The Boston Archdiocese announced yesterday that it will pay 86 people who have filed claims of sexual abuse at the hands of the defrocked Boston priest, John J. Geoghan, up to $30 million. As part of the settlement, the archdiocese also agreed not to make the accusers sign confidentiality agreements, a practice that had been standard in previous sexual abuse scandals handled by the Catholic Church, and which helped perpetuate the pedophilia problem within its ranks for years. The Boston Archdiocese, including Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, was expected to be named as a defendant had the suits proceeded to trial. Cardinal Bernard Law, who knew of numerous allegations of sexually abuse by priests, including John Geoghan, publicly apologized for allowing suspected pedophiles to remain in their posts as priests. Law has now authorized the release of the names of more than 80 priests suspected of pedophilia to prosecutors. The Boston Archdiocese still faces dozens of potential lawsuits as numerous individuals continue to come forward claiming sexual abuse at the hands of priests.
4/17/2014 Supreme Court of India Recognizes Transgender Rights - India's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that official documents must allow transgender people to identify as a third gender and directed the federal and state governments to include transgender people, known as hijras, in welfare programs such as education, health care, and job programs.
"All documents will now have a third category marked 'transgender,'" said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender activist who petitioned the court. . . .