Petition to Ivan Dalzell
INSENSITIVE CENTRELINK SLASHES PENSIONS
In the retirement village where my mother resides, there was this happy fellow who used to drop in when I visited my mother. He was always laughing and always helping others, well that was until two weeks before Christmas when he started to look like he was living on lemons. On questioning him about this sudden change, he showed me an insensitive letter he received from Centrelink, saying that they were reducing his pension payment by $180.00 per fortnight. After receiving this letter, his health deteriorated fast. He visited several doctors before being diagnosed with Shingles, which was a stress related infliction caused by Centrelink and the Turnbull Government with its new pension laws inflicting further pain on the battler. Now he is not a rich man, his total assets are below $600,000, his place of residence value is below $200,000 and now he receives an insensitive letter telling him his fortnightly pension has been reduced to $370. What he wasn’t told by Centrelink was that if he sold his present residence and purchased one with an additional value of $160,000 he would receive the full pension. My understanding of Centrelink was that it was set up to help those in need, people needing jobs, people facing the transition from employment to retirement and giving the retiree financial advice to help them through this change. That is those that couldn’t afford a team of lawyers or accountants to set up family trusts to ensure they could continue to live in million dollar plus homes and still receive the pension. Centrelink now works hand in hand with the Government, gouging every last dollar they can from the poor. This person is 80 and perhaps if he had received the right advice 5 years ago when he moved inti his current residence and upgraded his place of residence at that time by $160,000 he would have received the full pension. After all $340,000 is a long way short of a million dollars plus. Centrelink, you are dealing with humans, not animals, Instead of sending these people insensitive letters telling them that they were going to slash current pension (by 33% in this case) each affected pensioner should have been personally interviewed by Centrelink and as long as the interviewer had half a brain they surely would have seen by the value of his place of residence and other assets did not warrant a reduction in his pension. Just how many more people on the borderline have had the same rough deal? My recommendation to him is: Sell your current residence for approx. $180,000 and with this money purchase a place of residence for approx. $340,000.You will receive the full pension as against the $370 on offer under the changes, an increase of $500 per fortnight thus you will be $13,000 better off annually and the Government will be $13,000 worse off.Another case of policy changes not being worked through properly.With economics like this no wonder the country is in debt. The instigator of this flawed policy should be tarred and feathered and exiled to Cuckoo Lamd. The Government with its continual gouging from the poor, just don’t get it. Even Robin Hood knew that you rob, or collect dues from the rich as the target pool is far greater and it is about time the Government woke up. Here are some of the things they should be concentrating on: Examples Companies should pay a fair share of tax. Don’t say they’re operating within the rules. The rules are both unethical and immoral. You are in Government so change the rules.Legislate to stop businesses registered in overseas tax havens from operating in Australia on line or otherwise, unless they pay a fair share of tax. Money earned in Australia goes overseas and does nothing for our economy.Overseas Visa workers should be minimized as once again the majority of the earnings go overseas.Legislate to stop politicians from being a drain on taxpayers long after they leave office.Legislate to stop politicians from rorting the system by using their office to feather their own nests.Legislate to make it compulsory for politicians to undertake a course on Ethics and Morals so they can tell the difference between right and wrong. The public are sick to death of hearing politicians saying “I did nothing wrong” followed by “I acted within the rules”. With the additional revenue the Government could stop gouging the poor and start to balance the budget.
Petition to Electronic Arts
Gender Equality in FIFA Ultimate Team
The world game is a substantial and significant part of millions of lives. Football is one of the worlds greatest treasures, showcasing a broad range of talent, action, and excitement. For years and years we have been witness to the ascension of greatness in the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi. However, an often overseen and overlooked form of greatness is within the Women's leagues globally. With talents such as Alex Morgan and Marta Vieira da Silva taking the world by storm in the non conventional way, in a sport primarily dominated by males, these superstars of our generation are overlooked. EA FIFA 17 allowed us the pleasure of playing Women's teams, however, one feature significantly overlooked by the gaming mega giant was, Women's FIFA Ultimate Team. This is a massive oversight by the developers, and does not show that you can make an equally amazing team with Women's talent, as you can with the male teams. It's time for change, it was started in 2017, however, change is an ongoing journey and we need more. We need to be able to create a team of elite female sportsmen to show that they too, can achieve greatness and they too are wanted in the game. We need to demonstrate that above all else, diversity will prevail and that we can challenge the norm. EA, this is your chance, be a leader, be the gaming mega giant we need, implement Women's FIFA Ultimate Team in FIFA 18 through a patch. I implore you, dont let this oversight go on any longer.
Petition to Malcolm Turnbull, United Nations
Gender Equality: Women are people too!
