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In the Press

  • Peru has taken a small step toward recognizing same-sex marriage with a court's recognition of the Mexican marriage between two men.

    Peruvian gay rights activist Oscar Ugarteche tried to register his marriage to his Mexican partner shortly after the two were wed in Mexico City in 2010 so that he could change his marital status on his passport. When his request was denied, he sued.

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  • Morocco has banned the sale, production and import of the burka, according to local reports.

    Letters announcing the ban were sent out on Monday, giving businesses 48 hours to get rid of their stock, the reports stated.

    There was no official announcement from the government, but unnamed officials told outlets the decision was made due to "security concerns".

    It is unclear if Morocco is now intending to ban the garment outright.

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  • The majority of churches in Great Britain are failing to talk to young people about the issues they’re facing, according to new research.

    Youthscape, a Luton-based charity delivering innovative youth work across the country, has launched a report call Losing Heart, which surveyed 2,054 churches across England, Scotland and Wales to identify the needs of those working with children and young people.

    The report found only half of churches “often” speak to their young people about the basics of the Christian faith.  

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  • Scientists are hoping to implant human stem cells in an animal embryo so that it will grow specific human organs. The approach could, in theory, provide ready-made replacement for a diseased heart or liver – eliminating the wait for a human donor and reducing the risk of organ rejection. Do you approve or disapprove. 

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  • Christian persecution is rising rapidly across Asia, with a dramatic increase in India and surrounding countries, according to Open Doors.

    India, Yemen, Bangladesh and Laos have witnessed the biggest rises in Christian persection, the persecution charity's latest World Watch List reveals.

    North Korea tops the list again, as it has for the past 15 years.

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  • This Commons Library briefing paper considers the calls made by some for civil partnership to be made available to opposite sex couples

    Civil partnership and marriage across the UK

    In England, Wales and Scotland, same sex couples have the option to marry or to register a civil partnership if they wish to gain legal recognition for their relationship. In Northern Ireland, same sex couples may register a civil partnership but may not marry. Across the UK, opposite sex couples may marry but they may not register a civil partnership.

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  • In 2008, school officials in Basel, Switzerland, ordered a Muslim couple to enroll their daughters in a mandatory swimming class, despite the parents’ objections to having their girls learn alongside boys.

    The officials offered the couple some accommodations: The girls, 9 and 7 at the time, could wear body-covering swimsuits, known as burkinis, during the swimming lessons, and they could undress for the class without any boys present.

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  • Mice which lost their sight were able to detect light after having stem cell transplants, giving hope that one day humans could have their sight restored.

    Scientists plan to carry out clinical trials in humans with worsening vision, following the “exciting” research on mice which had lost their sight through retinal degeneration.

    While researchers cautioned that restoring sight in people was some way off, they have proposed to move on to human trials after further animal testing. 

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  • A Christian street preacher has been cleared of threatening and abusive behaviour relating to comments he made about homosexual conduct.

    Gordon Larmour's trial lasted just one hour as the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence against him and delivered a not guilty verdict at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

    The Christian Legal Centre, which represented Larmour, praised the verdict as a "wonderful result", for both Larmour and for "Christian evangelists in the UK".

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  • Religious extremists are infiltrating schools across the country in a similar way to the Trojan Horse scandal in Birmingham, MPs have been warned.

    Government adviser Dame Louise Casey, who published a major review on community integration across Britain in December, said people with a religious agenda were imposing their ideas on schools.

    Her report warned that Birmingham has some of the most segregated schools in the country, with pupils overwhelmingly from just one ethnic group despite the huge diversity of the city’s population.

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