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The Sydney Morning Herald: Parliament is heading for a historic vote on same-sex marriage in which all MPs will be free to vote according to their conscience.
What’s Wrong with the World: You just can’t make this stuff up. Scotland has passed and is beginning to implement a law which assigns every child in Scotland from birth to age eighteen a “named person,” selected by the government, whose job it is to “promote, support, or safeguard the wellbeing” of the child. Parents will not have a choice about whether or not to accept the assignment of an outside government busybody to their children. Some proponents of the law claim that “Families are not required to accept advice” from the named person.
The Christian Institute: The number of male prisoners living as women has risen significantly, causing concern that some men are using a transsexual policy in order to obtain privileges.
The Christian Institute: The Christian bakers who are facing legal action for declining to decorate a pro-gay marriage campaign cake acted against the law, a new minister at the Northern Ireland Office has suggested.
The Christian Institute: New broadband customers in the UK are overwhelmingly rejecting porn filters when prompted to install them by internet service providers, the industry watchdog Ofcom has found.
NOM Blog: Scottish parliament recently passed a bill that requires the state to appoint a “guardian” for every child in the country from birth until the age of 18. This sinister and disturbing practice would expand the role of the state in an unprecedented way, chipping away at parental rights and opening the door for massive government intrusion into family life.
The Christian Institute: Marriage has been redefined to be gender-neutral in the 13th edition of Chambers Dictionary. The dictionary now describes the institution as, “the ceremony, act or contract by which two people become married to each other.”
Breitbart: The highest human rights court in Europe as told European LGBTs that they have no human right to same-sex marriage, in a case that also shows how complicated sexual and marital norms have become in this new transsexual world.
The Slovak Spectator: THE CONSTITUTIONAL definition of marriage, which some gay-right-advocates openly called a ban on same-sex marriages, does not go far enough, some conservative activists say, as they gather signatures to force a referendum that would make the laws even stronger.
The Sydney Morning Herald: Support among Australians for same-sex marriage and for a conscience vote in the Coalition has reached an all-time high, according to a survey by the Liberal Party’s own pollster.
Christian News Network: A judge in southeastern Australia has been partially suspended after he declared that the culture’s acceptance of homosexuality will lead to a normalization of incest.
The Christian Post: Earlier this year, local pastors and church leaders in Nanaimo, a city of roughly 80,000 people, sought public building space to broadcast a feed of Leadercast, a Christian conference out of Atlanta, but were stopped by a city council member who blasted its connection with the fast food restaurant, reported The Blaze.
Yle Uutiset: After a lengthy campaign, the latest bid to legislate for same-sex marriage has foundered once again at the Finnish Parliaments’s Legal Affairs committee. The committee, which also rejected a previous bill on the issue, voted 10-6 to push the law back to the whole legislature. Three of the four National Coalition Party MPs on the committee voted against the bill.
The Christian Institute:Teachers should replace “he” or “she” with new pronouns to refer to children who believe they are transsexual, according to new school rules passed in Vancouver, Canada.
Christian News Network: Police in Scotland have dropped all charges against an American evangelist who was arrested earlier this week for offending a single bystander by allegedly making ‘homophobic comments.’
The Telegraph: The country’s parliament voted through the new law on same-sex marriage by a large majority, making it mandatory for all churches to conduct gay marriages.
The Guardian: The Hong Kong government has refused to allow same-sex couples to marry at the British consulate in the city, UK officials have said , prompting criticism from gay and lesbian rights groups.
Dutch News: The senate on Tuesday voted in favour of legislation which will stop town councils employing registrars who refuse to carry out gay marriages.
RNS: Italy’s Catholic bishops have condemned a proposed law that is set to speed up divorce and do away with a three-year separation waiting period.
The Christian Institute: The Church of Scotland has backed a proposal which could allow the ordination of ministers in civil partnerships. An evangelical group within the Church of Scotland is “deeply saddened and dismayed” by the decision.
The Christian Institute: A man who is living as a woman is battling the Government in court in an attempt to erase records identifying him as male. Government lawyers say there is no need to remove the transsexual’s history and its policies on the issue strike the right balance.
