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All articles in category News

News

February 2019
News > Society

NHS staff told using ‘he’ or ‘she’ could offend transgender people

NHS staff in Lothian have been told to refer to patients as ‘they’ to avoid offending transgender people. Managers have been offered training courses to show them how ‘gender neutral’ language can be ‘normalised’ in the health service. NHS Lothian is running courses for staff in conjunction with the Scottish Trans Alliance and LGBT Health and Wellbeing. A handout advises staff: ‘Don’t assume you know which pronouns and titles people prefer — ask what they prefer’. Staff are being encouraged to use gender neutral language at home in their personal lives, as well as at work. A senior figure at NHS Lothian who attended an...

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News

February 2019
News > Society

Gym under fire for asking man to leave woman’s changing area

A gym has been criticised after it asked a man, who self-identifies as a woman, to leave the women’s changing area. Female customers told staff at PureGym that they felt ‘uncomfortable’ getting changed in the same room as the man. The transgender customer rejected PureGym’s offer of an alternative, gender neutral changing area. The gym’s customer told BuzzFeed News, ‘The manager said that men weren’t allowed in the women’s locker room. ‘The manager said ‘I’m afraid you have to leave’ because someone was made uncomfortable by me being in there.’ Staff told the customer that he was welcome to use the disabled changing room, which...

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News

February 2019
News > Society

£1m lottery grants given to transgender lobby groups

Lottery grants totalling about £1millon have been awarded to two lobbying groups to push transgender campaign issues. On the face of it, the grants appear to break the rules about lottery grants not being given to support political campaigning. The Big Lottery Fund (BLF) was set to award £500,000 to Mermaids, a transgender charity. And it was set to award a further £494,000 to gay rights group Stonewall to ‘empower trans leaders and organisations’. But the Sunday Times criticised the grants, questioning whether other causes were missing out on funding. The newspaper polled its readers, asking whether BLF is supporting the right causes, and found...

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News

February 2019
News > Society

Mother threatened by social workers after she raised transgender concerns

A mum who raised concerns that her daughter, 14, was being encouraged to change her gender has been threatened by social services. The 45-year-old mother has been told that her daughter could be placed under the care of social workers. It came after the mother lodged complaints that her daughter was being ‘encouraged’ to change sex by a therapist and her teachers. The mother gave an interview to the Mail on Sunday, who protected her identity for the sake of her daughter. The mother told the newspaper that an NHS psychotherapist had told the girl she could take hormones to stop her periods and give...

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News

February 2019
News > Society

Gender-confused schoolgirls sent breast binders by trans group

A publicly-funded transgender group has been sending breast binders to schoolgirls as young as thirteen and hiding the practice from parents, a newspaper investigation has revealed. Trans organisation Morf were found to be sending the binders to schoolgirls in unmarked packages after a Mail on Sunday journalist posed as a 13-year-old girl. Critics have branded the practice as self-harming. Breast binders are used by an increasing number of young girls to disguise their chest to make them look like boys. A 2015 study revealed that using them could have physical consequences, including broken ribs, collapsed lungs, back pain, spinal compression, blood clots and breathing difficulties....

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > International

Netherlands: Dementia patient euthanised despite saying she ‘didn’t want to die’

A doctor has been charged with unlawfully ending a patient’s life in the first case of its kind since euthanasia was legalised in the Netherlands in 2002. The nursing home doctor, who remains anonymous, administered a lethal injection to a 74-year-old dementia patient despite the fact that her will was ‘unclear and contradictory’. Prosecutors have said that the doctor had ‘not acted carefully’ and ‘overstepped a line’. Though the dementia-sufferer had earlier expressed a desire for euthanasia when ‘the time was right’, in the days before she was killed, she had said she did not want to die.

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News

February 2019
News > International

Germany: Court upholds removal of children from home-school family

The German state acted within Convention law in removing children from a home-schooling family, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. The Wunderlich family are considering a potential appeal to the Grand Chamber of the court. In August 2013, more than 30 police officers and social workers stormed the home of the Wunderlich family. The authorities forcibly removed the children from their parents and their home, leaving the family traumatised.       The children were ultimately returned to their parents but their legal status remained unclear as Germany is one of the few European countries that penalises families who want to home school. After domestic courts...

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News

February 2019
News > International

Greece: Court rules against the forced application of Sharia law

The European Court of Human Rights ruled against Greece in a case involving the forced application of Islamic Sharia law in an inheritance dispute. The case centred on a Muslim Greek man’s will in which he bequeathed all he owned to his wife. But it was deemed invalid after it was challenged by his sisters. However, the man’s widow appealed to the European court in 2014, having lost three quarters of her inheritance. She argued she had been discriminated against on religious grounds as, had her husband not been Muslim, she would have inherited his entire estate under Greek law. The European court agreed. In...

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News

February 2019
News > International > Persecution

China: Police given quotas for arrests of Christians

The religious liberty magazine Bitter Winter is reporting that police stations in the major port city of Dalian (a population of 6.6 million) in northeast China are being evaluated based on the number of Christians they arrest. A police officer from Dalian, the second-largest city in Liaoning Province, near the North Korean border, told the magazine that his station had received a notice from the National Security Bureau which, as part of a performance-assessment plan, set out how many Christians they would have to arrest. The officer said that all stations in the city had received a similar plan, assessing the station’s performance with a...

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News

February 2019
News > International > Persecution

Iran: More than 100 Christians arrested amidst Govt crackdown

More than 100 Christians have been arrested in Iran in just one week and ordered to cut all contact with religious groups and house churches. They were detained by Iranian authorities, questioned on their involvement in Christian activities, and told to expect a call from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. Christian charity Open Doors UK, which speaks out against persecution of believers, has described the news as ‘highly concerning’. Many of the 114 believers were converts to Christianity from Islam who were accused of proselytising. Conversion to Christianity is an offence punishable by more than ten years’ imprisonment. The recent events are part of a growing...

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News

February 2019
News > International

Vietnam: Napalm girl testifies, ‘Those bombs led me to Christ’

In 1972, at the height of the Vietnam War, a picture of a young girl shocked the world. She had torn her burning clothes from her skin, and was screaming in agony as the napalm continued to burn into her flesh. But Kim Phuc Phan Thi survived the napalm attack and has now explained how her horrific experience brought her to Christ. Aged just nine at the time of the attack, she awoke in a morgue, and was rescued by her parents, but her agony would continue. She was also ostracised when she returned to her village because of her disfigurement. She initially prayed to...

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News

February 2019
News > International

US: Christian teacher fired for not using preferred pronouns

A Christian schoolteacher has been fired from his position at West Point High School, in the US state of Virginia, after he refused to use a student’s preferred pronouns. Peter Vlaming, a French teacher, said that using male pronouns for a female student identifying as ‘male’ violated his conscience. Despite offering to use the student’s name the school board dismissed him on the grounds of discrimination. Mr Vlaming stressed that he was not intending to be offensive or discriminatory saying: ‘I’m happy to avoid female pronouns not to offend because I’m not here to provoke’. ‘I can’t refer to a female as a male, and...

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