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Most children in the UK will be born outside marriage within three years, new official figures suggest. According to new data from the Office for National Statistics, nearly half of all children in England and Wales, 47.5pc, were born outside marriage in 2012.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that religious freedom trumps the right to found a trade union. Last week, the Grand Chamber of the ECHR held that Member States can refuse to recognise a priests’ union, on the basis that recognition would violate a Church’s right to function according to its own internal rules.
Lucinda Creighton has resigned as Minister of State for Europe after voting against the Government's abortion legislation. Last night the Dáil passed the the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 by 127 votes to 31.
Same-sex civil partners and step parents should have parental responsibility given to them by the State, the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection has recommended. In a report to the Oireachtas, published yesterday, the Special Rapporteur, Dr Geoffrey Shannon (pictured), recommended that the State implement recommendations made in 2010 by the Law Reform Commission (LRC) in respect of extending guardianship rights to step-parents and civil partners.
The Minister for Europe, Lucinda Creighton, has said that the Government's abortion legislation is “built on sand”. She said that there had been a range of medical experts who had contacted politicians to express concern “about the complete inability to make this section work and their inability to make it work, as practitioners”.
A leading member of the European People's Party (EPP), the European political grouping to which Fine Gael belongs, has written to Taoiseach Enda Kenny (pictured), telling him that his refusal give TDs a free vote was “alien to the basic values of the EPP”. Luca Volonte, the Honorary President EPP Group at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, wrote an open letter to Mr Kenny to express his concern at Fine Gael not allowing a free vote on abortion.
Politicians who knowingly vote in support of abortion were acting in "cooperation with evil" and could not reconcile this with their faith, Archbishop Eamon Martin has said. And he said most TDs were more concerned at this time with being "ex-communicated from their own party," than they were about being excommunicated by the Church.
The French Government plans to introduce a Bill by the end of the year to legalise voluntary euthanasia. The announcement was made by French President François Hollande, despite the national ethics committee advising against it, the Christian Institute reports.
The Catholic bishops are set to challenge the Government's abortion legislation if it is enacted, it has been confirmed. Yesterday, the bishops published a briefing document which said that the Bill did not vindicate the equal right to life of the unborn which “provides grounds for a viable challenge to the Constitutionality of the Bill”.
A number of Fine Gael politicians are beginning to get cold feet as regards a commitment to holding a referendum on same-sex marriage in the wake of the abortion legislation. While Labour have said they expect a referendum to be held on the issue after the Constitutional Convention recommended that a vote be held on the issue, some Fine Gael sources have suggested that the party may not take a position on the issue, the Irish Independent reports.
Master of the Rotunda Sam Coulter-Smith has told Newstalk radio that he would prefer if the suicide clause in the abortion Bill was removed from it. He said: “There is no evidence that the termination of pregnancy assists in that situation” and that removing the clause “would be my preference”.
A new private Member’s Bill to allow people to have their birth certificates changed to recognise their preferred gender has been launched by Senator Katherine Zappone. The Bill if it became law would allow people to apply to the Civil Registrar to have their birth certificates changed.
Switzerland is to appeal a ruling made by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in May that its law on who can and can’t take a life-ending drug is insufficiently clear. The original ruling held that, although there was no “right” to assisted suicide under the European Court of Human Rights, Switerland's law permitting assisted suicide did not provide sufficient clarity as to who can and can't be prescribed sodium pentobarbital for the purposes of suicide.
An independent review has slammed the HSE for the standard of care provided to children experiencing extreme neglect. The report said that such children who have come to the attention of child protection services, often see little or no improvement in their circumstances.
A clear majority of voters are opposed to abortion as a response to the threat of suicide, according to a new poll The poll, carried out by Amárach Research on behalf of the Pro Life Campaign (PLC), asked respondents to scale their support or opposition to abortion “if it were clearly shown that abortion is not a suitable treatment for a pregnant woman with suicidal feelings”.
The Minister for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, has said she will vote according to her conscience on the abortion Bill and said she was “deeply concerned” about the suicide clause in the legislation. Speaking in the Dáil debate on the issue yesterday, she also criticised the “groupthink” which she said dominated the abortion issue in Ireland.
Only 17 percent of people see creches as the best way to look after children younger than five, according to a new survey commissioned by the Iona Institute. The poll, carried out by Amárach Research and published yesterday, found that just under half of Irish people, 49pc, think the preferred option for children in this age group is to be looked after during the day by a parent while more than a quarter, 27pc, think the preferred option is to be looked after by another family member such as a grandparent.
Pro marriage groups and politicians have blasted the UK Government's plan to redefine the words “husband” and “wife” to refer to either sex. Under the wording of the Coalition’s same-sex marriage legislation “wives” could be men and “husbands” could be women.
