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Opinions contained in The Iona Blog are not necessarily those of The Iona Institute. The Iona Blog is open to anyone who broadly shares the views of The Iona Institute. If you wish to post a comment on a relevant topic please email 200 – 400 words to email@example.com and it will be considered for inclusion in the blog.
Labour’s Eoin Holmes has done spectacularly badly in the Meath East by-election. Holmes ran in part on a social issues agenda. He made lots of noise about Labour’s stance on abortion and same-sex marriage, and had Ivana Bacik (pictured) as a prominent part of his campaign. It did him no good whatsoever.
Last Sunday saw another mass protest against same-sex marriage in Paris. This video gives a good feel of the colour, atmosphere and sheer joie de vivre of the overall march.
Why do economists strongly recommend schemes promoting higher levels of college education, but almost never promote schemes to incentivise marriage? After all, both are beneficial. It's an interesting question, posed by writer Megan McArdle in this blog.
More extravagant claims are being made for the benefits of child-care. For example, at a recent conference organised by pro-child care organisation, Start Strong, Fergus Finlay of Bernardos said Sweden’s comprehensive child-care system was responsible for its strong economy.
The website of the Constitutional Convention lists all the submissions made to date on the subject of same-sex marriage. Most of these, unfortunately, reflect only one side of the argument, that is the pro-same-sex marriage side.
The headline to the story in The Irish Times yesterday read, ‘Only 49pc teach religion willingly in schools’. What did this headline invite us to believe? It invited us to believe that the rest do so unwillingly. Nothing could be further from the truth. The INTO survey on which the report is based in fact found that only 10pc of respondents don’t want to teach religion.
Reports that the Government could back a Bill which would deny religious institutions the right not to hire people who could damage their ethos and to take “reasonable” action against those who do is very worrying for those of us who value religious freedom.
Maria Steen of the Iona Institute discussed the issue of surrogacy on RTE's Prime Time with David Walsh of the Sims Fertility Clinic on Tuesday in the wake of the High Court's decision to recognise the biological parents of twins born to a surrogate mother as the legal parents.
Yesterday's High Court ruling in favour of a biological mother whose child was born to a surrogate mother and who wanted to be acknowledged as the legal mother was a legal milestone. The case presented surrogacy in a positive light. In fact, surrogacy is an ethical minefield throwing into sharp relief such questions as who is the ‘real’ mother of a child when two or more women have a hand in its creation.
This year is the 50th anniversary of The Feminine Mystique, by Betty Friedan, one of the most influential books of the late 20th century and possibly the key text in modern feminism. In the latest edition of the Family in America journal, author Charmaine Crouse Yoest argues that the book launched modern feminism's war on motherhood.
The Supreme Court is in the midst of considering the issue of assisted suicide, after last month's High Court ruling upholding Ireland's ban on the practice was appealed. Yesterday, the court heard from the lawyer from the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC), Frank Callanan SC, who argued that the appellant, Marie Fleming, should have the right to die, but declined to say whether this was a Constitutional right or not.
Last week I was asked by a school to address its transition year and sixth year girls on the topic of abortion. Talking about abortion to a group of 120 17 and 18 year olds struck me as risky business. Would they react against what I had to say, or would they ‘merely’ be bored stiff? In fact, it went very well.
No fewer than seven judges of the European Court of Human Rights issued a partial dissent from the court's ruling on Tuesday in favour of a lesbian couple where one partner wished to adopt the biological child of the other.
The European Court of Human Rights seems to have difficulty treating different situations differently. That much is clear from its ruling in the case of X and Others v. Austria. Instead the court wants to pretend that different situations are the same.
Victoria White (pictured) has an excellent piece in today's Irish Examiner arguing forcefully for the retention of Article 41.2, which deals with women in the home. White makes the excellent-and all too frequently forgotten-point that the article was not designed to keep women in the home, but to protect their rights.
The University Times has apologised unreservedly to Iona Institute director, David Quinn, for defamatory remarks made about him in two articles in its issue of January 5. Mr Quinn was also given a right of reply.
Yesterday, the Catholic Church's marriage counselling agency, Accord, released figures which they say demonstrate that there are increasing strains being place upon marriage. The figures show that the number of people using their marriage counselling services increased and that the number of people reporting financial difficulties, communication issues and stress and anxiety overall had gone up.
On Tuesday night the House of Commons voted by 400 to 175 in favour of same-sex marriage. Interestingly, among the 175 who voted against were 22 Labour MPs. This was unexpected in that Labour is committed to equality, and same-sex marriage is normally argued for in the name of equality. So why would 22 Labour MPs vote against same-sex marriage?
Some of the speakers at the Dublin Castle conference on vulnerable families in Europe, surprisingly admitted that the trends towards more single parent families, more cohabitation, fewer, later and more unstable families were not positive. Unfortunately they were fatalistic as to whether anything could be done about this.
Is standing up for conscience now a criminal offence in the West? The term “prisoner of conscience” may not have been invented by Amnesty International, but that organisation probably did more than any other to popularise it.
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