All News Articles

Controversial surrogacy ruling appealed to Grand Chamber of European Court

By Admin on 5 June 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Other

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is to hear its first ever case on surrogacy following an appeal by the Italian government. The case, which will have far-reaching consequences for member states of the Council of Europe, centres on an Italian couple who procured a child via a surrogate mother for a payment of €49,000 to a Russian company specialising in surrogacy and in vitro fertilisation.


Northern Ireland unlikely to adopt same-sex marriage despite Council vote

By Admin on 2 June 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The Northern Ireland Assembly is unlikely to move on the issue of same-sex marriage despite a vote in favour by Belfast City Council. In a motion introduced by Emmet McDonough-Brown of the Alliance Party, the council supported a call for the introduction of same-sex marriage legislation by 38 votes to 13.


Australian politicians vow to oppose same-sex marriage

By Admin on 2 June 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Any push to introduce same-sex marriage to Australia will be defeated, a leading senator has vowed. As Australia continues to debate the issue in the wake of Ireland’s recent Yes to gay marriage, government Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said resistance she had found both within her party and more broadly among Australian citizens gave her confidence that same-sex marriage would not be introduced.


Scotland rejects assisted suicide legislation

By Admin on 1 June 2015. ~ Categories: Other

Scotland's parliament has rejected a move to legislate for assisted suicide by more than a two to one majority . Described as “poorly thought out” and “badly conceived” by critics, the Assisted Suicide Bill was defeated by 82 votes to 36 when placed before legislators at Holyrood for debate.


School ethos should not be sacrificed by equality law amendment says Iona Institute Chairman

By Admin on 29 May 2015. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Proposed changes to Ireland's Employment Equality Act in the area of religious-run institutions are unnecessary and should not be implemented, the Chairman of the Board of the Iona Institute has said. Responding to a proposal made by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, the country's Minister of State for Equality, to amend legislation – specifically section 37.1 of the Act - to remove the right of Church-backed schools and hospitals to select staff in keeping with religious ethos, Dr John Murray told The Irish Times that should such a move take place, denominational education should be afforded protection.


Gay cake row bakery to appeal ‘discrimination’ ruling

By Admin on 29 May 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The Northern Ireland bakery that would not bake a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan on it is to appeal the ruling of discrimination made against earlier this month. Following a judgement by Belfast County Court that Ashers Baking Company had breached equality legislation by refusing to bake the requested cake, the owners, the McArthur family, issued a statement in which they announced their intention to challenge the ruling.


Concept of motherhood 'gone' – Germaine Greer

By Admin on 26 May 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Feminist icon and author Germaine Greer has attacked the singer Elton John for registering his gay partner as the 'mother' of the couple's children. During an address at the annual Hay literary festival in England, Greer said the move to list David Furnish as a 'mother' served to illustrate how motherhood has been damaged and rendered invalid by redefined familial units.


Both sides need to enter conversation about how to strengthen marriage

By Admin on 25 May 15. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Following the referendum result on Friday, The Iona Institute is calling on both sides in the debate to enter into a dialogue about how to strengthen marriage in Ireland.


Senior Lawyers urge No vote in marriage referendum

By Admin on 15 May 15. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A GROUP of senior lawyers have today issued a major statement outlining seven reasons why the Irish people should vote No in the marriage referendum next week.


Two heterosexual men will be allowed to marry if marriage referendum passes

By Admin on 11 May 15. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The Referendum Commission has confirmed to The Iona Institute that two heterosexual men or women will be allowed to marry each other under the proposed new law should the marriage referendum be carried on May 22


Archbishop Martin explains why he's voting No

By Admin on 7th May 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has stated that he'll be casting a “No” vote in the upcoming marriage referendum, saying that he wanted to clear up any “confusion.” Saying that his vote was one of “personal conviction”, Dr. Martin said that this was not only a religious question, but a change in the definition of civil marriage. “You cannot take one article of the Constitution in isolation” he said. “Marriage is not simply about a wedding ceremony or about two people being in love with each other. Marriage, in the Constitution, is linked with the family."