Polyamorists in Canada have said they want the same legal status as other relationships, following their first national convention. Polyamory involves intimate relationships between three or more people at the same time.
An international lawyer has filed complaints against France in the UN Human Rights Council for using violence against pro-marriage demonstrators in Paris. Videos show French police beating marriage demonstrators, using tear gas and clubs against women, men, elderly and children.
Six minors under the care of the State have been taken to the UK for abortions, it has emerged as the debate over the abortion Bill continued in the Dail. Fine Gael TD, Michael Creed, speaking in support of the Government's abortion legislation, referred to an answer given by Health Minister James Reilly to a question by Billy Timmins about the number of girls taken to the UK due to suicidal ideation.
A Court of Appeals ruling in Northern Ireland has removed the preference for married couples in its adoption law and paved the way for same-sex adoption and adoption by unmarried couples. However, the decision may yet be appealed, after legal representatives for the NI Department of Health suggested that an appeal to the Supreme Court in London may yet be initiated, the BBC reports.
Sweden's model of providing universal, State-subsided childcare does not produce the best outcomes for children, parents or society, a Swedish author and consultant has told a conference on childcare organised by The Iona Institute. The conference was titled After Prime Time; What Type of childcare is best for children?
Pro marriage groups have given a mixed reaction to yesterday's rulings by the Supreme Court concerning same-sex marriage. They expressed dismay at a ruling which struck down an important passage in the federal Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Dr Philip Nitschke, dubbed ‘Dr Death’ because of his advocacy of euthanasia and assisted suicide is set to give a “workshop” in Dublin, outlining methods that people can use to kill themselves. Dr Nitschke, founder of Exit International, the global organisation that promotes euthanasia, will hold the workshop, specifically for terminally ill people and their families at Liberty Hall on Saturday morning.
Europe Minister Lucinda Creighton has supported calls made by a former Director of Public Prosecution for the unborn to be represented by the Attorney General under the Government's abortion legislation. Ms Creighton, who said she continued to have concerns about the legislation, said that she believed that it needed to be amended.
A number of Irish bishops believe that Irish people have become “pagan”, a report by the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) has said. In a summary of ACP meetings with Priests' Councils in a number of dioceses, their leadership team said many priests agreed with them that priests who had left to get married should be brought back to address the growing shortage of priests.
Lord Steel, who introduced the Bill which legalised abortion in Britain in 1967, says he is concerned that repeat abortions are being used as a form of contraception. Repeat abortions represented over one third (36 per cent) of all abortions in 2011, and that proportion is higher than the previous year, the Daily Mail reports.
Christian registrar Lillian Ladele recently lost her chance to appeal to the grand chamber of the European Court of Human Rights after she was pushed out of her job for believing in traditional marriage. Back in 2003 Miss Ladele told her managers at Islington Council that, should civil partnerships ever become law, she would have a conflict of conscience based upon her Christian beliefs about marriage.
Fine Gael Oireachtas members opposed to abortion should have the same conscience rights as those who opposed the party's stance on hare coursing in the 1990s, a TD has said. Brian Walsh, TD for Galway West, has already declared that he will be voting against the Government's abortion legislation, and called for Taoiseach Enda Kenny to allow TDs a free vote.
A Catholic bishop has criticised President Barack Obama for appearing to blame sectarian divisions in the North of Ireland on denominational education. In a speech delivered in Belfast on Monday ahead of the G8 summit, President Obama suggested that separate schools for Catholics and Protestants copperfastened divisions between the two communities.
Almost nine out every ten of voters believe Taoiseach Enda Kenny should not impose a party whip on TDs unhappy with his abortion legislation, according to a new opinion poll. The finding, in a survey carried out by Amárach Consulting on behalf of Family and Life, comes amid growing calls for TDs to be allowed a free vote on the Government's abortion bill, the Irish Catholic reports.
Fathers play a vital role in holding society together, and should get more recognition, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales has said. The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, was speaking alongside other British religious leaders, including Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, at an event held by Citizens UK, an alliance of community groups across the UK.
Pregnant women have better health outcomes in Ireland and Northern Ireland, where the laws on abortion are very restrictive compared with women in Britain, where it is freely available, according to a new study. The study, published in the summer issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons compared national health data over a period of 40 years.
A new study shows that the US media have covered stories weighted in favour of same-sex marriage five times more than they have covered statements opposing it. The survey, by the Pew Media Centre, measured the coverage of same-sex marriage in the US media from March 18th, 2013 - a week before the US Supreme Court heard arguments about the issue, to May 12th.
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