MR: Poll shows no election mandate for same-sex marriage

MEDIA RELEASE

For release: Saturday 14th September 2013

Changing the Marriage Act was a low order issue with voters at last Saturday’s election according to a poll conducted this week for the Australian Christian Lobby.

Just 13 per cent of voters said it was in their top three issues when deciding who to vote for with the issue rating 9th overall out of 13 issues put to 927 respondents.

According to the poll conducted by JWS Research, same-sex marriage made the top three list of just 4pc of Coalition voters. It was not a top three issue for 72pc of Greens and 85pc of Labor voters.

ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the poll confirmed what MPs have been saying for the past three years in Parliament.

“During the many same-sex marriage debates in the last Parliament MPs consistently said same-sex marriage was simply not a priority for people in their electorates. Despite Kevin Rudd and Labor elevating the issue to front and centre of the election campaign, this sentiment has not changed,” Mr Shelton said.

“Same-sex marriage had an extremely high media profile during the election and yet it still failed to register as an important issue for the overwhelming majority of voters.

“The fact that Kevin Rudd made it an election issue and lost so convincingly,  and these figures of just 4pc of Coalition voters supporting same sex marriage, mean Tony Abbott must maintain support for man-woman marriage as a party policy,” Mr Shelton said.

The poll also found support for changing the Marriage Act had slipped dramatically. Most polls had shown around 63pc support for same-sex marriage but the JWS poll found just 45pc of people thought the Marriage Act should be changed.

Thirty-eight per cent of people were opposed to law change with 17pc undecided.

“Despite years of high-profile campaigning and the demonising of those speaking up for man-woman marriage, support for changing the Marriage Act appears to be slipping,” Mr Shelton said.

MR: Same-sex marriage not a vote winner

MEDIA RELEASE

For release: Sunday 8th September 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby congratulates the Coalition on its election win and says it demonstrates that despite the incredibly high profile during the campaign of same-sex marriage, it was not a vote winner for Labor.

“It is clear that changing the definition of marriage is not something that defined the way Australians voted despite Labor’s high-profile campaigning on it and strong support for it in the media,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said.

“Australia has an opportunity now to move on from this debate but if same-sex marriage activists persist in the new Parliament, it should go back to the people again for the ultimate conscience vote in a referendum,” Mr Shelton said.



Read more

MR: ACL urges Coalition to rethink ISP filtering

MEDIA RELEASE

For release: Friday 6th September 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby is urging the Coalition to rethink its opposition to internet filtering, Managing Director Lyle Shelton said.

“Initially we were heartened to hear that the Coalition had come to the position that only two months ago that British Prime Minister David Cameron had come to - that internet filtering was a necessary government intervention to protect children from exposure to pornography,” he said.

“For a fleeting moment last night it looked like the Coalition was in agreement with its colleagues in the UK.”



Read more

Candidates in electorate of Oxley, Queensland address voters at ACL's Meet Your Candidate Forum

MYCF Oxley 3Last night, ACL held its final 'Meet Your Candidate' forum (MYCF) in the Queensland electorate of Oxley. The electorate covers the south western suburbs of Brisbane, as well as part of the city of Ipswich. It has the state's second highest proportion of children aged 0-4 (8.3%) and the state's highest proportion of couple households with dependent children (41.8%). Approximately 45 people attended the event.



Read more

ACL's Lyle Shelton writes in Online Opinion

IMG_5881The Australian Christian Lobby's Managing Director Lyle Shelton (pictured left) has written an opinion piece, first published in Online Opinion, entitled Same-sex marriage should go to the people. 

Below is a copy of the opinion piece. You can also read it on the Online Opinion website here.



Read more

MR: Coalition pledge to cut aid deeply disappointing

MEDIA RELEASE

For release: Thursday 5th September 2013

The Coalition’s decision today to cut $4.7 billion from overseas aid is deeply disappointing, according to Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton.

“I think Australians are generally proud of the fact that we have been increasing our aid to the world’s poor in recent years,” Mr Shelton said.

“Under the Coalition’s plan, we’ll now build better roads for ourselves with money that could have helped keep kids alive in countries where sealed roads are a luxury,” Mr Shelton said.



Read more

In the media - a wrap up of the last week's commentary


In the last week, the ACL has been quoted in the media on issues such as marriage, and its Make it Count 2013 Election Panel webcast which was held on Monday 2nd September. See below for links to mentions in the media.