State funding for ACCORD could end with Yes vote

By Admin on 1 May 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A Government spokesman has refused to rule out the possibility that State funding for the Church’s marriage counselling service, Accord, will be ended should the same-sex marriage referendum pass on May 22. When approached by The Irish Catholic on the issue, the Government press office refused to offer a reassurance that funding would remain in place if the Catholic agency would not counsel same-sex married couples as well as opposite sex married couples. ACCORD currently receives funding from Government via the Family Support Agency and Health Service Executive.


US judge finds in favour of freedom of conscience

By Admin on 1 May 2015. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A court in the US state of Kentucky has overturned a finding of discrimination against a T-shirt printer who refused to supply shirts for a gay pride event on the grounds of freedom of conscience. The case against Hands On Originals was originally placed before the Lexington Human Rights Commission, which, in 2014, ruled in favour of the customer, Lexington’s Gay and Lesbian Services Organisation (GLSO). That decision was based on an ordinance which prohibits businesses from discriminating against people on the basis of sexual orientation. The ruling was handed down despite conscience arguments offered by the business’ owner, Blaine Adamson.


Northern Ireland Assembly rejects same-sex marriage

By Admin on 28 April 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The Northern Ireland Assembly has rejected proposed legislation on same-sex marriage for the fourth time. Following a debate on the latest Private Members’ Motion on the issue, which had been tabled by four Sinn Fein members, MLAs voted 49 to 47 against the motion, with three abstentions. On party lines, all Sinn Fein and SDLP MLAs voted in favour of the legislation, while all Democratic Unionist Party members voted against.


Gardaí involvement in Yes campaign event condemned

By Admin on 21 April 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Mothers and Fathers Matter, the group leading the campaign for a No vote in the same-sex marriage referendum has described the participation by uniformed officers in a Yes campaign event as “deeply disturbing” and a “blatant politicising” of the force. Following the circulation of photographs of uniformed gardaí apparently taking part in a Yes Equality photocall for voter registration outside Dublin’s Pearse Street Garda station, Keith Mills of Mothers and Fathers Matter said: “Anyone with the merest concern for democratic process has to be disturbed by this fracture of tradition and custom that has kept the gardaí as a strictly neutral and apolitical force.”


Pope rejects ‘no difference between men and women’ theory as ‘backwards step’

By Admin on 21 April 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Other

Pope Francis has strongly rejected ‘gender theory’ which claims there are no real differences between men and women, warning that the removal of such difference would represent “a step backwards” for society. During his weekly catechesis, the Pontiff stressed that getting rid of the difference between man and woman “is the problem, not the solution”.


Religious representatives seek conscience clause in marriage referendum

By Admin on 15 April 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Christian and Muslim representatives in Ireland have issued a joint call for a conscience clause to be included in legislation in the event of a Yes result in the same-sex marriage referendum. In a document submitted to the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, members of the Catholic Church, the Reformed Presbyterian and Quaker churches, together with the Irish Council of Imams and the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland urged legal protection for people of faith who may find themselves sanctioned for discrimination in holding true to their beliefs “in employment, worship or social interaction”.


Children have no right to a mother and father says Simon Coveney

By Admin on 15 April 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Minister Simon Coveney who is running Fine Gael’s Yes campaign in the marriage referendum has denied that children have a right to a mother and a father. When asked, during an interview conducted with The Irish Times newspaper, if the right to a mother and father existed, Minister Simon Coveney said: “No I don’t, no.


Surprise at Taoiseach’s comments on Church giving up solemnising civil marriages

By Admin on 14 April 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Religion and Religious Practice

A spokesman for Ireland’s Catholic Bishops has reacted with surprise to apparently off-hand comments by Taoiseach Enda Kenny regarding the Church’s continuing role in solemnising marriages on behalf of the State. Following a statement to RTÉ in which Mr Kenny said it was a matter for the Church alone to decide if it would continue its practice of registering marriages on behalf of State registrars should the same-sex marriage referendum pass, Martin Long of the Catholic Communications Office said the issue was one of importance to the State too.


