholic bishops face more than prosecution over marriage leaflet - Pat Byrne
Education: Religious education: parents' responsibility or school's? - Fr Pat Stratford
Apostolic voyage: Pope Francis supports Catholic church during Africa visit - AD2000 Report
Genocide: US religious leaders condemn ISIS genocide against Christians - Nahal Toosi
Germany: Pope Francis deplores decline of Catholicism in Germany - AD2000 Report
China: New clampdown on believers in China - Bernardo Cervellera
Religious freedom: Am I My Brother's Keeper? (Genesis 4:10) - Anne Lastman
Has the Messiah come or returned? - Andrew Sholl
Ordinariate Missal: "Divine Worship: The Missal" preserves Anglican patrimony - Fr James Bradley
St Clement's revealing Letter to the Corinthians - Peter Westmore
Letters: Euthanasia: letter to a PM - Arnold Jago
Letters: Synod outcome "led by the Holy Spirit"
Letters: Support religious freedom in India - Scott Schittl
Reflection: Christmas: a time of light, peace and joy - Archbishop Mark Coleridge

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Archbishop Julian Porteous are facing prosecution under Tasmania's anti-discrimination law after the Archbishop distributed the ACBC's leaflet, Don't Mess with Marriage.

Tasmania's Anti-Discrimination Act (S17) says: "A person must not engage in any conduct which offends, humiliates, insults or ridicules another person on the basis of" various attributes, including sexual orientation or gender identity.

This has brought the Church into conflict with the state for doing no more than stating the Church's moral teachings on sexuality and marriage.

The complaint has come from Martine Delaney, a transgender activist and Tasmanian Greens candidate.

While the outcome of the case is uncertain it may be conciliated Delaney's long press release (September 28, 2015) says he wants much more than an apology.


Delaney's wants the "Catholic Church in Tasmania to implement a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) awareness program for all staff and students within the Catholic education system..."; and says that "religious freedom must sometimes give way to law."

He is saying that the church must abandon its teaching on sex and marriage and teach what state law says is moral.

Delaney's demands represent part of the agenda being pursued by coercive sexual libertarians. It goes far beyond same-sex marriage.

They are pursuing a two-pronged legal attack on religion and family. They want to write sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) into anti-discrimination law and then redefine marriage to be "the union of any two people" with any two SOGIs.

Sexual orientation includes heterosexual, homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and intersex. Gender identity has an expanding list of possibilities. Facebook says there are about about 60 SOGIs.

SOGI has been written into several state anti-discrimination acts, and there was an attempt in 2012 to include SOGI in the failed attempt to consolidate all federal anti-discrimination laws.

If same-sex marriage was legalised, then it would become "the union of any two people". Where SOGI is also defined in law, then same-sex marriage becomes the union of any two people with any two SOGIs. That means that potentially, thousands of forms of marriage and definitions of family a transsexual male (like Martine Delaney) could be married to a "gender queer" male or female.

This radical agenda has profound implications for all areas of society, including sex education in schools. Once the law says that same-sex marriage and SOGI are normal and right, then all schools can be required to teach that all forms of marriage and family are normal and right.

In Canada, which has the most advanced SOGI agenda, Ontario's Accepting Schools Act (S.O. 2012 C.5.) compels Catholic schools to host "Gay-Straight Alliance" clubs, and to use that particular name.

"Safe Schools" program

In Australia, the GLBT-SOGI program is seen in the Safe Schools Coalition Australia program, which operates under the auspices of being an anti-gay bullying program. Its content is explicit and confronting. It is being used in over 450 primary and secondary schools.

Many Catholic dioceses have refused to have the program in their Catholic schools.

However, if same-sex marriage is legalised and SOGI written comprehensively into law, the failure of schools to teach what is legal and protected in law could see state funding of schools reduced to such schools.

There will be other pressures on schools and teaches. The Australian Education Union policy already says: "Homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism and intersex need to be normalised" in the education system.

This is all part of a much wider agenda to use the power of the state to enforce a whole new set of sexual norms on society. This agenda is represented by the article "LGBT Rights in Australia" on Wikipedia, which outlines the extensive range of legal changes being steadily made as part of the agenda to force SOGI and same-sex marriage onto all Australians.

