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Campaigners are urging the Government to spend an additional €2bn a year to fund more childcare, and have suggested taking money from Child Benefit to pay for the scheme. Start Strong, a lobby group which advocates for childcare, together with Barnardos, the National Women's Council and lone parent group One Family, made the call at a seminar yesterday, The Irish Times reports.
A controversial taxpayer funded sex education programme in Scotland which promoted condom use among teenagers did not result in more usage, according to a new report in Scotland. Research from Edinburgh Napier University found that the NHS-run “Healthy Respect” scheme, which provided condoms to teenagers, did not increase their willingness to use them, the HeraldScotland news website reports.
A police chaplain in the UK has been forced out of his post after criticising the Government’s plans for same-sex marriage on his personal website, MPs have heard. Rev Brian Ross said he was summoned to a meeting with a senior officer and told that postings on his blog on the subject of marriage did not fit with the force’s equality and diversity policies, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Health workers in a seaside resort where dozens of young girls were sexually exploited were more focused on handing out contraception than spotting the signs of abuse, a report says. As many as 40 vulnerable girls as young as 13 were victims of sexual exploitation by a group of men in the Torbay area of Devon in the UK between 2006 and 2011.
Irish courts "can never sanction any step to terminate a life", the Supreme Court was told yesterday. Lawyers for the State said that the policy of the law which decriminalised suicide in 1993 was adverse to all suicide, the Irish Independent reports.
There has been a fall in the birth rate, according to new figures from the CSO. The Vital Statistics report for the third quarter of 2012 showed that the number of births declined compared to the number of births from the corresponding quarter of 2011. There were 17,985 live births in the third quarter of 2012, 1,237 fewer than the corresponding quarter of 2011.
The court wants to use the case of MS sufferer Marie Fleming to make it harder for others to avail of assisted suicide, a lawyer representing Ms Fleming has argued. Ms Fleming, a former academic, wants her long term partner Tom Curran to be able to assist her in taking her own life without him facing jail.
A number of vulnerable children who were placed in foster families which were later found to be unsafe have been moved to alternative state accommodation. Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald (pictured) said yesterday that the children had been removed from the families in north west Dublin after inspectors found serious allegations had been made against some foster carers.
The number of women engaged in ‘home duties’ has fallen by a massive 30,000 in just one year according to the latest Quarterly National Household Survey from the CSO. The number of women working in the home in the fourth quarter of 2012 stood at 491,000 down from 521,000 in the final quarter of 2011.
The head of the Sexual Health Centre (SHC) in Cork has said that take-up of its sex education programmes by schools in the area is “patchy” and called for the State to rigorously monitor schools on the issue. Deirdre Seery, CEO of the SHC, said the centre was involved in Transition Year and fifth and sixth year programmes in only around 50pc of Cork schools, and the take-up for its junior programmes was “much lower”.
The Supreme Court is set to hear an appeal against a ruling by the High Court in January which upheld Ireland's ban on assisted suicide. Marie Fleming, who lost the case, argued that the ban infringed her personal autonomy and equality rights under the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights, the Irish Times reports.
Australian law permitting only opposite-sex marriage does not amount to gender discrimination, a federal court judge in Sydney has ruled. Justice Jayne Jagot said that neither gay men nor women are allowed to marry under the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984 and thus both sexes are treated equally to that extent.
A French branch of Subway, the fast-food retailer, has been forced to shut after it advertised a Valentine’s Day deal that did not include gay couples. The store, which offered a discounted meal specifically for male/female couples, said it was exercising “freedom of expression,” the Huffington Post reports.
An influential group of NHS experts is urging the Scottish Government to allow the morning-after pill to be handed out in schools. The morning-after pill can act as an abortifacient. However, the demand has faced criticism for being irresponsible and “pours more fuel on the flames”.
A Fine Gael county councillor has criticised the HSE for its payments to hospital chaplains. Kieran Dennison, who represents the Mulhuddart Ward of Dublin West, questioned whether the State should be paying chaplains ahead of nursing staff, The Irish Times reports.
A ‘conspiracy of silence’ surrounded the issue of marriage because political leaders were afraid to say married families were better for children than cohabiting families or single parent families, a leading family lawyer has said. Baroness Ruth Deech (pictured) also said marriage is as important to the future of the nation as climate change and poverty, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The Swedish government is to amend a law to replace the term ‘pregnant woman’ with ‘pregnant person’ as a concession to transsexuals. It will mean a pregnant person will no longer be automatically considered to be a woman.
