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In the Press

  • Gay rights campaigners have welcomed the rejection by the Church of England's Synod of a call for continued opposition to same-sex marriage.

    The House of Bishops's report maintained church marriages should be between men and women, and same-sex relationships cannot be blessed - but the House of Clergy dismissed it.

    Campaigner Peter Tatchell said it was a "victory for love and equality".

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  • Ann Furedi, CEO of BPAS claimed on BBC television this morning that women should be able to buy abortion pills online, because the drugs are safer than over the counter medication.

    She made the comments on the Victoria Derbyshire show, which has obtained statistics showing that the number of abortion pills being bought online is increasing. The figures, from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – which regulates medicines in the UK – show there were 375 pills seized last year, up from 270 in 2015 and 180 in 2014.

    Read more.

  • The new editor of the Today programme has been rebuked by the BBC before taking up her post over a pledge to open up Thought for the Day to humanists.

    Sarah Sands, who will join the show later this year, said that the religious slot, which airs at around 7.45am, should surely "also include humanists", because religion was "robust enough to have challengers".

    But a BBC spokesman said that Ms Sands, the current editor of the Evening Standard, would not have any say over the daily broadcast, which is overseen by the corporation’s religion department, and that there were "no plans" to change its format.

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  • The General Synod of the Church of England has voted "not to take note" of a Report by the House of Bishops following a debate on the report earlier today on Marriage and Same Sex Relationships.

    A take note debate is a neutral motion which allows Synod to discuss the content and recommendations contained in a report without committing the Synod to the formal acceptance of any matter.

    The vote required simple majorities in each of the three Synodical Houses. A total of 242 people voted in favour of the report 184 against and 6 abstentions - with a majority of Synod members voting to "take note" of the report. However the report failed to obtain a simple majority in the House of Clergy.

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  • DOUGLAS Murray, scourge of politically correct liberals, and president baiter who launched 'the President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition', has turned his guns on the Church of England for its stance on Northern Nigeria.

    The influential Spectator columnist and Associate Director of the Henry Jackson Society has accused the church of 'wilful self-deception' in its analysis of the trials of Christians still being slaughtered by militarised Fulani Muslims as the world looks away.

    Murray spent four days visiting massacre sites and interviewing victims in and around Jos, capital of Plateau State, in the contested Muslim north of the country.

    Read more.

  • Forced sterilisation of Trans citizens across the European Union should be a banned practice according to a report approved and adopted by members of the EU’s parliament yesterday (Tuesday 14 February).

    364 MEPs supported the recommendation along with the wider Beccera report which advised on how to promote the mental health well-being of the EU’s LGBTI citizenry.

    The news comes as Turkey has been criticised for forcing trans people to go through a sterilisation and as France scrapped its own laws forcing individuals to do the same.

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  • Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe issued a new warning about the looming threat posed by "brutalised and militarised" extremists returning from Syria.

    He said he believed that IS fighters and terrorists were "political criminals" who were carrying out "horrific violence" which had no justification in the Muslim religion.

    But he warned that the terror group was continuing to lure recruits by claiming that Islam supported its actions and that the authorities needed the help of Muslim scholars and others to challenge this false narrative.

    Read more.

  • A Senate inquiry into marriage equality has unanimously rejected several proposed forms of discrimination against LGBTI people, including the ability for civil celebrants to reject their weddings.

    The Senate committee on the government’s same-sex marriage bill exposure draft released its consensus report on Wednesday, winning praise from advocates and raising hopes of cross-party co-operation to legislate it in this term of parliament.

    The report recommends creating a new category of independent religious celebrants who would be allowed to refuse to marry couples on the basis of the celebrant’s religious belief.

    Read more.

  • A lack of sex and relationships education (SRE) in some of England's secondary schools is creating a "ticking sexual health time bomb", councils say.

    Sex education should be compulsory in all state secondary schools, the Local Government Association (LGA) believes.

    It says pupils are not being prepared for adulthood and so are vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections.

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  • The number of abortion pills being bought online in Britain is increasing, data shown to the Victoria Derbyshire programme suggests.

    Government figures show 375 doses, sent to addresses in England, Wales, and Scotland, were seized in 2016, compared with just five in 2013.

    Taking the pills while pregnant without medical approval is illegal in the UK.

    Read more

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