I am a 12 years old Girl and live in Australia and this frustrates me. All around the world there is unfairness against women and girls. They can't get jobs, go to school and get a driving license. I am trying to help the United Nations global goal, number 5, Gender Equality. I have never experienced bulling or sexism but I would like to stand up for other girls and women who have and are experienced these things, those others that are scared to stand up, for those who can't stand up and for those who can't speak or hear. I've had enough! So, if your reading this please help me to have a more equal world.
Petition to Minister of Justice Jean-Jacques Urvoas
For the French Civil Code to allow Consanguineous Marriage
Cher Monsieur Jean-Jacques Urvoas Aujourd'hui, la loi française permet des relations consanguines mais pas le mariage consanguin. L'inceste entre adultes consentants est légal, mais la loi française est discriminatoire envers les personnes incestueusement orientées dans les relations avec les adultes en les empêchant de se marier même s'ils ont des enfants. C'est injuste et nuisible. Liberté, égalité, fraternité est le français pour «liberté, égalité, fraternité», et la devise nationale de la France, mais où est l'égalité si les gens ne peuvent pas se marier et d'autres minorités sexuelles? Les gens de CIAO peuvent avoir des enfants et eux aussi doivent être protégés et ont les mêmes droits légaux que tout le monde. Les personnes de la CIAO et leurs enfants ne doivent pas être victimes de stigmatisation sociale ou d'incestophobie institutionnelle et ne doivent pas non plus être privées des droits que d'autres ont en relations consensuelles pour adultes: le droit de se marier et le droit d'avoir une mère et un père qui sont Légalement mariés. Toutes les personnes de la CIAO ne veulent pas se marier, mais ceux qui le souhaitent devraient être autorisés à. Refuser de leur permettre de se marier est une violation de leurs droits civils, et de les traiter comme différents des autres personnes est de les discriminer. En tant que ministre de la Justice, pourriez-vous, s'il vous plaît, initier la réforme des lois françaises afin que, à l'avenir, les personnes qui souhaitent se marier puissent le faire.Votre aide dans cette affaire sera appréciée.Je vous remercie beaucoup au nom des personnes de la CIAO partout aujourd'hui et à l'avenir. Cordialement, Richard Morris Dear Mr. Jean-Jacques Urvoas Today, French law permits consanguineous relationships but not consanguineous marriage. Incest between consenting adults is legal but French law discriminates against incestuously oriented people in adult relationships by prohibiting them from marrying, even if they have children. This is unfair and harmful. Liberté, égalité, fraternité is French for "liberty, equality, fraternity", and the national motto of France, but where is the 'égalité' if CIAO ( Consensual Adult Incest Oriented ) people cannot marry and other sexual minorities can? CIAO people may have children and they too need to be protected and have the same legal rights as everyone else. CIAO people and their children should not be subject to social stigma or institutional incestophobia and nor should they be deprived of rights that others have who are in consensual adult relationships : the right to marry, and the right to have a mother and a father who are legally married to each other. Not all CIAO people may want to marry, but those who wish to should be permitted to. To refuse to allow them to marry is a breach of their civil rights, and to treat them as different from other people is to discriminate against them. As the Minister of Justice, will you please initiate the reform of French laws so that in future CIAO people who wish to marry are able to do so.Your help in this matter will be most appreciated.Thank you very much on behalf of CIAO people everywhere today and in the future. Yours sincerely, Richard Morris
Petition to Tāhū o te Ture (Minister of Justice) Amy Adams
Petition to legalize Adult Consensual Incest (ACI) in New Zealand
Calling on the New Zealand Parliament to urge the New Zealand Government to amend the law against incest so that it is not applicable in the cases where participants are both consenting adults over the age of 21. In addition, for those who have been convicted in such circumstances to have both the custodial and non-custodial elements of their sentences reviewed with a view to being quashed in light of any change to the law. BACKGROUND The law in its present form is inappropriate, unfair, ineffective and discriminatory. The existing law of incest in New Zealand punishes consensual adult incest with imprisonment, thus breaching the spirit and intent of UN rules about human rights, and the spirit and intent of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially the right to personal and sexual autonomy; · "130 Incest -- Crimes Act 1961 No 43 (as at 13 July 2011), Public Act 13 July 2011. . · · "131 Sexual conduct with dependent family member -- Crimes Act 1961 No 43 (as at 11 May 2014) http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/98.0/DLM329081.html 130 Incest(1) Sexual connection is incest if— (a) it is between 2 people whose relationship is that of parent and child, siblings, half-siblings, or grandparent and grandchild; and(b) the person charged knows of the relationship.(2) Every one of or over the age of 16 years who commits incest is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years. Public fears, prejudice and bigotry about ACI are mostly due to ignorance created over many years mostly by the church and church-influenced governments and newspapers, in much the same way as public fears and bigotry about homosexuality were created. In general, societies have a tendency to target isolated individuals and to attack anything perceived to be different as a threat. While a New Zealand Law Commission paper(http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nzlc/pp/PP38/PP38-11_.html states :“292 New Zealand’s laws on forbidden marriage and incest derive from English legislation, which in turn derives from Leviticus 18:7–18. What is important is why the laws are on the statute book today. We suggest that there are two main reasons: • the protection of the integrity of the family; and • the genetic effects of incest. 