This page contains news for
the period Monday, February 14, 2000 through Sunday, February 20, 2000.
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Sunday, February 20, 2000
Canadian grandparents play important role in
lives of children
A story published today in the Calgary Herald
reports that in today's world of global economies, social change and increased family
problems, the role of grandparents has become both more difficult and important in the
development and nurturing of children.
"Grandparents can provide a tremendous stabilizing influence in
the midst of family traumas," says Jim Gladstone, a professor of social work at
McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
"When, for whatever reason, the parents of the 'middle
generation' can't provide the time, attention and emotional support to their kids,
grandparents can stay constant figures in their grandchildren's lives, giving the parents
time to regroup."
Gladstone's research involves children from dysfunctional families
who still turn out well-adjusted. "When we look for what made the difference to that
kid, usually we find some role model. Maybe a teacher or coach, but very often, a
Florence Knight, director of the Alberta branch of the Canadian
Grandparents' Rights Association, said the obstacles confronting grandparents are
formidable, especially when divorce is involved. Alberta's divorce rate is second only to
the Yukon's, with about 40 per cent of young marrieds expected to divorce.
"Grandparents are walking on eggshells to maintain friendly
relations with their ex-in-laws, so they can maintain contact with their
grandchildren," Knight said.
"That middle generation doesn't seem to realize that children
have a right to their family heritage. And they don't appreciate how supportive
grandparents can be in the lives of their grandchildren."
Prior to 1997, grandparents were "legal strangers" in
Alberta divorce law, Knight said. The legislature passed a bill granting them status in
divorce proceedings at the judge's discretion.
Knight added that often "judges still don't recognize
grandparents as important in children's lives."
Cohabitation does not mean
legal marriage in India
A story published today in the Hindu reports
that the Allahabad High Court on Friday ruled that mere living together of a man and a
woman does not give them the status of husband and wife under the provisions of Indian
The ruling was given by a two-member Bench, comprising Mr.Justice M.
Katju, and Justice D. R. Chaudhari, on a writ petition filed by Mr. Brijnath Singh
Tripathi, Assistant Public Prosecutor here, seeking regularisation of his service on the
plea that he was not living with two wives.
The story says that Tripathi was selected in 1972 as a public
prosecutor and was posted at the police headquarters here on probation. But the
authorities refused to regularise his service, alleging that he was living with two wives.
Tripathi moved the State Tribunal, but his plea was rejected and he
filed a writ petition in the High Court challenging the tribunal order.
Observing that the burden was on the authorities to prove that the
petitioner had two wives, the court directed the State Government to regularise the
service of the petitioner, as they had failed to prove the allegation.
Monday, February 14, 2000
A story published today in the
London Guardian reports that same-sex couples may gain some new legal protections in
Scotland under legislation which is already being condemned by family values campaigners.
Same-sex couples in Scotland may gain
Scottish ministers are coming under pressure from a parliamentary
committee to amend forthcoming legislation with a clause which would, for the first time
in Britain, enshrine the equal status of same-sex relationships on specific statute.
The issue has arisen from the incapable adults bill, which grants
rights to the nearest relatives of someone who becomes incapable of making significant
decisions for themselves. Currently, the law overlooks same sex partners in favor of
parents or brothers and sisters.
Jim Wallace, the justice minister, said last year that he intended
to end this type of discrimination.
Officials and ministers initially drew up a definition which would
give same-sex couples who had been living together for at least six months the same status
as unmarried heterosexual couples.
But MSPs said that was unfair towards same-sex couples, and the
parliament's equal opportunities committee has made it clear that it will not allow the
legislation to be discriminatory.
Officials will this week attempt to come up with a new definition
which will meet the concerns of the committee. If it does not, the committee intends to
make sure that the issue goes before the full parliament for debate.