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All articles in category Society

News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Persecution > Religious liberty > Society

Christian magistrate can challenge his dismissal over gay adoption comments

A Christian former magistrate has won the right to legally challenge his dismissal over remarks he made about same-sex couples adopting children. Richard Page, from Kent, lost his role after saying in a BBC interview that a child would be better looked after by a man and a woman rather than a gay couple. His comments came after Mr Page, along with two other Magistrates, considered an application by a same-sex couple to adopt a child in Kent in July 2014. He was later sacked for ‘serious misconduct’ by the then Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Lord Thomas, who said his comments suggested he was...

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Family > Society

‘There was no way we could kill our babies’

A mother has explained how she refused to consider abortion when doctors told her that her triplets were not developing as expected. Katie Johnson and her husband Patrick were told at a twelve-week scan that their babies, Oscar, Aurelia and Oliver, had life-threatening growth problems. Doctors advised Katie to abort one or two of them to give the others a better chance of survival. She said: ‘There was a risk to all of them. Oliver was 25 per cent smaller than his brother, and the blood flow wasn’t getting to him properly. If Oliver died, Oscar could have died too. ‘But there was no way...

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Society

Ealing censorship zone to be reviewed by Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal a High Court decision that upheld a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) around an abortion facility in the London Borough of Ealing. The Ealing PSPO, which took effect in April last year, imposed a censorship zone that criminalised a wide range of conduct, including prayer, peaceful protest and the offering of leaflets. The PSPO was subject to a legal challenge shortly after coming into force in April of last year, but in July the High Court found that Ealing Council’s PSPO was lawful. However, the Court of Appeal has now agreed to hear an appeal. Laurence...

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News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Society

Abortion rate highest in 10 years, Down’s abortions up 50%

Revised abortion statistics published by the Department of Health (DoH) show that the number of abortions carried out in England and Wales is at its highest in ten years. The DoH revealed that in 2017 more than 197,000 abortions were carried out, the highest number since 2008. The statistics also revealed a large increase in abortions among women over the age of 30. The abortion rate for 30 to 34-year-old women has climbed the highest since 2007, to a rate of 18.5 abortions per 1,000 women, up from 15.1. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children said: ‘Showing the extent to which abortion is...

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News

February 2019
News > Society

Scottish teachers advised to break law by ‘outdated’ Named Person advice

The Scottish Government has again come under fire for its controversial Named Person scheme, and Education Minister John Swinney has been advised to drop it altogether. The No To Named Persons (NO2NP) campaign says teachers are being encouraged to break the law by ‘outdated’ guidance on sharing pupils’ information. The group wrote to the Education Minister to point out that sex education guidance referring to Named Person is yet to be updated, despite being ruled unlawful in July 2016. The guidance claims teachers must share a pupil’s private information with the child’s Named Person if it ‘affects or is likely to affect’ the child’s wellbeing....

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News

February 2019
News > Society

Professor says Wales smacking consultation ignored research

An academic who contributed to the Welsh Government’s consultation on criminalising parents who smack their children says his research has been misquoted and ignored. Professor Robert Larzelere called on politicians not to introduce a smacking ban in defiance of the ‘relevant evidence’. He said: ‘The consultation document also failed to summarise all of the most important studies, before claiming that it provided an evidentiary base for a smacking ban’. Welsh Assembly Member Darren Millar said: ‘The Welsh Government seem determined to implement their unpopular smacking ban in the face of a lack of public support and opposition from esteemed academics’.

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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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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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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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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 > Society

Schoolchildren told all genders have periods

New guidance encourages primary school teachers to tell children that ‘all genders’ can have periods. The guidance has been approved by Brighton and Hove City Council which, in a 2016 survey, gave schoolchildren 25 ‘gender options’ to choose from. Critics have said this latest move is ‘deliberately misleading children’. The schools’ guidance states, ‘Trans boys and men and non-binary people may have periods’ and ‘menstruation must be inclusive of all genders’. It asserts ‘language and learning about periods is inclusive of all genders’, before suggesting teachers use the phrase, ‘girls and women and others who have periods’. Sanitary-product bins must also be provided in male...

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