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All articles in category Society

News

June 2019
News > Society

Parents ‘undermined’ by sex education plans, say Lords

Peers in the House of Lords have expressed their deep misgivings about government plans to make Relationships and Sex Education compulsory in schools. During a debate, a number of Peers said that the plans undermine parents and must not ‘indoctrinate’ children. However, despite the concerns, the House of Lords approved the proposals. During the debate, Lord Curry said that ‘the responsibility for children’s moral and religious education lies first and foremost with parents’. He added, ‘That is not a role that the state should be taking to itself. We in this place should not be cutting across or undermining the influence of parents’. He also...

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News

May 2019
News > Society

BBC presenters and journalists object to the questioning of LGBT lessons

BBC presenters and journalists have criticised the Question Time programme for allowing a debate on whether LGBT lessons should be taught to five-year-olds. Audience member Keith Broughton was picked to ask panellists on the programme: ‘Is it morally right that five-year-old children learn about LGBTQ+ issues in school?’ But some BBC staff thought the people’s concerns should not be allowed to be aired. BBC Breakfast presenter Ben Thompson said, ‘LGBT “issues”? Like what? That we exist?’ And BBC News senior foreign producer Tony Brown added: ‘Replace LGBT with black or Jewish and this question would never have been asked on national TV.’

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News

May 2019
News > Ethics > Society

Royal College of Physicians drops opposition to assisted dying

The Royal College of Physicians has adopted a ‘neutral’ position on assisted dying, after a highly controversial ‘sham’ poll of its members. The college surveyed its 36,000 members about whether the law should be changed to permit doctor-assisted dying. It found 43.4 per cent of respondents were opposed to a change in the law, little different to a finding of 44.4 per cent when the poll was conducted in 2014. The number wanting the college to support assisted dying increased from 24.6 per cent to 31.6 per cent. Just 25 per cent thought the RCP stance should be neutral, a fall from 31 per cent...

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News

May 2019
News > Religious liberty > Society

Home school registration plans unveiled

Plans to force home-schooling families in England to register with their local authority have been unveiled by the government, drawing great concern. The current law does not require parents to notify the authorities that they are educating their children at home, although some councils run a voluntary register. Many home-schoolers will be wary of increasing state regulation and unnecessary intrusion into family life. But Education Secretary Damian Hinds said the government had a duty to make sure children were ‘safe’ and receiving a ‘good’ education. Hinds said a register would also help the authorities spot young people who may be receiving a ‘solely religious’ education....

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News

May 2019
News > Society

Journalist investigated by police for opposition to radical gender ideology

Writer and broadcaster Caroline Farrow has been investigated by police for criticising underage ‘sex change’ surgery on Twitter. The incident followed a 2018 debate between Farrow and Susie Green, head of trans charity Mermaids, on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. Green now says she has dropped the complaint against Mrs Farrow, and Surrey Police subsequently stopped its investigation. Farrow, a Roman Catholic, said on the programme that boys identifying as female should not be allowed to share tents with girls. The debate continued on social media, and Susie Green lodged a formal complaint with Surrey Police. Mermaids CEO Susie Green evaded UK restrictions when she took...

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News

May 2019
News > Society

Schoolchildren given transgender badges to wear

School pupils in Brighton are getting badges saying if they prefer to be called ‘she, he or they’ with the slogan ‘gender is a spectrum’ in a bid to help transgender children. Secondary school pupils across Brighton and Hove are being handed the badges as part of the council’s ‘My Pronouns are…’ scheme that aims to promote trans inclusion and prevent ‘misgendering’. There is also a blank badge that youngsters can use to fill in their own pronouns. Wearing a badge is optional, but the scheme has drawn criticism. One online commenter said, ‘Children are not transgender. They don’t know who they are yet, and...

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News

April 2019
News > Education > Society

Compulsory relationship lessons for all schools

Schools with pupils of all ages must provide compulsory ‘relationships’ lessons from September 2020, the Education Secretary Damian Hinds has announced. In the past many schools have been allowed to decide for themselves, in consultation with parents, whether to cover the subject. But now all schools, including private schools, will be forced to deliver Relationships Education and secondary schools must run Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). Schools have been told that pupils should receive ‘appropriate’ teaching about gay and transgender issues, and that LGBT relationships must be ‘respected’ This will be mandatory in secondary schools, although primary schools will be free to choose whether they...

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News

April 2019
News > Society

Navratilova criticises transgender athletes, then apologises

Former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova has said it is ‘insane and cheating’ to allow transgender women to compete in women’s sporting tournaments. The tennis star, who is also a gay rights campaigner, said ‘You can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women. There must be some standards.’ Writing in the Sunday Times she said, ‘To put the argument at its most basic: a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies...

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News

April 2019
News > Education > Society

Birmingham primary school stops LGBT lessons after parents protest

A primary school in Birmingham that promoted LGBT issues to pupils as young as four has stopped after hundreds of children were withdrawn by parents in protest. The Guardian reports that about 600 mostly Muslim children, aged between four and 11, were withdrawn from the school for the day. The school would not confirm the number. Before withdrawing their children, parents had been protesting outside the Parkfield Community School in Saltley, Birmingham. The parents had been carrying placards with slogans such as ‘stop exploiting children’s innocence’, and ‘education not indoctrination’. As part of the LGBT lessons, children were being made to read books like Mommy,...

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News

April 2019
News > Religious liberty > Society

Police standards body investigating arrest of London street preacher

The police Professional Standards Unit is investigating the arrest of a street preacher in London. A disturbing video has been posted online showing officers arresting Oluwole Ilesanmi on Saturday 23 February outside Southgate tube station. The preacher was arrested for ‘breaching the peace’ after a member of the public complained that he was ‘Islamaphobic’. In the video of the arrest, police officers are seen handcuffing the preacher and forcefully ripping a Bible out of his hands. After he was removed from the area, he was de-arrested and no formal charges were brought against him. Many critics have pointed to police double standards, because the police...

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News

April 2019
News > Ethics > Society

Doctors challenge euthanasia poll

A group of four doctors has filed a legal challenge against the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in relation to a recent poll on euthanasia. The group say that the poll is being conducted in a misleading way and is aiming to force the Royal College to abandon its longstanding opposition to euthanasia. The RCP controversially announced that it would change its stance on euthanasia to ‘neutral’ unless sixty per cent of members or more were opposed. The four doctors have said this move is unlawful and have launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the legal challenge.

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News

April 2019
News > Education > Society

‘Trust Parents’ rally outside Parliament

A group of over 100 people rallied outside Parliament calling on the government to ‘trust parents’ and ‘let parents choose’ when it comes to sex education. The protest was organised by Christian Concern. The group’s CEO Andrea Williams said it showed that ‘we care deeply for our children’. She also said that parents should be the primary educators of their children rather than the state. Several other speakers at the rally said parents are responsible and best-placed to decide how their children are taught about relationships and sex education. A petition to Parliament in support of parental rights over Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) attracted...

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