Read more

Candidates in electorate of Longman, Qld address voters at ACL's 'Meet Your Candidate' Forum

MYCF LongmanLast night, ACL held a 'Meet Your Candidate' forum (MYCF) in Queensland's electorate of Longman, which covers much of the Moreton Bay region, including the former Caboolture Shire and some of the former Pine Rivers. Over 110 people attended, many of whom were pastors in the district. The event was supported by the Caboolture District Ministers Network.



Read more

Candidates in electorate of La Trobe, Vic address voters at ACL's Meet Your Candidate Forum

MYCF La Trobe 2013On Tuesday 3rd September, ACL conducted another 'Meet Your Candidate' forum in Victoria, in the marginal electorate of La Trobe. The seat includes diverse areas such as Beaconsfield, Ferntree Gully, Belgrave, Cockatoo, Emerald and Mount Dandenong. Over 100 people attended the event, held at Beaconsfield Baptist Church.



Read more

ACL and Christians respond to the Prime Minister's comments about gay marriage

ACL's Managing Director Lyle Shelton feature on ABC TV News last night on the Prime Minister's comments on gay marriage following his appearance on the ABC1's Q and A on Monday night.

You can watch the news report which featured Mr Shelton along with Pastor Matt Prater and Sydney Anglican Archbishop Glenn Davies. Click this link to watch the news story. LyleSheltonABCNews2Sept13

Mr Shelton was also interviewed by the ABC's Marius Benson yesterday morning on ABC's News Radio. Listen here.

Candidates in electorate of Casey, Vic address voters at ACL's Meet Your Candidate Forum

Meet the Candidate 2013 MDy-13Last Thursday 29th August, ACL conducted another 'Meet Your Candidate' forum in Victoria, in the electorate of Casey. The seat includes regions such as Olinda, Croydon and Montrose. Over 140 people attended the event.



Read more

Photos from last night's Make it Count 2013 Election Panel webcast

Below are some images of ACL's election webcast which was held last night.

webcast 1

 

webcast 2

 



Read more

The Prime Minister and Opposition Leader's pre-recorded video message to Christians

At last night's Make it Count 2013 Election Panel webcast the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott gave a 3 minute address to the Christian constituency.



ACL's Make it Count 2013 Election Panel webcast now available online


Make It Count 2013 from Australian Christian Lobby on Vimeo.

Last night, ACL conducted its premier election event, the Make it Count 2013 Election Panel webcast, which is now available for you to watch online. Click on the video above or watch it on Vimeo here.



Read more

Candidates in electorate of Lilley, Qld address voters at ACL's Meet Your Candidate Forum

MYCF LilleyLast night, ACL held a 'Meet Your Candidate' forum (MYCF) in the Queensland electorate of Lilley, which includes areas such as Ascot, Hamilton, Sandgate, Brighton, and Pinkenba. Eighty people attended the event.



Read more

In the media - a wrap up of the last week's commentary

In the last week, the ACL has been quoted in the media on issues such as euthanasia in Tasmania, ACL's Meet Your Candidate forums in Queensland, the launch of ACL's iPhone app, ACL's federal election questionnaire, and the Make it Count 2013 Election Panel webcast. See below for links to mentions in the media.

On the Meet Your Candidate forum in the electorate of Fairfax, Queensland:




Read more

Candidates in electorate of Deakin, Vic address voters at ACL's Meet Your Candidate Forum

MYCF Deakin 3On Tuesday 27th August, ACL held a 'Meet Your Candidate' forum (MYCF) in the electorate of Deakin in Victoria, which includes the suburbs of Burwood East, Croydon, Forest Hill, Heathmont, Mitcham & Ringwood.

The seat is held by Labor by a margin of 0.6%, making it the second most marginal seat in Australia. Over 100 people attended the event.



Read more

MR: New iPhone app takes activism to next level

ACL iPhone App out now


MEDIA RELEASE

For release: Wednesday, 28th August 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby is pleased to launch an iPhone App that it hopes will revolutionise online political activism.

ACL’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the app has been six months in the making and will make it easier for people to get in touch with parliamentarians.

“Based on users’ data, the app identifies their local MP and how they can reach them,” he said.



Read more

Lyle Shelton on the Political Spot about political parties' responses to election questionnaire

Lyle-Shelton-150x150Lyle Shelton is the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he talks about political parties' responses to the election questionnaire the ACL has put to political parties.  The questions and responses can be read on australiavotes.org.au The interview with Mr Shelton can be listened to here.

Candidates in electorate of Fairfax, Qld address voters at ACL's Meet Your Candidate Forum

fairfax 2Last night, ACL held a 'Meet Your Candidate' forum (MYCF) in the electorate of Fairfax in Queensland, a region to the North of Brisbane consisting of areas such as Nambour, Coolum, Maroochydoore, Montville, and Kenilworth. It has been a safe seat for the Liberal Party since the 1990s. Over 160 people attended the event.