293 It cannot be said that the laws of incest and forbidden marriage are maintained for one of these reasons alone. The categories are closely linked.” http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nzlc/pp/PP38/PP38-11_.html I consider ( as I did with my petition to the Scottish parliament) New Zealand’s out-dated incest law rests on four points: 1. Public Opinion; 2. Protection of the child and other family members; 3 The Maintenance of Family Solidarity and Cohesion; 4 The Genetic Argument Point One – Public Opinion. Public opinion has changed dramatically since the 1980s, after the Royal Commission into Human Relationships in Australia made many recommendations including the legalisation of abortion, homosexuality and adult consensual incest. Many western countries have passed legislation that has reflected the liberalization of attitudes to sex and relationships but this has not extended to ACI relationships. France, and many others that adopted the Napoleonic code, legalized consensual adult incest about 200 years ago along with other formerly taboo practices. In the past, fornication, adultery, divorce, prostitution, abortion, homosexuality were all either sins or illegal or both. In the majority of modern countries, most of these activities are now legal, if not moral. People are no longer jailed for breaking these former religion–based taboos. More people think scientifically and have degrees in science rather than theology. People's attitudes to human rights have changed a lot, especially with greater awareness of the UN rules about human rights, more widespread knowledge of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and especially the right to personal and sexual autonomy; fewer people, even the religious can afford to be so very moralistic and judgmental as in the past, and most people are better educated, travel to more distant places more often and are more tolerant and understanding of a great diversity of cultures and types of sexual relationships than ever before. People want and expect to have more freedom of thought and choice. When the law on incest was written in New Zealand, no public opinion polls were taken about incest in New Zealand. Any claims that the law was based on public opinion are dubious at best; i.e. any such claims are unsubstantiated by any evidence. No public opinion polls on adult consensual incest were ever undertaken in New Zealand. The public attitude to incest throughout the 20th century in New Zealand has more than likely been made ignorant of the law and made by the media and education system to conflate any healthy, happy and consensual adult incest (non-coerced, non-abusive) relationships with the abusive, coercive, child abuse type of incest. This ambiguity of meanings of the word incest may have been exploited in any recent reports on incest, giving the impression that all incestuous acts are tainted with one universally negative meaning. Few people in New Zealand have been made aware of the fact, for example, that French law has allowed ACI since 1810. This fact, this important bit of truth has been denied to the public, surreptitiously brainwashed into thinking that all modern countries are opposed to and criminalize adult consensual incest, which they indubitably are not and do not, and that state imposed incestophobic abuse and torture( imprisonment is abuse and torture) is ‘normal’ and that incestophobia is ‘normal.’ As was the case with other types of taboo relationships in the past,(homosexual, inter-racial) incest was made into a taboo and stigmatized, largely by the church, but also by church-controlled governments masquerading as modern secular democratic states. Point Two - Protection of the child and other family members By definition, ACI does not involve anyone under the age of 21. Therefore it involves only adults and excludes anyone under the legal age of consent, and even those a bit older who still may be psychologically immature, and vulnerable to abuse but legally adults in every respect. Children are protected from sexual and other abuse by other laws, and there is no need for the double criminalization of the offence. In other countries, such as England and Australia the crime of 'child sexual abuse' has replaced the more stigmatizing and psychologically damaging term 'incest'. Victims of child sexual abuse do not benefit from being stigmatized when associated with the taboo word 'incest.' (Another reason why the present law needs reforming urgently). Punishing ACI couples does nothing for the protection of the child or other family members. If a parent goes to prison for ACI, it means if there are young children in the family, they have lost the family income from the family breadwinner. If adult siblings are involved in ACI, how can a jail sentence for them protect anyone else in the family? The two are being punished for being in love with each other. It punishes the whole family, and splits them up by denying it the income it could have derived from two working adults, now sent to prison and humiliated. It is not protecting a family to disgrace it and humiliate it, by associating it and other family members with criminal sentencing of an ACI couple in the family and the stigma of incest. Point Three - The Maintenance of Family Solidarity and Cohesion A New Zealand Law Commission paper states as a reason for the continuation of the law on incest in New ZealandIntegrity of the family297 The integrity of the family is the element that needs to be added to the above reasoning in order to justify the prohibitions. The United Nations stated in 1994 that the “family constitutes the basic unit of society”. It is crucial to the development and nurturing of its individual members. For most people a family is a place where they wish to belong and feel secure, where they are accepted and acknowledged, loved and cared for. But the most crucial need is for society to ensure that families are stable and healthy, and that members accept responsibility for one another, as they are the most effective defensive structures against marginalisation, frustration and want. At times of crisis, social tension and personal problems the first place from which help is usually sought is within the family. The family has the potential for being the best institution for the nurture of children and for intimacy between adults. 