An Austrian law which forbids same-sex couple from adopting children in certain circumstances has been found to be in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights The Austrian law allows a man to adopt his own child when he is in an unmarried partnership with the child’s biological mother, but it does not allow a person in a same-sex relationship to adopt the biological child of their partner.
Delegates at the Constitutional Convention have voted overwhelmingly to amend rather than delete Article 41.2 of the Constitution which deals with women in the home. This was in line with the recommendations of submissions from the Iona Institute and Curam, which advocates for carers in the home, both of whom argued for the amendment as against the deletion of the article.
Middle-income families are set to bear the brunt of the Government's proposed changes to Child Benefit, according to an expert report. ‘Squeezed’ middle-income families, not high earners, will suffer "the most significant losses" in relative terms under the proposed changes, the report says, according to The Irish Independent.
France's medical ethics council has edged the country closer to legalising euthanasia by ruling that assisted suicide should be allowed in certain cases In a statement issued on Thursday, they said that patients who make "persistent and lucid requests" to have their lives ended should be permitted to have access to assisted suicide.
President Obama has pledged that his administration will work to remove financial barriers to marriage for low income couples. In his State of the Union address he said that strong families have always been “the source of our progress at home” and “the foundation of our power and influence throughout the world”.
Legislation along the lines of the X case which allows abortion in the case of suicide would not vindicate the equal right to life of the unborn child and would be unconstitutional, former Taoiseach John Bruton has said. In an article in today's Irish Times, Mr Bruton says that article 40.3.3 “acknowledges an equal right to life of a mother and of her unborn child”.
Article 41.2 of the Constitution, which deals with women in the home, should be amended to make it gender-neutral, not deleted, the Iona Institute has said. In a statement, they said that the article, which is set to be discussed at the weekend by the Constitutional Convention, “says something very important, which is that the domestic or private sphere must be protected from the demands of the marketplace and work”.
Article 41.2 of the Constitution which protects the role of mothers in the home should not be removed, carers’ organisation Cúram says in its submission to the Constitutional Convention. The Convention is meeting this weekend to discuss Article 41.2.
Britain is becoming increasingly reliant on Churches and religious groups to meet “crucial” needs once met by the state, a minister in the UK government has acknowledged. Baroness Warsi (pictured) told a meeting in Westminister that Christians, Muslims, Jews and others have a right to publicly practise their faith insisting that “people who do God do good”.
The lower house of the French parliament has approved the first reading of a bill to introduce same-sex marriage. The bill would also legalise same-sex adoption. President Francois Hollande's Socialists have pushed the measure through the National Assembly in a 329-to-229 vote.
Marriage in Ireland is under more pressure than ever, new figures produced by the Church's marriage counselling agency Accord reveal. The figures, published yesterday, showed a significant rise in demand by individuals and couples for Accord’s marriage counselling service over the last three years.
A judge in the US state of Florida has approved an adoption allowing three people — a gay man and a lesbian couple in a same-sex marriage— to be listed on the birth certificate of their 23-month-old daughter. Local Judge Antonio Marin approved a private settlement between the three individuals and the court adoption clerk submitted paperwork for the child’s new birth certificate.
The US Catholic bishops have rejected the “compromise” proposed by the Obama Administration regarding its mandate requiring religious groups to place their employees in health insurance schemes covering abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilisation.
Irish marriage rates have fallen to the EU average, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. According to new data on marriage from 2010, Ireland now has a marriage rate of 4.5 per thousand people, which is roughly the same as the EU average of 4.4. This represents a fall from 4.9 in 2009 and from 7.4 in 1973.
Attempts to transfer the ownership of a former Christian Brothers school building to a new patron in Dublin city have run into legal difficulties, according to RTE. The Department of Education wants the Edmund Rice Schools Trust to relinquish control of the building.
Young couples who get through the first 10 years of marriage have the same chance of staying together as their grandparents’ generation, a study of divorce patterns over the last 50 years suggests. The study says that divorce rates for those who have been together more than a decade have remained almost completely unchanged since the 1960s, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Tory MPs have staged the biggest rebellion in party history to vote against their own Government's plans to legalise same-sex marriage. The final tally of vote showed that 134 Conservative MPs voted against the Bill on Tuesday night, with 22 Labour MPs also opposing the Bill.
Children whose parents divorce after they turn seven are more likely to misbehave and perform badly at school, according to a new UK Government-funded study. It also showed that children who are brought up in homes where rules are enforced display strong verbal skills and are more likely to do well in school exams, the Daily Mail reports.
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