The purpose of a MYCF is to give voters the opportunity to meet and question candidates in their electorate about issues of most concern to them, and to gain a greater understanding of their values and priorities so they can make an informed vote on election day. It also gives Christians the opportunity to engage with and contribute to the political process.



Read more

MR: Prime Minister and Opposition Leader to address Christians at webcast event

MEDIA RELEASE

For release: Tuesday August 27th 2013

ACL is pleased to announce that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will address Christians at the Make it Count 2013 Election Panel webcast via video message on Monday September 2nd, 2013.

ACL’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the 3 minute pre-recorded video messages from each leader will be played at the start of the webcast and provide the basis for subsequent discussion by the panel.



Read more

Candidates in electorate of Forde, Qld address voters at ACL's Meet Your Candidate Forum

MYCF FordeOn Friday 23rd August, ACL conducted a 'Meet Your Candidate' forum (MYCF) in the electorate of Forde, Queensland, which includes areas such as Boonah, Beenleigh, Beaudesert and Loganlea. Approximately 80 people attended.

The purpose of a MYCF is to give voters the opportunity to meet and question candidates in their electorate about issues of most concern to them, and to gain a greater understanding of their values and priorities so they can make an informed vote on election day. It also gives Christians the opportunity to engage with and contribute to the political process.



Read more

ACL releases political parties’ answers to federal election questionnaire

MEDIA RELEASE

Monday, 26th August 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby says voters can be better informed at this election with the release of the parties’ responses on http://www.Australiavotes.org.au to 22 questions put to them by the Australian Christian Lobby.

ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the parties were asked questions in relation to issues of poverty, international justice, youth and education, family, indigenous welfare, environment, justice, and public Christianity.

He said the key points of differences between Labor and the Coalition related to treatment of charities and not-for-profits, overseas aid, marriage, national curriculum, environmental sustainability and freedom of religion.



Read more

Political parties fail to raise issue of homelessness in Australia

homelessnessThe federal election campaign has raised issues like marriage, paid parental leave, cracking down on people smugglers, and managing the federal budget. What there fails to have been is a serious discussion on the state of poverty and homelessness across our nation.

The ACL places a strong emphasis on changing the state of poverty and justice in Australia through public policy; as Christians, we are called to be "generous to the poor" (Proverbs 19:17) and to "give to the needy" (Luke 12:33).

This week, the Pastor of a church in Sydney's Kings Cross urged the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott to focus more on the needs of the unemployed and homeless during this election campaign. In an interview with ABC News' Sally Sara, he says the most vulnerable in our society, including the homeless and asylum seekers, are being dehumanised by the level of fear in the current political debate, and that more and more, we are becoming a country with no heart.



Read more

Candidates in electorate of Fisher, Qld address voters at ACL's Meet Your Candidate Forum


On Tuesday 20th August, ACL conducted a 'Meet Your Candidate' forum (MYCF) in the electorate of Fisher, Queensland. The electorate includes towns such as Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Woodford and Maleny. Approximately 150 people attended.

The purpose of a MYCF is to give voters the opportunity to meet and question candidates in their electorate about issues of most concern to them, and to gain a greater understanding of their values and priorities so they can make an informed vote on election day. It also gives Christians the opportunity to engage with and contribute to the political process.

Nine out of the ten candidates running in the electorate of Fisher attended the MYCF. These were:

  • Peter Slipper MP - Independent Federal Member for Fisher

  • Garry Claridge - Fisher candidate for the Australian Greens

  • Bill Schoch - Fisher candidate for the Palmer United Party

  • Mal Brough - Liberal National Party candidate for Fisher

  • Tony Moore - Family First candidate for Fisher

  • Mark Meldon - Fisher candidate for Katter's Australian Party

  • Bill Gissane - Labor candidate for Fisher

  • Rod Christensen - Fisher candidate for the Rise Up Australia Party

  • Jarreau Terry - Independent candidate for Fisher




Read more

Euthanasia on the election agenda of some parties

EuthanasiaIn any election campaign euthanasia is usually an issue under debate just outside the main campaign of the major parties.

ACL has long advocated for valuing human life in a caring society and for the improvement of palliative care services. Legalising euthanasia is a unjust means of putting the onus on vulnerable people to prematurely end their lives.

The Australian Greens last week announced they will introduce legislation in the next parliament to legalise euthanasia. The following day, controversial euthanasia advocate Dr Phillip Nitschke argued in The Canberra Times that euthanasia should be considered on the basis of economics; that granting older Australians the right to end their life would help relieve the health budget. Dr Nitschke is the co-founder of the new Voluntary Euthanasia Party and is standing as a candidate for the ACT Senate in the forthcoming election. The party's preferences will flow to the Greens.