Right to Catholic teaching on marriage must be protected – Bishop

By Admin on 14 April 2015. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The right of Catholic schools in Ireland to teach that marriage is between one man and one woman only must be protected in the event of a Yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum, a Catholic bishop has insisted. In an interview with The Irish Catholic newspaper, Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin stressed that “any school of course could teach that the law about marriage has changed but a Catholic school would also have to be free to teach that the Catholic Church does not subscribe to that changed understanding of marriage”.


Catholic Church may end civil registration role if marriage redefined

By Admin on 13 April 2015 . ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Religion and Religious Practice

A spokesman for Ireland’s Catholic Bishops has said the Irish Church may be forced to end the practice of civil registration of marriages conducted in churches if the same-sex marriage referendum passes. Speaking to The Irish Times newspaper, Martin Long of the Catholic Communications Office said: “If the referendum is passed the Church’s view and the State’s view of marriage will be radically different. It’s reasonable that the bishops may decide to separate the two.”


Woman raised by same-sex couple speaks of ‘confusion, damage’ to her upbringing

By Admin on 13 April 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A British woman raised by a lesbian couple has warned of the potential for “irreparable, long-term damage to a child” by such an arrangement following her own “damaging and confusing” upbringing. Actress Hetty Baynes Russell said she had spent years in therapy “trying to make sense” of her familial situation once her father had been removed from her life, allowing her mother, Margot, to bring her lesbian partner into the lives of her five children.


Parents urge UN to end ‘incompatible with life’ term

By Admin on 10 April 2015. ~ Categories: Other

A delegation of parents, including from Ireland, has urged the United Nations to end its use of the term ‘incompatible with life’ during a visit to the organisation’s Geneva Headquarters. Organised by the pro-life group Every Life Counts to mark the launch of the Geneva Declaration on Perinatal Care, the Irish contingent was led by Mattie McGrath TD, and was afforded time to address the assembly on the stories of their own children who had been deemed ‘incompatible with life’ by medical practitioners.


Christian-owned pizzeria closed after death threats from LGBT activists

By Admin on 7 April 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A pizzeria in the US state of Indiana has been forced to close its doors amid a backlash by LGBT activists after it said it could not cater for same-sex weddings on the grounds of their religious beliefs. Coming as Indiana became the 19th state to adopt a Religious Freedom Restoration Act – with additional protections for faith-owned businesses – the story of Memories Pizza became a lead story for numerous networks, resulting in an onslaught of vitriol from gay activists.


Baker cleared after refusing to bake cake with “derogatory imagery”

By Admin on 7 April 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

A bakery in the US state of Colorado has been cleared of discrimination after it refused to supply cakes bearing anti-same-sex marriage messages. The case, first brought before the Colorado Civil Rights Division last year, originated with a Christian, William Jack, who asked Azucar Bakery in Denver to create two Bible-shaped cakes, one bearing the biblical passages “God hates sin. Psalm 45:7,” “Homosexuality is a detestable sin. Leviticus 18:2,” “God loves sinners,” and “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.” The second cake was to portray an image of two grooms, holding hands with a red ‘X’ covering them.


Poll: 70pc believe children should be raised by their own mother and father

By Admin on 3 April 15. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A new opinion poll conducted by Amarach Research on behalf of The Iona Institute has found that seventy percent of respondents agree with the statement, ‘Children have a right to be raised by their own mother and father’. Only eight percent disagreed with the statement while the remainder said they neither agreed nor disagreed.


Christians face ongoing prejudice in modern Britain - MP

By Admin on 3 April 2015. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice

Christians in Britain face ongoing prejudice for their faith, a leading British politician has said. Conservative Michael Gove, MP, a former education secretary, said in an article for The Spectator magazine that to declare oneself a person of faith today in modern Britain “is to invite pity, condescension or cool dismissal”. Describing himself as “Christian and proud of it”, Mr Gove went on that making such a statement "in a culture that prizes sophistication, non-judgmentalism, irony and detachment, it is to declare yourself intolerant, naive, superstitious and backward”.