Telegraph UK: News reports tell us that Wurst prefers that people apply the female pronoun to him when he slips his dress on. Okay. But does that mean we all have to comply with this rather strange demand, no questions asked?
The Christian Institute: A local council has been forced to apologise after issuing a letter that incorrectly demanded churches be licensed to perform same-sex marriages.
The Christian Institute: Almost three in ten voters say David Cameron’s same-sex marriage policy makes them less likely to vote Conservative.
Christianity Today: Oasis Trust, a sizable ministry founded by a prominent but controversial British Christian leader, has been “discontinued” as a member of the United Kingdom’s largest evangelical group after its board refused to adjust online resources and social media to “equally profile the traditional Christian view” on human sexuality.
Life Site News: Once again, a measure to introduce same-sex “marriage” into Northern Ireland has failed, making it the only jurisdiction in Great Britain to have resisted the trend to redefine the institution of marriage.
Via Jurist: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday signed into law [press release] a controversial bill allowing polygamy. The Marriage Act 2014 brings civil law in line with customary law[BBC report], where some cultures allow a man to have multiple wives. …
Ms. Mbuyi, a Belgian national, is being represented by The Christian Legal Centre, which is calling for Prime Minister David Cameron to intervene over her dismissal, following his recent public assertion that Britain is a “Christian country”.
Malta Independent: “President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca signed the Civil Unions Bill yesterday, this paper has learnt. Ms Coleiro Preca was asked to sign the law after it was approved by Parliament on Monday evening.”
The Economist [subscription required -- access full text via Google]: “German laws forbid parents from educating their children at home in almost all cases, citing society’s interest in avoiding closed-off ‘parallel societies.’ Germany’s highest court calls schools the best place to bring together children of different beliefs and values, in the name of ‘lived tolerance.’ In plainer language, the Romeikes believe that, if they return to Germany, their children face being taken to school by force.”
Irish Examiner: “A woman who underwent fertility treatment at a clinic in Rome became pregnant with the twins of another couple after their embryos were mixed up. Italy’s health ministry says it is launching an investigation into the error, which was only discovered when the woman was three months pregnant.”
BBC News: India’s Supreme Court has recognised transgender people as a third gender, in a landmark ruling. ‘It is the right of every human being to choose their gender,’ it said in granting rights to those who identify themselves as neither male nor female.”
Reuters: “The Maltese parliament approved a law late on Monday to recognise same-sex partnerships on a legal par with marriage, including allowing gay couples to adopt.”
Reuters: “The city of Copenhagen will perform wedding ceremonies for both homosexual and heterosexual couples from all around the world in the days leading up to Denmark’s hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest in May, the municipality said on Thursday.”
LifeSiteNews: “Italian Deputies Eugenia Roccella and Alessandro Pagano have introduced a bill in Parliament that would establish the rights of parents to make decisions about their children’s education, particularly on moral issues.”
CBC News: “A motion to mandate that Alberta schools support the creation of student-led gay-straight clubs was defeated in the legislature on Monday night.”
The Local: “The proposal to introduce a marriage liturgy for homosexual couples was voted down shortly after the start of the church’s national synod on Tuesday morning, with 64 of 115 votes going against the proposal, and 51 in favour. ”
LifeSiteNews: “This week, a group of parents told the city administration in the small Tuscan town of Pontassieve that they would not go along with the introduction of the homosexualist ‘gender’ ideology in their schools.”
Christian Institute: “The Northern Ireland Assembly is to debate redefining marriage at the end of the month, despite the Assembly having twice rejected similar proposals. Four MLAs have tabled a motion for debate, saying the Province needs to be in line with the rest of the UK.”
RT: “The head of the Russian Pensioners’ Party has come up with an initiative to change the Constitution and define marriage as only being between a man and a woman. Igor Zotov, who is also a Lower House MP on the ticket of the center-left Fair Russia Party has explained his move by his assertion that Russia’s traditional values were under threat from the latest modern tendencies.”
