The Catholic Weekly 28 June 2020

$2 28, June, 2020 MEET MIKEY THE MIRACLE BOY WHAT’S UP WITH GERMAN SYNOD? P18 “It’s con- cerning that others…will think twice before voicing their beliefs or stand- ing up on important issues for fear of personal attack ...” John Steenhof A DISCRIMINATION claim brought by a gay activist against a young Brisbane Catholic mother has been dropped in a case that exposes a troubling trend throughout the country, says her lawyer. Katrina Tait shared a peti- tion in January on her Face- book page asking Brisbane City Council to cancel a drag queen story hour led by a former adult entertainer in a council library. In part she wrote, “What happened to protecting chil- dren’s innocence and letting them just be kids?” This month the NSW An- ti-Discrimination Board said it would investigate the post at the request of serial com- plainant Garry Burns, but on 25 June the Human Rights Law Alliance which repre- sented Mrs Tait was advised that he had withdrawn the complaint. The complaint was with- drawn the day after The Catho- lic Weekly contacted Mr Burns on 24 June with questions re- garding the case. Her lawyer John Steenhof told The Catholic Weekly that the claim had caused Mrs Tait months of unnecessary stress and anxiety in an increasing pattern of ordinary people be- ing censured for their beliefs on controversial topics or in opposition to prevailing ide- ologies. “It should be of concern to ordinary Australians and our lawmakers,” he said. “Activists are using lawfare to try and silence opinions they don’t like. The Human Activist drops case Freespeechwarningascampaignerwithdrawscomplaint targettingsuburbanmumoverdragqueenstorytime ¾ ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues In time of need, small things count CLEMENTINE HARTSON knows that small gestures can often be the kindest to someone struggling to make ends meet during an economic crisis. A special collaboration with her charity Project Kindness, Mary Immacu- late Church at Waverley and ¾ ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues local MP Marjorie O’Neill has brought her dream of a community pantry to life. Located just inside the front foyer of the church on Victoria Street, the Kind- ness Cupboard is available to anyone to take what they need and leave what they can. It’s stocked with quality tinned vegetables, pasta, soup, baby food, breakfast cereal, toothbrushes, even new blankets and pillows. “The increase in calls for support we’ve had since the start of the pandemic has been huge,” said Ms Hartson. “Together, we can make the world a little more kind.” STORY PAGE 3 Rights Law Alliance is regular- ly contacted by other Austral- ians just like Katrina who are personally targeted for voic- ing their beliefs and reasona- ble opinions.” Australian Christian Lobby NSW director Kieran Jackson said the organisation assists many ordinary people in sim- ilar situations. “It is great that this worthless claim has been dropped,” Mr Jackson said. “What is disappointing is that the complaint got this far. “This complaint was with- out basis, but the process was the punishment.” Mrs Tait said she was very relieved and grateful that “a huge weight has been lifted”. “We had so many people praying for us and we had been saying a novena to the Sacred Heart as a family for this outcome,” she said. “We feel very blessed and very lucky to have had so much support from everyone as well as our faith to get us through it all. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Mother-of-four Katrina Tait says it is more important than ever to stand up for our faith and our rights. Call Caritas Australia on 1800 024 413 or visit caritas.org.au/neighbours Be a Neighbour to those in need Become a Regular Giver Today P12 Clementine Hartson with goods for the community pantry, a collaboration with her charity, Project Kindness and Mary Immacu- late Church,Waverley. PHOTO: GIOVANNI PORTELLI

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