ABC- Caught spreading fake news over Same-Sex Marriage Debate

same sex marriage australia plebisciteDaily Telegraph 1 October 2017
Family First Comment: Family First (and the factual experience of NZ since the same-sex marriage law) is quoted extensively in this leading column in Australia today….
“We went and had a look at New Zealand, basically a country very like ours,” ABC’s Fran Kelly said helpfully for those ABC viewers who had not heard of the place. “Four years ago, they … legalised same-sex marriage. … no incidents, no concerns of religious freedoms being contested or challenged. The churches seem to have no issue.” Her view, or the views of the anonymous ABC team who provided her flawed research, ignored the reality that marriage celebrants have had their applications denied because they don’t wish to officiate at a same-sex wedding, or the -inconvenient fact that venues and churches have changed their policies regarding allowing weddings due to the risk of litigation under the Human Rights Act, or the recent announcement by a government committee to allow people to determine their own gender on their birth certificate. Unlike Kelly, I picked up the phone last week and called Bob McCoskrie, the national director of Family First NZ, an apolitical body, and co-ordinator of the Protect Marriage campaign. McCoskrie was quick to point out that Acting Prime Minister Bill English, and still the most likely person to be named as the new prime minister, has also denied the evidence that grave concerns have arisen.”

Mark Zuckerberg has finally admitted he was wrong to deny the role played by Facebook in spreading “fake news”.

When will the ABC’s Fran Kelly ’fess up to the same ­offence? Last Sunday the Yes-voting host of the Radio ­National Breakfast show, on another ABC program, Insiders, offered the following gem in an attempt to bolster her team’s side in the homosexual marriage debate: “Some ­reassurance, really, for those who are worried or concerned about religious freedoms if the Yes vote gets up.

“We went and had a look at New Zealand, basically a country very like ours,” she said helpfully for those ABC viewers who had not heard of the place. “Four years ago, they … legalised same-sex marriage. … no incidents, no concerns of religious freedoms being contested or challenged. The churches seem to have no issue.”

“Four years ago,” host Barrie Cassidy dolefully intoned with the all the weary sagacity that comes from being a long-term ABC host armed with the experience gained as a staffer in a Labor PM’s office.

The problem is that had the ABC actually taken less than a cursory look at New Zealand, and if whoever informed Kelly hadn’t wished to reinforce her very public personal view of the debate and the need for Australians to embrace homosexual marriage, it would have found many examples of concerns about not only religious freedoms being challenged but also instances of free speech being shut down.

Her view, or the views of the anonymous ABC team who provided her flawed research, ignored the reality that marriage celebrants have had their applications denied because they don’t wish to officiate at a same-sex wedding, or the ­inconvenient fact that venues and churches have changed their policies regarding allowing weddings due to the risk of litigation under the Human Rights Act, or the recent announcement by a government committee to allow people to determine their own gender on their birth certificate.

Unlike Kelly, I picked up the phone last week and called Bob McCoskrie, the national director of Family First NZ, an apolitical body, and co-­ordinator of the Protect Marriage campaign.

McCoskrie was quick to point out that Acting Prime Minister Bill ­English, and still the most ­likely person to be named as the new prime minister, has also denied the evidence that grave concerns have arisen.

“Mr English fails to mention the Catholic school which received a veiled threat from the sponsor of the same-sex marriage bill regarding its funding when it spoke up for traditional marriage, or a government ministry revealing that a second ‘wife’ in a polygamous marriage may be entitled to a sole-parent benefit, or revelations that Auckland ratepayers were subsidising an event promoting polyamory for those who want to ‘relate to more than one partner’ and non-monogamous marriages, or that schools are being urged to offer ‘gender-neutral’ uniform, toilet and changing room options under new guidelines from the secondary teachers’ union, or schools allowing biological males to use female ­facilities,” McCoskrie said.

“So contrary to the assertions of Bill English, there have been very real effects of the change in the law, a chilling ­effect, and Australians should take heed of our experience, but also the similar effects in both the UK and the US.”

Perhaps the most egregious attack on free speech in New Zealand is the ongoing attempt by the Charities Board to have Family First stripped of its charitable status on the grounds it supports traditional heterosexual marriage.

The investigation began just after the same-sex marriage debate started in 2012 after a single complaint was ­received, to wit: “That (Family First) are a religious-based pressure group whose wole (sic) purpose seems to be the prevention of human rights to non hetrosexual (sic) people. I don’t see how the state should be supporting such an organisation by providing tax-free ­status. EG, like Greenpeace”.

On the basis of this semi­literate two-sentence objection and despite a petition containing 50,000 signatures, the Charities Commission (now the Charities Board) began its first investigation in 2012, though it appears it deliber­ately held off the notification until after the final reading of the same-sex marriage bill in April 2013, despite the commission indicating its decision would be made by January/February 2013. The reason the Charities Board wishes to strip Family First of its charitable status is simple.

It says the body’s “main purpose is to promote points of view about family life, the promotion of which is a political purpose because the points of view do not have a public benefit …” and promotes “the view that the ‘natural family’ (def-ined by the Family First as the union of a man and a woman through marriage) is the fundamental social unit” which the board considers “as controversial in contemporary New Zealand society”.

In 2015, Justice Collins, in the Wellington High Court, wisely upheld Family First’s appeal against the board’s ­decision, ruling its advocacy for the concept “… of the traditional family is analogous to organisations that have ­advocated for the ‘mental and moral improvement’ of soc-iety” that “… members of the board may personally disagree with the views of Family First, but at the same time recognise there is a legitimate analogy between its role and those ­organisations that have been recognised as charities”.

He said the board’s analysis that Family First’s advocacy role was of no benefit to the public “will need to be reconsidered”. Despite this, the board said in August it would pursue deregistration of Family First and another appeal has been lodged.

Kelly and the ABC stand exposed as purveyors of fake news for ignoring widely publicised attacks on free speech that have followed the adoption of same-sex marriage in New Zealand
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/piers-akerman-abc-caught-spreading-fake-news-over-samesex-marriage-debate/news-story/163586212aba4213e3c8347fbe52e331

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