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Safe Schools: If there’s only one thing you read…

Image: Demonstrator supporting Safe Schools [Source: Guardian Online]

If there’s only one article you ever read on the Safe Schools program — or one you want to share with friends, colleagues and family — this is the article.

Writing for the The Guardian Australia, Chris Bush responds to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s call to de-fund the program.  A program, mind you, that was first given federal government funding while Abbott was prime minister.

Chris Bush is an educator and helped write the Safe Schools material — and he explains the history of how the program was formulated and what exactly is in the program, and why it is vital:

I was one of the authors of the program and I know exactly what it is. I also know how vital it is to the lives of young LGBTI students; if it had been around when I was at school it would have changed my life.

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Former Liberal MP Chris Miles: anti-gay activist, caught misusing NIS-4 study in leaked anti-marriage-equality leaflet

Image: Anti-gay campaigner and former Liberal Party MP Chris Miles. [Source: Fairfax Media]

On the back of the recent Say Yes fact check, we noticed something on the leaked anti-marriage-equality leaflet authorised by former Liberal Party MP Chris Miles.

It’s another claim that “married biological parents have a better record for providing safety and development of healthy, well-adjusted adult children” and that such parents “minimise abuse and neglect of children”.  The leaflet (see below) then cites a report to the US Congress by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Image: Excerpt from anti-gay leaflet authorised by Chris Miles. [Source: Fairfax Media]

And you guessed it: It’s the NIS-4 study being misused again.  We recently sought comment from NIS-4 author Dr Andrea Sedlak, PhD, who was concerned about the research being misused in relation to LGBTI parenting and relationships.

And it’s not the first time that Chris Miles has authored and distributed an anti-gay leaflet!

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Fact check debunks FamilyVoice Australia’s Ros Phillips: Author of NIS-4 study comments

Image: NIS-4 report co-author Dr Andrea Sedlak, PhD. [Source: LinkedIn]

An update to the fact check that Say Yes has been performing on the recent letter by FamilyVoice Australia’s Ros Phillips in the Australian.

As we previously reported, FamilyVoice Australia confirmed that the study that Mrs Phillips quoted was this study, the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS–4): Report to Congress.  We also asked both FamilyVoice Australia and Mrs Phillips to respond to a series of questions, and we also contacted one of the study’s authors.

While FamilyVoice hasn’t gotten around to replying, one of the study authors has.

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FamilyVoice Australia confirms Say Yes fact check: “You provided the link…”

Image: FamilyVoice Australia logo. [Source: FamilyVoice Australia]

In an exchange on Twitter with prominent pro-equality campaigner Michael Barnett, FamilyVoice Australia was questioned about the recent Say Yes fact check on a letter penned by Roslyn Phillips that appeared in The Australian.

FamilyVoice has confirmed that the study cited by Phillips was the one we uncovered in our fact check on the matter.

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Did FamilyVoice Australia’s Roslyn Phillips bend study to fit letter against marriage equality?

Image: Anti-gay campaigner Roslyn Phillips from FamilyVoice Australia. [Source: FamilyVoice Australia]

Update: 9 March 2016 — FamilyVoice Australia has confirmed, via twitter, that the research we found was, indeed, the study Roslyn Phillips was referring to (not by name, of course).  We have updated this post to reflect this new information.


The letters page of the local newspaper often doesn’t have the resources to fact check letters.  Often the person vetting letters to the editor for publication may just take at face value claims made in a letter — especially if the claims sound scientific or factually-based — as being just that.

The Australian newspaper may have hit the jackpot recently when it published this gem from Roslyn Phillips, of Tea Tree Gully, SA.

 

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ABC’s The Weekly reminds us of the Australian Christian Lobby’s real agenda

Video: The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, 1 March 2016. [Source: ABC TV via YouTube]

You have to hand it to Charlie Pickering on The Weekly — he’s had a go at George Christensen, Cory Bernardi, Eric Abetz, Bridget McKenzie and Bob Day on their views on the marriage plebscite and the Safe Schools Coalition.

And Pickering’s exposed the pre-plebiscite manoeuvrings of Lyle Shelton and the Australian Christian Lobby.

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ABC Q&A FactCheck: Lyle Shelton’s claims on transgender people suicide risk doesn’t stack up

Video: Segment on ABC TV's Q&A featuring Lyle Shelton, 29 February 2016. [Source: ABC TV via YouTube]

The Conversation website has done a fact check on a claim made by the Australian Christian Lobby’s Lyle Shelton.

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Herald Sun Letters, 7 March 2016

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Image: The Herald Sun's letters page, 7 March 2016. [Source: SayYes.org.au]

Maybe the headline on this page should have read:

News we invented that preschool children will be taught about sex sparked fury at heraldsun.com.au from people who believed us.

Sadly this is the result of a story that mischaracterised the new Starting Early program.

Write a letter to the editor:
hsletters@heraldsun.com.au

Make a complaint:
editor@heraldsun.com.au
info@presscouncil.org.au

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News Limited paper spreads hysteria on sex education for toddlers

Today’s Sunday Herald Sun in Melbourne contained an article that seemed to good to be true, titled: “Toddlers to be taught about cross-dressing in controversial sex ed program”.  A link to the article is here:  http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/toddlers-to-be-taught-about-crossdressing-in-controversial-sex-ed-program/news-story/7b935bb2e1573c1b2e748755d0f18986

The article, by Susie O’Brien, made a number of fantastic claims about new resources from Early Childhood Australia —

Toddlers will be taught about sex, sexuality and cross-dressing in a controversial national program being rolled out at childcare centres and kindergartens next month.

Educators will be encouraged to use dress-ups to explain cross-dressing to kids and may even take group tours of the opposite sex’s toilets as part of the Start Early initiative.

Teachers will use material provided by Early Childhood Australia, and books such as the book Children’s Sexual Development and Behaviour: Pants Aren’t Rude, by Pam Linke.

Sadly, the article is not true, according to Early Childhood Australia.

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Say Yes: Starts now…

sayyes-512x512-onblack-new

Australia is on the verge of a plebiscite on marriage equality.  The Say Yes Project is being set up to be a one-stop resource for people wanting to learn more about the coming debate, empowering people to say ‘no’ to anti-progressive voices, and say ‘yes’ to a progressive Australia.