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Same-sex marriage ban likely to be upheld by California Supreme Court

The California Supreme Court last week suggested that it was ready today to uphold Proposition 8, the November ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage. However, it also seemed likely to rule that the marriages of same-sex couples who wed before the vote would remain valid.

10/03/09
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New proposals to stop religious selection “perverse” say English religious leaders

New proposals to take away the rights of faith schools' to admit pupils on the basis of religion are "perverse and unjust", according to the Britain's religious leaders.

06/03/09
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Religious people stay calm in a crisis: study

Religious people are less likely to panic under pressure than those with no religion, according to the results of a new experiment.

06/03/09
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Punishment of people over their faith “ludricrous”, says Blair

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has blasted as "ludicrous” the punishment of people for expressing their beliefs, such as the nurse recently suspended for offering to pray for a patient.

05/03/09
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Senators Norris and Bacik deny child’s right to mother and father

The idea that children have a right to a mother and father is “absurd” and “nonsensical”, Senators David Norris and Ivana Bacik have said in a Seanad debate. During the debate, children’s minister, Barry Andrews, indicated he was open to the idea of adoption by same-sex couples and said the only real impediment to it was the Constitution.

05/03/09
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Archbishop backs moves to secure protocols for Lisbon II

Protocols securing Ireland's unique stance on social and moral issues ahead of a second Lisbon referendum are an important part of ensuring that the “competence creep” of EU law does not interfere with our laws on family and abortion, according to the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin.

03/03/09
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New IVF rules allow two ‘mothers’ to be named on birth certs

A former head of the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), Baroness Deech, has said that new regulations governing IVF are “ putting the rights of the parents way above those of the child”.

03/03/09
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Australian rights charter weakens protection for religion, warns expert

A leading Australian human rights expert has warned that a human rights charter being championed by some campaigners is "a device for the delivery of a soft-Left sectarian agenda".

03/03/09
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Twenty children in care of State died over six years, say new figures

Twenty children in State care have died over a six-year period, according to figures reported in the Irish Times.

26/02/09
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US to fund pro-marriage ad campaign

The US government is funding a $5 million national media campaign that launches this month, extolling the virtues of marriage for those ages 18 to 30.

24/02/09
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Draft EPP manifesto favours ‘family diversity’ over marriage

The draft manifesto of the European People's Party (EPP) for the 2009 European Parliament elections has removed the reference to “unique ties between man and woman” in the context of the family and replaced them with a reference to family diversity.


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Marital children have priority over non-marital children: High Court

Fathers have a prior duty to provide financial care for their marital children over and above any duty to non-marital children, the High Court has ruled.

24/02/09
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Govt must secure social guarantees to win Lisbon, says Senator Mullen

The Government needs to ensure that the Irish Constitution, and not Europe “reigns supreme where sensitive social issues are concerned,” in considering its approach to any second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, Senator Ronan Mullen has said.

20/02/09
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Radical Yogyakarta Principles being considered at Council of Europe

The radical Yogyakarta Principles, which are aimed, among other things, at legalising same-sex marriage and adoption world-wide, as well as banning ‘hate speech’ against homosexuals, is being considered by special committee of the Council of Europe (CoE) is meeting this week in Strasbourg.

20/02/09
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Religion important in vast majority of people's lives, world poll finds

Religion is important in the daily lives of over 80 per cent of the world’s population, according to a new poll conducted by Gallup. Approximately 1,000 adults were surveyed in almost every country in the world in 2006, 2007, and 2008. It asked respondents how important religion was to them in their daily lives.

Among industrialised countries, the US is one of the most religious, with 65 per cent saying that religion is important in their daily lives. The Irish figure is around the same.

It found that people in Egypt, (100 per cent) Bangladesh and Sri Lanka (both 99 per cent) were the most religious. A group of other countries, including Indonesia, Malawi and Morocco were on 98 per cent.

The least religious countries were mainly in Europe, with Estonia, on 14 per cent, Sweden on 17 per cent and Denmark on 18 per cent. Just below them were Norway (20 per cent) and the Czech Republic (21 per cent).

The survey shows that eight of the 11 countries in which almost all residents (at least 98 per cent) say religion is important in their daily lives are poorer nations in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the 10 least religious countries studied include several with the world's highest living standards, including Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Hong Kong, and Japan.

Among 27 countries commonly seen as part of the developed world, the median proportion of those who say religion is important in their daily lives is just 38 per cent.

The US is significantly more religious. However, there are significantly different levels of religiosity among the 50 states. States such as Mississippi (85 per cent) and Alabama (82 per cent) mirror the world median level of religiosity, while states such as Vermont (42 per cent), New Hampshire (46 per cent) and Maine (48 per cent) were considerably below the world average score.

19/02/09

UK Christians regarded as “mad”: Archbishop

Contemporary British society regards Christians as "mad" because they are motivated by compassion and not money, according to a leading Anglican clergyman

19/02/09
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Children need to learn the Bible, says leading atheist

Children should be taught the Bible or they will fail to understand culture and and literature, according to the UK's leading poet.

19/02/09
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UK teachers may face action for talking about faith

New guidelines for teachers drawn up by the UK's General Teaching Council (GTC), mean that teachers may face disciplinary action if they discuss their religious beliefs with children, according to reports. The guidelines say that teachers must "promote equality and value diversity".

17/02/09
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First ever Marriage Week in Ireland launched

This week Ireland's first-ever Marriage Week has been taking place. The event consisted of a programme of events to support and encourage married and engaged couples, has been welcomed by Mary Hanafin, Minister for Social and Family Affairs.

12/02/08
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Jesuit College strengthens Catholic identity

Boston College (BC), a renowned US Jesuit university, has decided to reintroduce crosses into its classrooms. The move, which was made last month, is part of an ongoing drive to make the college's Catholic identity more public. Two years ago, the college installed a new statue of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order.

13/02/09
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"The child...shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents."

Article 7. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.