Taoiseach ‘must clarify’ statement that Catholic schools will have to teach same-sex marriage

By Admin on 2 April 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Schools and Education

Mothers and Fathers Matter, the organisation leading the No Campaign in Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum has demanded that Taoiseach Enda Kenny clarify comments he made regarding teaching on marriage in Catholic schools should the marriage referendum pass. In an interview on RTE, Mr Kenny said that Catholic schools "will be expected to teach children that people in this country, in Ireland, in 2016, will have the right to get married irrespective of their sexual orientation".


Postal workers refuse to deliver ‘offensive’ paper on conscience grounds

By Admin on 1 April 2015. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Postal workers in Canada face disciplinary action for their refusal to deliver a news sheet they view as offensive. The publication, Your Ward News, became a subject of controversy within the postal service when a Jewish worker objected to its content on religious grounds. The sheet is a vehicle for the unregistered New Constitution Party, which uses Your Ward News to attack mainstream politicians in very strong terms. One article referred to former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau as a “neo-Nazi fascist, anti-Semite and Quebec separatist”.


Official Swedish dictionary to list gender-neutral pronoun

By Admin on 31 March 2015 . ~ Categories: Other

The official dictionary of the Swedish language is to include a gender-neutral pronoun for the first time among new entries in its latest edition. According to the Swedish Academy, which compiles the dictionary, the term 'hen' will now be listed as an alternative to the sex-specific pronouns 'han' (he) and 'hon' (she).


Bakery in gay cake row sees surge in business

By Admin on 31 March 2015 . ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

People from across Northern Ireland have been flocking to show support for a bakery facing court action in an equality case over a same-sex marriage cake. Since the start of the court action last week, Ashers Bakery in Belfast has experienced a surge in business as regular customers have upped their visits while first-time customers have travelled for miles to purchase cakes by way of supporting the bakery owners in their conscience stance against baking a cake with a message in support of same-sex marriage.


Australia debate on same-sex marriage postponed indefinitely

By Admin on 30 March 2015 . ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A planned debate in Australia’s Senate on same-sex marriage has been postponed indefinitely after the nation’s prime minister refused to allow MPs a conscience vote on the issue. In the days before the proposed debate, the Australian Christian Lobby together with other pro-family groups garnered over two million signatures in support of traditional marriage which were sent to MPs to urge a continuing defence of the family.


Woman charged after firebomb attack on pro-life vigil

By Admin on March 28 2015. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion,Other

Police in the US state of Texas have arrested a woman after a firebomb was hurled at people engaged in a prayer vigil outside an abortion clinic. Members of the Central Texas Alliance for Life had gathered in the city of Austin for the prayer event when the crude device was thrown from a passing car, allegedly by 52-year-old Melanie Maria Toney. Luckily for those who were the intended target, the thrown bottle did not shatter and a burning wick failed to make contact with the liquid contents, thought to be flammable.


Senator Walsh resigns over Children and Family Bill

By Admin on 27 March 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Senator Jim Walsh has given up the Fianna Fáil (FF) party whip following his expressions of opposition to the Children and Family Relationships Bill. Arguing, during a Seanad debate on the Children and Family Relationships Bill that it contains “many gaps”, Senator Walsh opposed 36 individual sections of the legislation and tabled amendments which recognise the right of a child to be raised by a mother and a father. Prior to his resignation, Senator Walsh met with FF party leader Micheál Martin to communicate his concerns and later, in his letter of resignation, stated that his actions were based on his “deeply held and conscientious opinions”.


Children and Family Bill attacked in the Seanad

By Admin on 25th March 2015. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The Government's Children and Family Relationships Bill, which is currently being debated in the Seanad, has been strongly criticised by Senators Ronan Mullen and Jim Walsh. Independent Senator Ronan Mullen accused the government of the same kind of groupthink that led to the banking crisis, and said that the Bill “wrecks the Government's credentials as defenders of the best interests of children.” Senator Jim Walsh of Fianna Fail said that the Bill did nothing to safeguard a child's right to have a mother and father, and said that in failing to restrict the use of donor eggs and sperm the Bill “in no way respects the genetic kinship of (donor-conceived) children and completely disconnects legal motherhood and fatherhood from genetic parenthood.”


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