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Gay Ref blows whistle on abuse of English Fans

Nigel Owens of Wales has applauded an English rugby fan who blew the whistle on alleged fascist and homophobic abuse directed at him whilst he refereed the England verses the New Zealand rugby international at Twickenham on Saturday 8th November 2014.

Owens who came out as gay in 2007 said he was unaware of any comments from the 82,233 crowd at the time, but the matter was raised as an issue in a letter to a national newspaper from a fan Keith Wilson who was attending the game.

Mr Wilson spoke of his disgust at what he says he heard from a small section of the Twickenham crowd as News Zealand battled to a 24-21 victory.

“As a rugby fan, a straight man in his 60s, I could not believe that a bunch of men half my age watching a rugby match in the 21st century could be capable of hurling such nasty, foul-mouthed, homophobic abuse at an openly gay match official,” wrote Mr Wilson.

No comment from the RFU on this matter has yet be made available.

Irish Bakery facing full force of the Law

A Christian bakery firm which refused to make a cake supporting gay marriage with a picture of the Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie has been warned it will be taken to court unless it apologises and pays immediate compensation.

Ashers Baking Co, based in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, was told by a Government equalities agency that it was guilty of “unlawful religious, political and sexual orientation discrimination” for its stance on the Sesame Street-themed dessert.

But the family-run firm said it was ready for a “David and Goliath battle” over the cake insisting it was “what God would want us to do”.

The row erupted after it cancelled a £36.50 order to bake a novelty cake featuring the characters arm in arm under the slogan “support gay marriage” in May, saying that it went against the directors’ religious beliefs.

Daniel McArthur, general manager of the firm, said it would amount to endorsing the campaign for the introduction of same-sex marriage, and go against his conscience.

Legal Gay Pride March

On Saturday 28 June 2014 London was host to a Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Parade.

Member of the Legal profession, including the legal profession Law Society, Bar Council, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives battled the rain to celebrate the event.

Legal bodies marched in London under the banner ‘Equality under the Law’ and spread the message ‘Freedom to… challenge and defend’ to promote LGBT rights, splashing colour around the capital in the process.

Members of the Law Society (led by president Nick Fluck), Bar Council, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Interlaw Diversity Forum for LGBT Networks, Bar Lesbian and Gay Group and the Junior Lawyers Division showed their support.

Christian Guest Owners lose Appeal

The Christian owners of a guesthouse who refused a double room to a gay couple have lost their appeal to the Supreme Court.

Hazelmary and Peter Bull refused to let Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, a homosexual couple in a civil partnership, stay together in a double room.

The Bulls own a private guest house in Cornwall. They are committed Christians who believe that sex otherwise than in a traditional heterosexual marriage is sinful.

They operate a policy at their hotel, stated on their booking form, though not conveyed to the pair when the telephoned to book a room, that double bedrooms are available only to ‘heterosexual married couples’.

In March 2009, supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Hall and Preddy brought proceedings against the Bulls under the Equality Act (sexual orientation) Regulations 2007, arguing that the refusal to provide them with a double room was unlawful.

In 2011, a judge at Bristol County Court ruled that the Bulls had acted unlawfully and ordered them to pay the couple £3,600 damages. The Court of Appeal upheld the ruling and today the Supreme Court dismissed the appellants’ further appeal.

The case was heard by Lords Neuberger, Kerr, Hughes, Toulson and Lady Hale. They ruled the Bulls’ policy constituted direct discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

The appellants accepted that their policy constituted indirect discrimination, but argued that it was justified. The Supreme Court disagreed.

The court also held that the appellants’ rights under Article 9(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the manifestation of religious belief, are engaged. But they said interference with those rights is justified as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim – the protection of the rights and freedoms of people such as the respondents.

Man going through divorce drugged and murdered his children

Father of two, Brian Philcox, drugged his two young children last June on Father’s Day, before killing them and himself in the backseat of his car in Wales. The two young children, seven-year-old Amy and three-year-old Owen, wouldn’t have known what was happening as their car filled with exhaust fumes, according to the coroner, and inquest heard this week.

The inquest ruled that the deaths of the two children were unlawful, and that Brian Philcox took his own life.

It was believed that Brian took the decision to kill himself and his children after he became depressed through the divorce from his wife, and the children’s mother, Lyn.

Brian picked the children up on Father’s Day, and they greeted him with home-made Father’s Day cards. The children’s mother, thirty-eight-year-old Lyn McAuliffe, described her ex-husband as:

Cold blooded, pre-meditated killer

I will never forgive him for taking the beautiful lives of Amy and Owen.

When Brian failed to return the children on time, he sent a text message to his wife stating:

There is nothing I can do. It is out of my control. I am sorry.

Lyn McAuliffe believed he was referring to his car, and that he was unable to bring the children back due to car trouble.

