Cardinal Pell must be happy: the details of long-standing child sex abuse and cover ups in the Orthodox Jewish community are slowly coming to light, taking a little off the heat off the massive global problem rooted in his own palace gardens. And like the Catholic problem, this is one which has long been known about but is only now coming into full public view. By the time the Royal Commission is done, there will be few organisations that have had dealings with children left unscathed, religious or secular.
Ted Baillieu is said to favour making it mandatory for priests to report cases of child abuse they hear of, though he won’t commit to decommissioning the confessional just yet.
The gay marriage debate in England is hotting up, with large numbers of Conservative MPs trying to scare the Prime Minister into backing off. Thankfully, unlike Julia Gillard, David Cameron possesses a spine, and isn’t afraid to risk his career in order to do the right thing. But even if it splits his party, it doesn’t matter, since the measure will pass comfortably with Labour and LibDem support.
Amid continuing silence from the AFL and the AFL Players Association, soccer continues to edge towards greater acceptance. Manchester United’s goalkeeper has written encouraging gay footballers to come out, and although he says the first one will be ‘brave’, he doesn’t think it will a big deal in the long run. You can follow the story here, and here. After racism – still not fully dealt with, whatever administrators say – homosexuality is the one big problem football still has to solve – and all it takes, really, is guts. All the rest is excuses.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics is conducting a review of the 2016 Census and is asking for submissions from both individuals and organisations.Here’s a sample submission lodged by the Atheist Foundation on the wording of the ‘religion’ question. You might like to make a submission about the questions on sexuality, gender identity and expression, and intersex. Make your submission here.
And finally, Martina Navratilova is on her way back to Australia again, and not just to play tennis. She intends to mix it with our pollies, too, spruiking for marriage equality. Navratilova, as well as Swiss legend Martina Hingis, will compete in the World Tennis Challenge at Memorial Drive Adelaide January 8-10