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New York state is on the brink of legalising same-sex marriage after state legislators approved a measure that would allow gay marriage. The bill now moves to the Republican-led state senate, where it is believed that the measure is only one vote short of approval.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, has indicated that he may send his children to a leading Catholic secondary school, despite having declared himself an atheist. Mr Clegg, who is the leader of the Liberal Democrat party, and who has spoken of his opposition to faith schools, is understood to have toured the London Oratory, the school to which Tony Blair sent his sons.
Women who first had sex before the age of 16 are more likely to get divorced than those who delay first sex, according to a new study by the University of Iowa. The study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, surveyed the responses of 3,793 women and found that 31 percent who lost their virginity as teens divorced within five years, and 47 percent divorced within 10 years.
A Democratic congressman from California is to introduce a bill in the US House of Representative to prevent the city of San Francisco from banning the circumcision of males under the age of 18. Representative Brad Sherman announced the bill in reaction to a measure that has qualified for the November 2011 ballot in San Francisco that would make the performance of circumcisions on males under 18 illegal.
A trial scheme supplying free Morning-After Pills (MAP) to teenagers in Wales has not succeeded in reducing teenage pregnancy, according to research commissioned by the National Health Service. The trial scheme was being run in Bridgend, and the research, which was shown to BBC Wales, said that the scheme did not have the intended impact on teen pregnancies.
The French parliament has rejected a bill legalising same-sex marriage. The bill, proposed by the opposition Socialist Party, was defeated on Tuesday. The vote reflected opposition to gay marriage among President Nicolas Sarkozy’s governing conservatives and the strain of traditional values that runs through many parts of France.
Political correctness is preventing Christians expressing themselves, according to Northern Ireland's new Presbyterian Moderator, Dr Ivan Patterson. And he added that society was prepared to tolerate any philosophy except one centred on Jesus.
The best interests of the child are best served within marriage, a leading Vatican official has told a top UN committee. Speaking to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's U.N. representative, said that the family should receive State protection.
A growing number of Fine Gael TDs want to tackle what they see as a “dependency culture” linked to the social welfare system. A recent Fine Gael party meeting heard a range of proposals to fundamentally change the social welfare code, according to a report in the Sunday Independent.
More than 9 in 10 Americans still say "yes" when asked the basic question "Do you believe in God?", a figure which is virtually unchanged since the 1940s, according to a new Gallup poll. The study confirms a range of surveys which show that the US, despite a fall in reported religious practice, remains far more religious than the average Western industrialised country.
Long commutes may increase the risk for divorce by 40 percent, according to a new study from a leading Swedish university. In Ireland, the last Census showed that thousands of people spent well over two hours commuting, with 285,000 bleary-eyed workers setting off before 7am - and 113,000 of these out the door before 6.30am.
Labour Senator Ivana Bacik has defended her remarks calling for a ban on male circumcision. Speaking in the Seanád on Thursday, she said that she didn't “believe that the cutting of a child’s genitals for anything other than medical reasons is ever justified”.
Marriage in the US needs a new “Marshall Plan” to restore marriage, a leading US think-tank has said. The Heritage Foundation has issued a paper entitled “A Marshall Plan for Marriage: Rebuilding Our Shattered Homes,” which sets out a range of policies designed to strengthen marriage admidst a range of challenges facing the institution.
New legislation that will give same-sex cohabiting couples the same tax treatment as married couples has been published by the Government. The legislation, arising from the last Government's Civil Partnership Act, will allow registered civil partners the same treatment in matters of income tax, stamp duty, capital acquisitions tax, capital gains tax and VAT, the Irish Times reports.
Young children whose parents get divorced are not only more likely to suffer from anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem and sadness, they experience long-lasting setbacks in interpersonal skills and math test scores, according to new US research.
Two Irish academics have dismissed criticism of Sweden's daycare system aired at an Iona Institute conference last month. Writing in today's Irish Times, UCC law lecturer Ursula Kilkelly and education lecturer Dympna Devine said that the Nordic model was “among the best internationally on all the indicators of children’s wellbeing”.