John Gittins, the coroner at the inquest, stated:

When he took Amy and Owen from you, I am sure that his intention was that they would be lost to you for ever.

But he failed because their lives are imprinted on your heart. They will endure and be part of your for every single moment of the rest of your life.

Divorce texts and emails are becoming more popular

There are many ways to tell your wife that you want a divorce, but traditionally doing it with a text or an email isn’t the best way to do it. However, in India it’s not only becoming a more common way of telling your wife that you want a divorce, but of actually making the divorce.

It seems that Muslim men are using text messages and emails more and more to tell their wives that they’re getting divorced, as simply notifying your wife that you want a divorce is sufficient to make it legal.

Sahiba Hussain conducted research into Marriage and divorce with Muslim women, and discovered that many men are using SMS and email systems to announce their divorce.

From 15 divorces that we looked at in 2008, eight were pronounced via SMS, e-mail and over the phone.

Five divorce declarations were given face to face but amongst these also, only in one case a witness present when the declaration was made.

The All-India Muslim Women Personal Law Board made a decree that forbid men from announcing their divorces by electronic means, however it doesn’t seem to have worked.

Don’t get divorced and save the earth

We all know that divorce can be expensive if things get very bitter between former partners, but what you might not have realised is that getting divorced can also be harmful to the earth. The message is clear, avoid getting divorced to save the planet.

This startling revelation has come from an Australian senator, who believes that married men are better for the earth than single men as single men are more wasteful. His belief is that getting divorced accelerates climate change, having a negative impact on the state of the planet.

The theory is that couples who separate need to live separate lives, with two properties, more electricity and a greater carbon footprint. According the senator Steve Fielding:

We understand that there is a social problem (with divorce), but now we’re seeing there is also environmental impact as well on the footprint.

This means that the earth is better off, and climate change will be helped, if couples stay together instead of getting divorced.

If you’re looking for reasons to save your marriage, perhaps saving the earth could be one of them?

Mickey Rourke has only just got over his divorce

It can take a long time to recover from a divorce, especially if it was a traumatic divorce and one party still has feelings for their former spouse. Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke is one person who struggled to come to terms with his divorce, when he split from his wife, Carre Otis.

Rourke’s divorce hit him so hard in fact that it took him almost ten years to get over his ex-wife, and has spent most of that time in the wilderness.

Rourke and Otis were married in June, 1996, but their marriage had problems from the start. Rourke was arrested in 1994 for abusing his wife, but the pair tried to work through their problems and stayed together. However they didn’t manage it for long, and their divorce was finalised in 1998.

Rourke says that the problems he has suffered over the last ten years have been due to his divorce, and his inability to move on. However, now Rourke is back to his best (with a nomination for the best actor Oscar for his role in the Wrestler) and looks to get in with his life.

Rourke commented this week:

I still love her. I love her in a different way but I waited for her for eight years (after the divorce) for her to come back. I’ve moved on now. It’s the first time I’ve been able to say that and mean it.

Fourteen year old girl is youngest to ever divorce

A girl, aged just fourteen, has become the youngest girl ever to get divorced in Israel this week when she split from her seventeen year old husband. The Israeli girl, an Orthodox Jew, had her divorce confirmed by a rabbinical court, who confirmed that the couple’s marriage, which was only performed in front of friends, was indeed legally binding.

When the girl’s parents discovered that their fourteen year old daughter had married her boyfriend, and consummated the marriage, they insisted that she divorce. Both partners in the marriage were from very religious families.

It was heard that the young couple got married in front of their friends, and exchanged rings. The daughter did try to fight her parent’s wishes, insisting that she wanted to remain married. Now she has also claimed that she will marry her ‘husband’ again when she is of legal age.

The divorce proceedings were held in a religious court.

As a result of the divorce, the girl’s ID card will show that she was divorced when she is old enough to have one, at sixteen. The girl will also not be able to marry a man from a traditional Jewish priestly caste according to Jewish law due to her having been divorced.

Many couples try counselling as last resort to divorce

There’s no denying it now; the UK is in the grip of recession. People are losing their jobs, companies are tightening their belts and consumer spending at one of the lowest ebbs it has ever been. However, as grim as everything seems on the economic front, the institution of marriage looks to be benefiting from the grim economy.

Many couples are trying anything to avoid the expense of divorce, which would ultimately lead to selling off any matrimonial home for less than it was bought for, and are even trying to make marriages work. In a bid to avoid the cost of divorce, couples are looking to counselling and marriage guidance in record numbers.

It’s a far cry from the recent ideology of getting divorced at the drop of a hat, which seems to have become commonplace on modern times.

Guidance and support charity Relate has seen increased requests for help in as many as 66% of their centres throughout the UK. In an ironic twist however, couples who are seeking counselling to save their marriage, and avoid the expense of divorce, are also finding it difficult to pay for their counselling in the first place.