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In the Press

  • A neon sign in a clothes store in the giant Bluewater shopping centre appearing to encourage nude selfies has led more than 6,000 people to sign a petition calling for its removal.

    The sign in the Missguided store reads: 'Send me nudes'.

    Petition organiser Rachel Garder, President of Girls' Brigade England and Wales and founder of Romance Academy, was contacted by concerned mother Rebecca Rumsey, who saw the sign when she was out with her two daughters.

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  • For most parents, their child's move to secondary school is a big moment which requires planning, even more so for those with transgender children. The Victoria Derbyshire programme has been following two of the UK's youngest trans children for the last two-and-a-half years.

    "I won't mention it, but if it comes up I will be honest. I'm not going to say, 'Guess what, I'm trans', but if someone mentions it I will say I am, because I am," says Jessica.

    The 10-year-old's friends do not really mention the fact she has transitioned from living as male to female, a fact she prefers. She just wants to be treated "like a normal girl".

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  • Europe is committing mass suicide. Demographically, morally and culturally we are killing ourselves. There is a noble side, though, to this self-annihilation. Our extermination is entirely voluntary and self-inflicted.

    We are not blaming anyone else for coercing us into this novel sport of national Seppuku, this ritual suicide by disembowelment invented by the Japanese samurai. We are not holding an invading Genghis Khan or marauding barbarian hordes or a conquering seventh-century religion culpable, for even the mass immigration of Muslims into Europe is our own mea maxima culpa.

    'O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die,' is our stoic lament as we repeat Juliet's words, pick up Romeo's dagger and plunge its blade into the bowels of Western civilisation.

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  • The Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" was a huge success, at first glance. Based on the 2007 novel, the series follows teenager Clay Jensen as he investigates the suicide of his friend and unrequited love interest, Hannah Baker. Hannah left Clay a box of tapes, each one explaining why she killed herself — thus making up the basis of the show.

    While the show was widely watched and praised by critics, it also was roundly criticized for glamorizing suicide. Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever wrote, "It's an unbelievable and selfish conceit, a protracted example of the teenager who fantasizes how everyone will react when she's gone," adding that the story was "remarkably, even dangerously, naive in its understanding of suicide, up to and including a gruesome, penultimate scene of Hannah opening her wrists in a bathtub." Writing for The New Yorker, Jia Tolentino said the show "presents Hannah's suicide as both an addictive scavenger hunt and an act that gives her the glory, respect, and adoration that she was denied in real life." Despite the deep criticisms leveled against it, however, the show has already been renewed for a second season.

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  • It was a bold social experiment predicated on the modish belief that perhaps boys and girls aren't quite so different after all. The BBC's idea was to create a gender-neutral classroom of seven-year-olds for a TV documentary.

    What would happen, wondered producers, if all differences between boys and girls were removed over a six-week period? Could it change the way the children thought and close the gaps in their achievement levels?

    So out went boys-only football matches and books about fairytale princesses. In came mixed sports teams, unisex books and posters proclaiming that 'boys are sensitive' and 'girls are strong'.

    Read more.

  • The National Trust has been forced into a humiliating climbdown over a policy to banish volunteers from meeting the public if they disobeyed orders to wear a gay pride rainbow flag.

    Scores of volunteers at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk had refused to wear the badges and lanyards bearing the motif despite being told they would be limited to backroom chores.

    The controversial move, revealed after the Telegraph published a leaked email written by Trust bosses, was part of the organisation's 'Prejudice and Pride' campaign intended to celebrate 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

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  • The Church in the UK is dominated by the middle class, who must eschew superior attitudes and empower working-class culture if the dearth of working-class people in their congregations is to be reversed.

    This is the message of A Church for the Poor (David C. Cook), a new book whose authors, Martin Charlesworth and Natalie Williams, straddle the class divide.

    "If the poor or working-class are uncomfortable in our churches, we don't need to convert them to our middle-class ways," the authors write. "We need to move out of our comfort zones and accept them as they are."

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  • A Christian prison worker has lost his latest appeal in the courts over his discipline by HMP Littlehey.

    Rev Barry Trayorn who worked as a gardener, but volunteered in the chapel, fell into trouble after delivering a talk to prisoners about homosexuality and sin.

    Following a complaint, he was disciplined then later resigned.

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  • Doctors and nurses wishing to practise in sexual and reproductive health have been granted more liberty to exercise freedom of conscience under new guidelines published earlier this year.

    The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), a faculty of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), has relaxed its stance on conscience in new guidelines issued in April so that those with an ethical objection to certain procedures can now obtain qualifications which they were previously excluded from.

    Christian doctors and nurses in the UK are practising in an environment that is increasingly hostile to their beliefs and values. We have accordingly come to expect new constraints on our freedom of conscience almost as a matter of course. So this is a refreshing backtrack by the College.

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  • The National Secular Society's Executive Director, Keith Porteous Wood, has criticised Church of England leaders for their record on gay rights after they spoke out on the subject.

    Writing in the online Pink News, he said the Archbishops of Canterbury and York should be "judged by their actions rather than their words".

    He was responding to a piece by Justin Welby and John Sentamu, written last week in the same magazine to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. Under the unedifying title 'Gay people are not more sinful than anyone else', the Archbishops wrote that "Sin is not a characteristic of a particular group of people".

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