Read more

In the media - a wrap up of the last week's commentary

In the last week, the ACL has been quoted in the media on ACL's Meet Your Candidate forums (MYCF) in Queensland and Victoria, in light of the upcoming federal election. See below for links to mentions in the media.

On the MYCF in Victoria's La Trobe electorate:




Read more

Election statement: Christian school group explores the primary purpose of education

One of the groups representing independent Christian schools is Associated Christian Schools in Queensland.

Their executive officer Lynne Doneley has put together a federal election statement which parents of children in Christian schools may be interested to read.

Click here to read the article.

A key question Lynne explores in a very thoughtful way is what is the primary purpose of education? Is just to prepare kids for a job, or is there a high purpose?

New education curriculum undermining Christianity



Kevin Donnelly is a prominent commentator on education issues in Australia.

He has expressed concern about Christianity being undermined by the new national curriculum. This is a concern ACL shares.

We commend this election piece he has written for the Quadrant website. He also has a website for his education think tank, the Education Standards Institute.



Read more

PM tries to address religious freedom worry in marriage debate

PM & Abbott 2nd leaders debateBy Lyle Shelton, ACL Managing Director

It may be that the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is concerned his new-found position on marriage is hurting his standing with Christians.

At last night’s “peoples’ forum” debate with Tony Abbott in Brisbane, the two leaders were again asked for their positions on same-sex marriage.

It was interesting that Mr Rudd went straight to concerns about religious freedom in his answer saying the church should never have to conduct same-sex weddings.

The church was not even mentioned in the question.

After years of defending man-woman marriage, Mr Rudd reiterated his new view that there could be two systems of marriage: civil same-sex marriage and church-based marriage that excluded homosexuals.

But what then does the “marriage equality” campaign mean if churches do not have to provide “marriage equality”?



Read more

Bishop Suriel on the Political Spot about conflict in Egypt

Coptic Bishop SurielHis Grace Bishop Suriel is from the Coptic Orthodox Church in Australia. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he talks about the recent attacks on Copts in Egypt. Click the button below or here to listen.

Toby Hall on the Political Spot about Mission Australia's election statement

Toby Hall is the CEO of Mission Australia. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he talks about Mission Australia's election statement and particularly in relation to welfare reform and homelessness. Click the button below or here to listen.

Dr Yvonne Luxford on Political Spot about Palliative Care Australia's election statement

Dr Yvonne Luxford is the CEO of Palliative Care Australian. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman she discusses Palliative Care Australia's election statement. Click on button below or here to listen to interview.

How abortion is a federal issue

This blog recently featured Paul O’Rourke’s outpouring of anger about abortion. The Emily’s Voice CEO’s anger flowed at the misinformation being spread as Tasmania moves closer to legalising abortion. It is a righteous anger at injustice against society’s most vulnerable members, and at the lack of true concern for the women facing these situations.

But what does this have to do with a national election? Isn’t abortion a state issue?

While the laws regulating abortion are determined at state level, abortion is still a federal issue in some important ways.



Read more

In the media - a wrap up of the last week's commentary

In the last week, the ACL has been quoted in the media on issues such as the upcoming federal election, marriage, and plans to ban sexualised advertising in Melbourne. See below for links to mentions in the media.

On marriage:




Read more

Candidates in electorate of Blair, Queensland address voters at ACL's Meet Your Candidate forum

LNP Blair DebateLast night, the ACL conducted a 'Meet Your Candidate' forum (MYCF) in the electorate of Blair, a marginal Labor seat (4.2%) in Queensland which includes parts of Ipswich and the Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley regions. There were 106 people who attended, which included a number of church leaders from the electorate, as well as members of the community organisation Ipswich Awakening.

The purpose of a MYCF is to give voters the opportunity to meet and question candidates in their electorate about issues of most concern to them, and to gain a greater understanding of their values and priorities so they can make an informed vote on election day. It also gives Christians the opportunity to engage with and contribute to the political process.



Read more

MR: Labor-Green preference deal would damage Labor's senate candidates

MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday 14th August 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby is urging the Labor Party to be on a unity ticket with the Coalition in not giving preferences to the Greens.

ACL’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton welcomed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s announcement to preference Greens candidates last in the lower house and urged Labor to do likewise – particularly in the senate.