European judges have ordered British ministers to make a formal statement on whether the UK Government believes Christians' rights have been infringed by decisions in the British courts, which have repeatedly dismissed their right to dress and act according to their beliefs.
A UK Government-commissioned inquiry into the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood has recommended that music videos should have age ratings to protect children from sexual images. The review into the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood, published yesterday, was commissioned by the Prime Minister David Cameron.
Leading atheist Professor Richard Dawkins has said that the Catholic Church is “an evil institution . . . by far the worst where the churches are concerned”. In an interview with the Irish Times, Professor Dawkins said that he hoped the churches would “wither away”.
Labour Party Senator Ivana Bacik has said that she would approve of an Irish ban on ‘male genital mutilation’ an apparent reference to male circumcision which is carried out on Muslims and Jewish children.
The UK schools minister has told Parliament that parents should retain the right to take their children out of sex education classes if they wish to. Nick Gibb was speaking to a House of Lords Select Committee about the Government’s internal review of Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE), which includes elements of sex education.
Religious freedom and freedom of conscience is under growing pressure, both in Ireland and around Europe, a conference in the Pontifical Irish College in Rome heard yesterday. Iona Institute director, David Quinn, told the conference, which was attended by President Mary McAleese, that the warnings of Pope Benedict about aggressive secularism needed to be heard.
The Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, has denied that he has a secular agenda. In a pre-recorded interview on the Coleman at Large programme on Newstalk, the Minister said he wanted to “correct” suggestions by the presenter Marc Coleman, that the Labour Party had such an agenda.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is widely regarded as displaying an anti-Christian attitude in its programming, according to the Corporation’s own research. Viewers told a survey commissioned by the BBC that the Corporation uses “derogatory stereotypes” of Christians which portray them as “weak” and “bigoted”.
An American academic who desecrated a consecrated Host in 2008 by driving a rusty nail through it and photographing the result, is addressing a gathering of European atheists in at a conference starting in Dublin today. P Z Myers, who also descrated the Muslim holy book the Koran, will address the European Atheist Conference.
Marriage commissioners in one district of Amsterdam will have to undergo a yearly evaluation to make sure their support for homosexual marriage has not changed. The draconian measure was introduced after two officials in the city’s Nieuw-West district refused to perform same-sex marriages.
Fewer couples in the US are getting married due to the economic slowdown that has prompted more couples to live together without tying the knot, according to new Census data. The new figures show that the rate of cohabitation has risen in many places but is highest in areas that offer many people grim prospects for a better financial future.
A US Catholic diocese has been forced to close its adoption agencies because of new legislation obliging them to refer same-sex couples as prospective adoptive parents.
More and more UK parents are becoming too busy to take their children on day trips, new research shows. The high price of such trips, combined with the increasingly hectic work schedule of parents, mean that families are able to spend less time getting away than in the past.
A Canadian couple have touched off a firestorm of controversy by revealing that they have decided to keep the gender of their child a secret, even keeping it from the child. The couple, Kathy Witterick and David Stocker, say they want to allow the child to develop itsown gender identity.
Ideas and values which are vital to British society will be unsustainable without a Christian underpinning, the Anglican Bishop of London has warned. The Rt Revd Richard Chartres said Britain’s culture and civilisation were founded on the Bible.
Malta has voted in a referendum to legalise divorce. It is the last country in Europe, apart from the Vatican, to do so. Outside Europe, the only other country which does not permit divorce is the Philippines.
There is no such thing as a school with a “neutral” ethos, Fr Tony Mullins, the Chair of the Board of Mary Immaculate College in Limerick said yesterday at a conference attended by Education Minister, Ruairi Quinn (pictured).
Men are being hit much harder by the recession than women, according to Finola Bruton (pictured), and Irish men are being harder hit than their counterparts anywhere else in Europe. Mrs Bruton made the remarks in her closing comments at a conference she chaired yesterday on women, home and work organised by The Iona Institute.
Religious schools must be careful not to “indoctrinate” or “proselytise” the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has said in a new report. Sumarising the report, Prof William Binchy, a member of the Commission, said that the State needed to ensure that there is "no indoctrination and no proselytism in schools".
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