ABC: Stop misrepresenting Martine Delaney’s complaint about the Tasmanian Catholic Church and Archbishop Julian Porteous

Sep 6, 2019

Between August 29 and September 4 2019 the ABC broadcast one misrepresentation and two unchallenged assertions about the complaint Martine Delaney’ lodged (and subsequently withdrew) about the Tasmanian Catholic Church and Archbishop Julian Porteous.

Martine Delaney’s complaint had nothing to do with preaching “church doctrine” and everything to do with the church claiming same-sex couples couldn’t be whole, healthy, raise healthy children, and were “messing with kids”.

The complaint is described here:

“A complaint was brought to the commissioner by Ms Delaney, who objected to the Tasmanian Catholic Church which had printed a pamphlet stating that same-sex parents ‘mess with kids’ and that same-sex partners were not ‘whole people’. ‘Messing with kids’ has a connotation that is extremely disturbing and alludes to practices which are a subject of the royal commission into institutionalised child abuse, a practice which up until very recently had been hidden deeply within some church-run facilities, widely throughout Australia”

Andrea DAWKINS (MP for Bass)
22 September 2016 at 4:48pm
Tasmanian House of Assembly Hansard [PDF]

Amongst everything else, it’s particularly disappointing the nation’s highest lawyer, the Attorney-General for Australia, can’t even get the facts right.

My transcripts of the relevant sections from the media are below.


Christian Porter

“Well, um, the archbishop, the Catholic archbishop of Tasmania Mr Porteous went through something you know quite awful I think, he distributed a pamphlet, which was distributed widely across Australia, um, devised and drafted by the Catholic Church which did little more than put the Catholic Church’s view about the virtues of the traditional definition of marriage, and he was the subject of a complaint under a very very broad section of the Tasmanian Discrimination Act.”

ABC RN Drive – Thursday 29 August 2019 – 6:06pm
Federal Government unveils religious discrimination legislation
Section: 6:08 – 6:39

Gerard Henderson

“I’ve looked at the Bill and I’ve looked at the minister’s, the Attorney-General’s speech. And it is a draft bill. So I think it’s, it’s in a pretty good position at the moment. There will be opposition from both sides. But I think it does cover two issues.  The Israel Folau issue and the Archbishop Porteous issue in Hobart. Now the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart put out a statement just stating Catholic position on marriage. [indistinct] actimist took him to a discrimination thing that caused… a discrimination commission in Tasmania that caused a huge issue…”

ABC Insiders – Sunday September 1 2019
Section: 44:57 – 45:08

Andrew West

“So those incidents that you’re talking about Renae, the most prominent of those included a Catholic bishop in Tasmania who was brought before an anti-discrimination commission because he published a church doctrine on family and marriage that some objected to…”

ABC Religion & Ethics Report
“Religious freedom for religious minorities”
Wednesday September 4 2019
Section: 2:20 – 2:35

“A sense of duty” podcast

Jul 6, 2011

This is a backup copy of the podcast of “A sense of duty“, broadcast on ABC Radio National’s 360 Documentaries on June 4, 2011.


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