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Paul Neville draws bipartisan support on offensive YWCA tshirt.

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Paul Neville Draws Bipartisan Support On Offensive YWCA Tshirt Wednesday, 15 February 2006

Member for Hinkler Paul Neville has welcomed bipartisan condemnation of the ‘Mr Abbott, get your rosaries off my ovaries’ tshirt being distributed by the Victorian YWCA. “As a committed Catholic, I can understand how this has upset my colleagues across the political divide, and I am heartened to see people put their moral beliefs ahead of political pointscoring,” he said. Mr Neville was the first to discover the link between the tshirt worn by Greens Senator Kerry Nettle and the YWCA, and criticised both the organisation and Senator Nettle in Parliament last week. “I was shocked when I found out the Victorian YWCA was selling the t-shirt, and that it claims to be a non-religious organisation—a funny thing when you have the word ‘Christian’ in your title.” “Despite the YWCA’s public apology for causing offence, I think anyone with strong Christian values will think twice before offering it financial or in-kind support.” Public quotes on the issue: Member for Hinkler Paul Neville: “How could Senator Nettle, or the organisation sponsoring that T-shirt, make such an offensive attack on two of the Christian religions to whom the rosary is important? They chose to use the opportunity to denigrate a member of this House and, by extension, any other Catholics or high Anglicans who might think the rosary, as a prayer to the mother of God, is important.” Prime Minister John Howard: "I think that was deeply offensive to many Australian Catholics…the Greens Party can practically sneer at Catholic devotional practice and think it's funny to see some journalists standing around grinning as if the whole thing's a joke." Health Minister Tony Abbott: "I thought it was tacky…I thought it was undergraduate and I thought it illustrated something of the ill-tolerance of religion that I see creeping into this debate.” Leader of the Opposition Kim Beazley: "I was offended by Senator Nettle's T-shirt…she's got a perfect right to wear a T-shirt, it's free speech for her and I've got a perfect right to be offended.” Labor Senator Ursula Stephens: “May I suggest that it is an offensive message that showed no respect for people of the Catholic faith such as me. I am sure that I am not the only person who will seriously consider how and when I might lend my name and support to the work of the YWCA in the future.”