EurasiaNet: “Gharibashvili’s move is largely meant to appease the most conservative and less EU-versed Georgian voters, who view the European Union as synonymous with gay marriage. Georgian law already defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but Gharibashvili argues that the constitutional ban on gay marriage will help prevent “speculations” about the anti-discrimination law and about EU association in general.”
AFP: “Australia’s highest court on Wednesday recognised the existence of a third ‘non-specific’ gender that is neither male nor female, in a landmark ruling campaigners said will help end years of discrimination.”
LifeSiteNews: “The president of Malta, George Abela, has created shockwaves by citing “moral grounds” in refusing to sign a bill that would create homosexual civil unions and allow same-sex partners to jointly adopt children in the tiny Mediterranean country. Opposition politicians have accused the president of playing “divisive politics,” the Times of Malta reports.”
Pope Francis: Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today we conclude our catechesis on the sacraments with the sacrament of Matrimony, which brings us to the very heart of God’s loving plan for the human family. The Triune God created us – men and women – in his image and calls us to mirror the mystery of his love. Married couples carry out this vocation in a full and definitive communion of life. As ‘one flesh,’ they become living icons of God’s love in our world, building up the Church in unity and fidelity. Christian marriage also reflects the mystery of Christ’s own faithful and sacrificial love for his body, the Church. Christian spouses thus receive a special consecration and a special mission. While a noble vocation, marriage is not an easy one: it must constantly be strengthened by a living relationship with the Lord through prayer: mornings and evenings, at meals, in the recitation of the Rosary, and above all through the Sunday Eucharist. Today let us pray for all families, especially those experiencing difficulties, so that by God’s mercy they can always be joyful models of faith, love and generous service in our communities.
EurActiv: “This highlighted ‘the need to redirect aid to civil society and other organizations that fight against exclusion and discrimination based on sexual preference,’ he continued. ‘Appropriate measures should be taken against countries who continue to criminalise homosexuality or pass even more repressive laws. LGBT rights are human rights!’”
Washington Post: “Their strength in numbers, however, cannot be ignored. Initially a reaction to a same-sex-marriage law passed last year, the movement has morphed into the most sustained mobilization of social conservatives here in more than a generation. A reinvigorated right delivered a devastating blow to Hollande in Sunday’s local elections across the country, prompting a humbled Hollande to reshuffle the French government on Monday. He replaced Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault with Interior Minister Manuel Valls, a politician considered more palatable by some on the right.”
Global Post: “Mexico City legalized gay marriage in late 2009. Less than a year later, the country’s Supreme Court ruled that the rest of the nation must recognize those marriages. That said, same-sex unions remain illegal in most of Mexico. As in the United States, the federal system here leaves the definition of marriage up to state legislators, or the municipal council in the case of Mexico City’s federal district.”
Austen Ivereigh at Catholic Voices Comment: “What is at stake is that, in order to accommodate one group’s desire to have their love legitimated by the state — a dubious idea in itself — the state has emptied marriage of its essential meaning. It has changed marriage from an understandable, recognizable, conjugal institution, one hallowed by faith and civil society, to an ersatz, hollowed-out arrangement that cannot be called an institution at all. That matters because it makes marriage less interesting, less attractive and less important.”
Alexander Stille in The New Yorker: “Last month, marchers filled the streets of Paris and Lyon to protest same-sex marriage, which became legal in France last year. The day after the demonstrations, François Hollande’s Socialist government announced that it would not be putting forward new legislation to make it easier for gay couples to adopt children or have them with the help of surrogate mothers.”
Peter Berger at The American Interest: “I was particularly struck by the particular item that sparked this explosion of passionate feelings: It was not the legalization of same-sex marriage as such. Rather, it was the implication that legally married same-sex couples could now adopt children. Under French law, adoption is subsumed under marriage. In other words, the outrage was not triggered by whatever the adults of the same-sex couple would do with each other; rather it was with what they would do with their adopted children.”
