Thursday, August 09, 2007

Coming up in Parliament

Briefing. Please look out for calls for lobbying in the coming Parliamentary session. The embryo issue we have already covered; the Prostitution issue is an attack on public morality; the attempt to criminalise smacking is an attack on parental authority and the family; the Equality bill is likely to be another turn of the screw seen in the SORs.

From CFNews: Embryos. The Human Tissue and Embryos Bill will allow scientists to grow combined animal-human embryos which will be destroyed at 14 days of development. It will also end the requirement for doctors to consider a child's need for a father when referring women for fertility treatment. The Bill allows the creation of a genetically-modified child who has two mums and one dad. The Bill may also be used to open up debate about abortion laws. The Christian Institute has published a 30-minute DVD on this subject. 'Cloning Humans'.

Prostitution. The Criminal Justice Bill includes changes to the law on prostitution. Under the Bill the term 'common prostitute' will be scrapped and, instead of fining those guilty of soliciting for prostitution, courts will be able simply to order them to attend counselling sessions. Further consultation will be undertaken on whether to allow 'mini-brothels'.

Smacking. The 2004 law on smacking - which bans any smack leaving more than a temporary mark - is to be reviewed by the Government. This could open the way for another attempt at an outright ban. Some Cabinet ministers have been calling for Labour MPs to have a free vote on the issue.

Equality. The Government is holding a review of discrimination law with a view to introducing an overarching Equality Bill. It raises several consultation proposals which affect religious liberty including plans to outlaw discrimination against transsexuals in the provision of goods, facilities and services; placing a duty upon public bodies to actively promote equality based on sexual orientation; and making 'harassment' based on sexual orientation or religion unlawful. [Christian Institute].

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen