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One in ten marriages involve a divorced person: CSO

Ten per cent of all marriages in Ireland now involve at least one person who has been divorced, according to figures released today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). In addition, a majority of middle-aged people who marry, are marrying for a second time.

30/06/09
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Children from broken homes used by gangs: report

Young children, often from broken homes, are being recruited by Limerick's criminal gangs, according to a major new study.

30/06/09
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Civil Partnership Bill “deeply flawed and undermines marriage”

The Government's Civil Partnerships Bill, published today, reveals “a deeply flawed and poorly thought-out approach to family policy which undermines the special status of marriage,” according to The Iona Institute.

26/06/09
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Civil Partnership Bill “deeply flawed and undermines marriage”

The Government's Civil Partnerships Bill, published today, reveals “a deeply flawed and poorly thought-out approach to family policy which undermines the special status of marriage,” according to The Iona Institute.

The Bill gives same-sex couples most of the same rights that currently attach to married couples, including favourable tax treatment, pension rights, the right to maintenance on separation, etc.

Speaking on behalf of the Institute, Dr John Murray said: “The main purpose of family policy is the promotion of the family that is most beneficial from the point of view of the child, and that remains the family based on the marriage between a man and a woman. Family policy is not primarily about the promotion of equality between adults as the Government now seems to believe.”

He said: “The special status of marriage is undermined by effectively raising other forms of the family to a similar level to marriage. The Government is clearly moving from a pro-marriage policy to a pro-family diversity model based on an erroneous view of equality.”

He continued: “The scientific evidence supports the view that children fare best when raised by a loving mother and father who are married. Studies that contradict this point of view are invariably very small and are frequently based on self-selected rather than random samples.”

Dr Murray emphasised: “It is not discrimination to treat different situations in different ways. It makes sense to confer on marriage an enhanced set of rights and benefits because marriage is so advantageous to children. It makes no sense to confer most of these benefits on situations that are significantly different than the marriage between a man and a woman.”

The Iona Institute has previously recommended that same-sex couples be covered by the ‘legal safety-net’ model along the lines the Civil Partnership Bill is providing to others in caring, dependent relationships. This includes the right to apply for maintenance and a property settlement.

Dr Murray also said it was important that religious freedom be given proper protection. He stated: “It is essential that religious freedom considerations are taken into account. In other jurisdictions churches have been successfully sued for not letting their premises be used by same-sex couples celebrating their unions. Christian photographers have been fined for not photographing such ceremonies. Other such examples exist.”

Announcing the publication, Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern claimed that the Bill had been carefully framed to balance any potential Constitutional conflict between the special status of marriage and its guarantee of equality.

This balance, he said, was achieved by “maintaining material distinctions between civil partnership and marriage, in particular between the rights attaching to both”.

Meanwhile, Labour's Brendan Howlin said that, while the Bill was welcome in certain respects, it fell short in its commitment to equality.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) welcomed the Bill as "broadly progressive" calling it “a halfway house to granting genuine equality to same sex couples through full civil marriage".

Mr Kelly went on to claim that “the onus is on those who, for religious or other reasons, still believe that it is acceptable to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation to explain why their prejudice should be reflected in law".

Fine Gael also welcomed the Bill which it said, reflected its own long-standing social justice agenda. However, the party’s justice spokesman, Charlie Flanagan, said it was disappointing that Minister Ahern has waited until the dying days of the Dáil session to publish a Bill which required careful analysis.

26/06/09

Teachers code may impose “commitment to secularism”: lawyer

A planned code of conduct for UK teachers risks imposing a “test of professional commitment to secularism”, a leading employment lawyer says.

26/06/09
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Recession hasn't stopped Christian generosity: poll

Christians are still giving generously to charity despite the economic downturn, a new poll shows.

25/06/09
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Church of England report blasts BBC for treating Christianity as “freak show”

The Church of England is set to attack the BBC in report which says that the corporation is treating Christianity like a ‘freak show’.

23/06/09
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Department officials to meet with Archbishop over school patronage

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin is set to meet officials from the Department of Education soon to discuss his proposals to divest control of some Catholic schools, according to a report in the Irish Times.

23/06/09
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Government obtains agreement on Lisbon guarantees: report

EU leaders have agreed to provide the legal guarantees, including on abortion, the family and education, being sought by the Irish Government ahead of a planned re-run of the Lisbon Treaty referendum later this year.

19/06/09
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End family breakdown culture, says leading family judge

A culture of broken relationships is scarring children and damaging society, a leading family judge warned on Tuesday.

19/06/09
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Fine Gael “believes in parental choice”: Hayes

Parental choice “must be at the heart of education policy”, according to Fine Gael's education spokesperson Brian Hayes. Speaking to the Irish Catholic newspaper, Mr Hayes said that there should be no “one-size-fits-all approach to educational provision”.

18/06/09
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Half out of wedlock births to cohabiting couples

Half the children born outside wedlock in the third quarter of last year were to cohabiting couples, new figures show.

17/06/09
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Rights of parents to faith schools cannot be “brushed aside”: Archbishop

The right of parents to send their children to faith schools is recognised in the Constitution and cannot be brushed aside, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has said.

17/06/09
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Government publishes Lisbon socio-ethical guarantees

Guarantees protecting the Irish Constitution as regards family, abortion and education from aspects of the Lisbon Treaty, plus the accompanying Charter of Fundamental Rights, have been published by the Government ahead of a second referendum in the autumn.

16/06/09
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Secularists seek to reduce school choice says TES editor

If secularist opponents of faith schools think religion is “a busted flush” they should stop being afraid of its influence, writes the editor of the Times Educational Supplement (TES).

16/06/09
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Overwhelming majority continue to believe in God: survey

Ninety five per cent of Irish people still believe in God, according to a study launched in Maynooth this week.

11/06/09
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EU “must keep promise” on Lisbon guarantees says Senator Mullen

Senator Rónán Mullen has challenged Ireland's EU partners to be true to their word and ensure that Ireland receives guarantees on family law and the right to life ahead of a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

11/06/09
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Catholic bishops stand firm on schools

Ireland's Catholic bishops have reiterated their commitment to providing “Catholic schools to cater for the needs of parents who wish their children to have a Catholic education”.

11/06/09
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Secular Left dealt blow in Euro elections

Socialist parties across Europe were dealt a serious blow in European Parliament elections at the weekend, as the Socialist group in the parliament, the PSE, lost 20 MEPs throughout the EU.

09/06/09
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Mother objects to son being placed with same-sex couple

A Catholic mother in the UK is taking legal advice after Brighton and Hove Council arranged to place her ten-year-old son with a homosexual foster couple.

09/06/09
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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.