The past week has been far from boring – with the resignation of our deputy prime minister and the appointment of his successor, the brewing of a trans-Tasman transgender dispute and the passing away of “America’s pastor”. Please read on.
Who is the new leader of the Nationals and deputy prime minister?
As you have probably heard, Barnaby Joyce resigned as Australia’s leader of the Nationals and deputy PM last Friday.
We have no intention of adding unnecessarily to the commentary on Mr Joyce’s recent actions – this has been well and truly covered in the press. We thank Mr Joyce for his service.
What we are most interested in is whether his replacement, Michael McCormack, reflects the values of many of his colleagues when it comes to matters of family and faith.
Michael McCormack is the new Nationals leader and deputy PM (photo from his website)
The new Nationals leader is a married father of three from the Riverina region of south-western NSW. He is generally known to support conservative family values. While he followed the marriage survey results and most of his parliamentary colleagues in ultimately passing same-sex “marriage” legislation, he voted “No” in the plebiscite itself and supported the freedom amendments put forward by Senator James Paterson.
Here are some quotes from Mr McCormack during the parliamentary debate last year:
“We do not need to de-gender society. We do not need to defund charities and organisations which have long held traditional views.”
“If same-sex marriage is going to come to pass, please do what you can to ensure that the appropriation protections are in place. While I understand that parliamentarians will feel morally bound to pass legislation to change the definition of marriage, the legislation should have attached to it strong protections for freedom of speech and conscience and parental rights to raise their children with the understanding that marriage is only between a man and a woman.”
These are encouraging words for supporters of family, faith and freedom here in Australia. Of course, only time will tell how our new deputy PM handles his new role. We will watch with interest.
Trans-Tasman transgender dispute heats up
A war of words has erupted between sporting officials in Australia and New Zealand after the Australian Weightlifting Federation called for the barring of a born-male transgender NZ athlete from April’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
As reported in The Australian today, the chief executive of the Australian federation, Mike Keelan, wrote to the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) calling for New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard to be excluded from the games because “she” has a physical advantage over “female-born” athletes.
“Ultimately, it is our strong view that weightlifting has always been a gender-specific sport, male and female, not a competition among individuals of various levels of testosterone,” Keelan wrote.
“In our respectful view, the current criteria and its application has the potential to devalue women’s weightlifting and discourage female-born athletes from pursuing the sport at an elite level in the future.”
This is a perfectly sensible argument, of course. Hubbard, now 39, originally competed in elite weightlifting events as a man — Gavin Hubbard (pictured below) — until beginning a “transition” to being female aged 35.
However, in a statement this week the Commonwealth Games Federation said the IWF “has established sport-specific eligibility criteria to be applied for Gold Coast 2018 which allows both male and female athletes that have qualified to compete”.
“The gender eligibility criteria currently applied by the IWF does not constructively discriminate against transgender athletes and as a consequence there is no moral, ethical or legal basis to prevent transgender athletes from pursuing their sporting ambitions and competing in IWF-sanctioned events.”
It’s unlikely this debate will go away in a hurry. We will keep you updated. What’s clear, though, is that in the name of avoiding “discrimination”, biological men – with their testosterone-induced natural strength advantages – are being allowed to compete against biological women.
It hardly seems fair to the female athletes – but that’s just our opinion.
Vale, Billy Graham
This week, “America’s pastor” Billy Graham passed away aged 99.
Mr Graham, arguably the most famous evangelist of the 20th century, spoke to millions of people all around the world – including during three crusades in Australia.
In 1959, during his first visit to Australia, he set the record for the biggest ever crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. An estimated 140,000 people packed into the stadium – a record that will likely never be toppled.
Billy Graham had an enormous impact on millions of people over many decades, and he leaves behind a massive legacy.
Stand with Bermuda
Just a reminder, if you haven’t already done so, to please sign our letter of encouragement for the Government of Bermuda – who have come under international pressure after reinstating marriage as being only between a man and a woman.
And please help us by inviting others to do the same – by sharing the following link via email or on Facebook:
We appreciate your support!
The Australian Family Coalition
P.S. If you haven’t already done so, please like us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/austfamily/