298 Incest threatens the security and the stability of the family unit. Marriage within close family relationships is seen as undesirable for the same reasons. The Scottish Law Commission in its report on the law of incest observed that incest could give rise to psychological or other direct harm, a breakdown of trust within the family and may sometimes result in disruptive rivalries. 299 These concepts apply equally to families linked by an adoptive relationship and those that are linked by consanguinity. http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nzlc/pp/PP38/PP38-11_.html Our response to that is this one: There is no evidence that ACI disturbs family cohesion or solidarity any more than fornication, promiscuity, divorce, homosexuality, prostitution or adultery or even unemployment do. All these acts are no longer subject to criminal punishment, as they may have been under Ecclesiastical Law. Incest was a sin according to the Christian church and under Ecclesiastical Law it was punished by various penances, and 'dispensations' (or 'fines'). Fortunately we are not living under an Anglican theocracy. Jealousy occurs in all kinds of relationships. In today’s society a married woman may quite legally begin to have sexual relationships with several other married or unmarried men and or women and her husband has no recourse, no matter how jealous he may feel. And vice versa. Parents may even feel terribly hurt when there children divorce, become prostitutes, decide to abort a potential grandchild, or have a same sex marriage and swear never to have children. Life is full of pain, but that is not an excuse to deny people their human rights to love and to start a family with the person they have fallen into a loving committed relationship with, even if it is a family member. ACI couples sometimes have no other living relatives. They constitute a family. They deserve the respect and protection that is implicit in the two sentences mentioned above “The United Nations stated in 1994 that the “family constitutes the basic unit of society”. It is crucial to the development and nurturing of its individual members.” Point Four - The Genetic Argument The criminalization of ACI sexual relationships because of a purported higher risk of birth defects in children of close kin breeding does not stand up to rational argument. According to Dr James A Roffee's paper (Incest in Scots Law: Missed Opportunities in the New Zealand Law Commission Review), "the genetic argument has been assessed and disregarded in England and Wales. A number of reasons in support of such a conclusion include: that genetics has not been used as a past rationale; that there is great doubt as to the greatly increased risk of a variety of diseases would justify a criminal offense; and that it was not significant in achieving the aims of protection of family and children. If the incest law was justified on the grounds of genetic defects of potential offspring, and thus override the sexual autonomy principle, not only would this be a relatively remote concern it would also have the added implication of labeling any defect caused to the offspring as a legal wrong." Since all people who mate have a 2-3% chance of having a child with a birth defect, (consanguineous couples are only marginally higher) then consistency in the law would require criminalizing "all bad fruit-producing intercourse" and thus would criminalize the large number of sexual acts that produced children with birth defects. It would obviously be unjust and unfair to convict the parents of the 6% of children born with birth defects each year world-wide. So why imprison a minuscule number of people in ACI relationships who only have a slightly higher risk of having a child with a birth defect than the general population does? The above mentioned New Zealand Law Commission paper mentions the genetic argument as a reason for the continuation of the law on incest in New Zealand but ends with this admission:“296 Logically, genetics cannot be the sole determining factor, as contraception can prevent the birth of children to such relationships.” http://www.nzlii.org/nz/other/nzlc/pp/PP38/PP38-11_.html Conclusion There are no valid reasons to discriminate harshly against the ACI section of the community on the basis of: 1. public opinion; 2. protection of the child and family 3. solidarity of the family and community 4. genetic safety argument. The New Zealand incest law perpetuates superstitious, bigoted outmoded incestophobic beliefs but in its present form, its continued existence is unjustified. The present incest law in New Zealand is over-inclusive in that while it may provide protection to those children or adults in a family who are abused by a family member, it abuses those adult children who were in a consensual adult incestuous relationship with another adult family member by making them the subject of separation, arrest, prosecution, incarceration, loss of access to children, each other, loss of family and friends, careers, family homes, and reputations. The law does unnecessarily and unfairly punish consensual adult incest, breaching the rights to sexual autonomy for all consenting adults that is accepted in other developed countries. The law of incest in New Zealand law should be reformed so that ACI is no longer a crime. The law against incest should be removed. Other laws already exist that protect children from abuse and in any case, incest laws should not be applicable in cases where participants are both consenting adults over the age of 21. In addition, for those who have been convicted in such circumstances should have both the custodial and non-custodial elements of their sentences reviewed with a view to being quashed in light of any change to the law.