Their agenda aims to normalise gay, lesbian, transsexual, bisexual and self-declared sexual identities, by: recognising de facto homosexual relationships; registered civil unions; granting homosexuals access to IVF, surrogacy, fostering and adoption of children; removing from the birth certificates of these children the names of the biological parents and replacing them with the names of the homosexual custodial parents.


These changes to various laws changes will create conflict between the state and the Church. However, the scale of the conflict escalates if same-sex marriage is legalised. Then the law would protect and normalise marriage of two people with any combination of SOGIs.

This will happen particularly if more federal and state parliaments follow Tasmania and declare it an offence to engage in any conduct that offends, humiliates, insults or ridicules another person on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).

This agenda will affect not only schools, but also the operation of church based youth groups, welfare and counselling agencies, aged care and accommodation agencies, fostering and adoption agencies, and even parishes.

If a LGBT activist group forms in a parish, will it be allowed access to church facilities, inclusion in parish activities and liturgy?

Same-sex marriage is revolutionary. It's part of a coercive sexual libertarian ideology.

Paul Kelly, The Australian's editor at large, suggests that same-sex marriage is really part of an ideological agenda. Kelly says: "Is it merely to allow gays to marry? Or is its ultimate purpose to impose 'marriage equality' across the entire society, civil and religious? Ideologies do not normally stop at the halfway mark." (The Australian, July 11, 2015)

Brendan O'Neill, the UK editor of Spiked, describes this as "the weaponisation of homosexuality", or more precisely the weaponisation of SOGI. O'Neill says it is

"the transformation of ... [SOGI] by sections of the political and media classes into the focal point for the expression of hostility to the straight world which means not just people who are sexually straight, but also so-called straight culture and straight values, straightlacedness itself, ways of life that are based on commitment, privacy, familial sovereignty, things that tend to be viewed by the modern cultural clerisy as outdated or, worse, dangerous and destructive.

"And because this is fundamentally about eradicating old moral values and enforcing new ones, it constantly verges on being coercive, expressing a hostility towards its opponents that tends to treat them, not simply as wrong or pesky, but as actual blocks, as 'ideological enemies', to the elite's attempted enforcement of a new moral outlook." (Spiked, April 30, 2014)

This ideology has supporters in all the major political parties, law and human rights lobby groups, many major companies including the banks, unions, schools, universities and some churches.


The struggle against coercive sexual libertarianism will be as long and intense as the struggle against communism.

This two-pronged SOGI and same-sex marriage agenda could cost the Church untold millions in court cases, lost government contracts and funding to church agencies.

1. Bishops, priests, nuns, brothers and laity could face many more prosecutions for teaching Catholic moral theology of the body and marriage, which runs counter to the SOGI agenda.

2. Church schools and agencies stand to lose government contracts and funding, and/or face prosecution, and closure of some agencies, if:

• Catholic schools do not teach SOGI and same-sex marriage as normal, or employ LGBT activists as teachers. One must expect parents who support same-sex marriage, or trade unions representing school employees, to take schools to court;

• the states legalise same-sex adoption, with no exemptions for church agencies;

• church foster-care programs refuse to foster children to same-sex couples;

• church counselling agencies refuse to treat SOGI and same-sex marriage as normal;

• church-run kids companion programs matching a volunteer with young people affected by disability for recreational and social activities refuse to match children with gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals;

• church agencies providing accommodation services for the homeless don't provide shared accommodation for LGBT couples (this is already required for residence in aged care);

• church agencies operating and managing public housing for the government don't provide shared accommodation for LGBT couples;

• youth and well-being outreach agencies managed/operated by church agencies for the government don't provide fostering arrangements for LGBT couples.

3. Parishes could face legal action if they do not accommodate LGBT activist groups in the parish, providing them access to facilities, representation on parish committees, involvement in the liturgy and access to the sacraments.

Also, many lay people will face workplace discipline, loss of contracts, loss of employment, loss of professional licence, prosecution for non-compliance and many other forms of discrimination. In other countries people are being prosecuted, including civil celebrants, bakers, photographers, teachers and owners of reception centres.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 28 No 11 (December 2015 - January 2016), p. 1

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