The Canberra Times: “Same-sex couples will be able to use British laws to marry in Australian cities from June, after the Abbott Government told Britain it had no objection. The move has been hailed by marriage equality advocates as a sign of how far the nation has come on the issue since 2010, when then Attorney-General Robert McClelland prevented Portugal from solemnising same-sex marriages in its diplomatic posts in Australia after the nation legalised same-sex marriage.”
Associated Press: “The British government has ordered rainbow flags flown over two prominent government buildings to mark the country’s first same-sex weddings.”
Austin Ruse at Crisis Magazine: “So, what are the crimes of my group? How did we land of the hate-list class of 2014? I wrote to them and asked for their dossier. They sent me a single report on a legal fight going on in Belize where we have been advising Christian groups who want to maintain their laws against sodomy. Powerful international groups have come to Belize, including the International Commission of Jurists, who are insisting that Belize has obligations under existing treaty law to strike down their anti-sodomy laws. SPLC says we support the existing law against sodomy. This is flatly not true and they have offered no proof that we support the existing law. In fact, my group does not take a position on sodomy laws and we never have.”
RNS: “Christian leaders are appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta not to sign into law a proposed new marriage bill that legalizes polygamy.”
Christian Institute: “Christian weddings should be stripped of their legal status, a justice minister has said. Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes proposes that only secular, state-recognised ceremonies should have legal recognition – a system adopted in France.”
BuzzFeed: “The Ugandan president committed to meeting with American ‘experts’ on homosexuality to try to change his mind about the Anti-Homosexuality Act signed into law last month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday during a forum at the State Department moderated by BuzzFeed.”
Wall Street Journal: “Women who become mothers through surrogacy don’t have an automatic right to maternity leave under European Union law, the bloc’s top court said Tuesday, but added that governments could put in place more generous arrangements.”
Telegraph: “Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, has said that the traditional Christian wedding ceremony should be stripped of its legal status. Mr Farage suggested that couples who want to wed in church should have to undertake two ceremonies, one recognised by the state and one a religious ceremony.”
Durham, W. Cole and Smith, Robert Theron and Duncan, William C., A Comparative Analysis of Laws Pertaining to Same-Sex Unions (March 14, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2409282
Associated Press: “A contentious draft law being considered in Iraq could open the door to girls as young as nine getting married and would require wives to submit to sex on their husband’s whim, provoking outrage from rights activists and many Iraqis who see it as a step backward for women’s rights.”
BBC: “Same-sex couples in England and Wales who want to hold weddings on the day gay marriage becomes legal on 29 March can register to do so from Thursday.”
Christian Institute: “Single earner families in the UK face far high tax burdens than those living in other Western countries, a new report shows.”
Telegraph: “The traditional Christian wedding ceremony should have no legal status under a shake-up of marriage laws, the Justice Minister has said. Couples who want to wed in Church would have to undertake two separate ceremonies in order for their marriage to be recognised by the state, under proposals suggested Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat justice minister.”
Reuters: “About two dozen Iraqi women demonstrated on Saturday in Baghdad against a draft law approved by the Iraqi cabinet that would permit the marriage of nine-year-old girls and automatically give child custody to fathers.”
York Press: “Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger have been told by the Government they will be formally recognised as a married couple on Thursday under the 2013 Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.”
Melinda Tankard Reist at Mercator: “What most concerns me is the complete erasure of the mother or mothers in these acts of global womb renting by wealthy Westerners. This latest case highlights this mother disappearance.”
Business Standard: “Nigeria has all it takes to resist the pressure to embrace same-sex marriage, the Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values Sarah Jibril said Thursday.”
dalje.com: “Deputies of the Opposition Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said in Parliament on Thursday that the bill on life partnership was poor and unenforceable and that it would eventually enable same-sex partners to adopt children. Adoption turned out to be the most contentious issue in today’s parliamentary debate which at times drifted off the bill into ideological, political and other issues and statements.”
Associated Press: “Uganda’s president on Monday signed a controversial anti-gay bill that has harsh penalties for homosexual sex, saying the bill is necessary because ‘arrogant and careless Western groups’ had tried to ‘recruit’ Ugandan children into homosexuality.”