Read more

Dr Joanna Howe on the Political Spot about adoption in Australia

Joanna_HoweDr Joanna Howe is Women's Forum Australia (WFA) spokeswoman. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman she talks about the low number of adoptions in Australia - in 2011/12 financial year there were 333 adoptions in Australia - and how WFA has decided to launch a research project and education campaign into the barriers towards adoption in Australia.

Time to get mad, really mad


By Paul O'Rourke, CEO of Emily's Voice.


The anger isn’t new, but the recent intensity of my rage has shocked even me. It’s always there, sitting just below the surface, rising and falling like the molten rock in an active volcano, bursting to life in response to seismic shifts in society. I like to think it’s usually a controlled and measured righteous indignation, but sometimes my white-hot anger is out-of-control, fuelled by my utter frustration and a despairing disbelief that society can be so blind to the damage that abortion causes women, children, relationships and, ultimately, society. Our colossal stupidity to this fact constantly astounds me. Abortion is a national tragedy; it's by any objective measure inhuman, disturbing, barbaric, illogical, unjust and a crime against the weak and vulnerable, the very ones a civilised and caring society is meant to protect. 

Read more

Of all the big election issues, PM puts same-sex marriage in spotlight

By Lyle Shelton, ACL Managing Director

The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd went out of his way last night to push same-sex marriage to the forefront of the election campaign.

After one hour debating Tony Abbott on issues such as the economy, asylum seekers, aged care, climate change and Sydney’s airport, the final question from moderator David Speers of Sky News was on same-sex marriage.

Mr Rudd obviously saw it coming and had an announcement – the only one of the night – ready to go. (This story foreshadowing the announcement was posted on the Herald Sun’s website an hour-and-half before the debate kicked off).



Read more

ACL's Lyle Shelton on the Political Spot about Make it Count 2013 Election Panel webcast

Lyle-Shelton-150x150Lyle Shelton is the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he talks about the Make it Count 2013 Election Panel on September 2nd, 2013.

MR: ACL announces its premier election event Make it Count 2013 Election Panel


MEDIA RELEASE

For release: Tuesday 6th August 2013

The Australian Christian Lobby is pleased to announce its Make it Count 2013 Election Panel event will be webcast live on Monday September 2nd, 2013 in the lead up to the federal election.

The panel event will comprise of leading Christian thinkers and subject matter experts:

  • Rev Dr Keith Garner, Chief Executive Officer and Superintendent of Wesley Mission

  • Hon John Anderson, former Deputy Prime Minister

  • Hon Robert McClelland, former Attorney-General and retiring ALP member for Barton

  • Dr Megan Best, bioethicist and palliative care specialist

  • Dr Justine Toh, Centre for Public Christianity 

    Read more

The election and the big issues Christians care about

By Lyle Shelton, Managing Director

In the lead-up to the election, the ACL Team and I will be providing commentary and information to assist Christians cast an informed vote on September 7.

ACL never tells people who to vote for, but we do encourage Christians to consider carefully candidate and party positions on issues of concern to them.

So what are the political issues that Christians care most about? We asked this as part of the 2011 National Church Life Survey.

Read more

Bible Society launches election guide for Christians



The Bible Society has launched an election resource guide for Christians in the lead up to the September 7 federal election.

The guide summarises the positions of major political parties and Christian parties on issues such as marriage, climate change, refugees and asylum seekers, and disability care. It also provides commentary from Christian thinkers on these issues and allows people to contribute their ideas to the debates. 

Read more

ACL's Lyle Shelton on the Political Spot about Make it Count 2013 Election Panel webcast

Lyle-Shelton-150x150 Lyle Shelton is the ACL's Managing Director. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he talks about the upcoming Make it Count 2013 Election Panel webcast ACL is organising in the lead up to the federal election. Audio here

Federal election: ACL asks parties to answer questions on issues such as family and justice

Australia Votes Graphic for ACL website-01The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has sent an election questionnaire to political parties in the lead up to the federal election. This is designed to educate voters of party positions on issues of particular importance to Christians, so they can make an informed decision on election day.

The ACL has asked political parties to respond by Friday, 9th of August. We will inform you of these responses after this date.

Read more

ACL's David Hutt on the Political Spot about preferential voting

David Hutt is the NSW Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. In this interview with the ACL's Katherine Spackman he explains how the preferential voting system works in Australia for House of Representatives.

MR: ACL welcomes British PM’s action on internet porn

Tuesday 23rd July 2013

Media Release

The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed moves by British Prime Minister David Cameron to crack down on the proliferation of child abuse images and pornography on the internet.

ACL’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton said Mr Cameron’s speech yesterday acknowledge that parents feel powerless when it comes to preventing their children from seeing porn and that government intervention is needed.

Read more