Equality & Human Rights
"The National Secular Society upholds the universality of individual Human Rights, which should never be overridden on the grounds of religion, tradition or culture."
Policy statement approved by the 2014 AGM
We campaign for the law and the administration of justice to be based on equality, respect for human rights, and on objective evidence.
Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights ensures everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this includes the freedom to change one's religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest religion or belief.
However, this is a qualified right, which means that an interference with the right can be justified in certain circumstances. We believe that the right to manifest religion or belief does not permit interference with the fundamental rights of others. The right of all members of society to live free from discrimination and to have equal access to employment, to education and services always comes first.
We seek to ensure that Human Rights do not lose out to religious demands, and challenge the exemptions religious groups are granted, or demand, from laws others must follow.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 13:32
A bakery firm which cancelled an order for a cake with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage" has lost its appeal against the ruling that they had unlawfully discriminated.
Mon, 10 Oct 2016 12:16
The National Secular Society has warned the Joint Committee on Human Rights that religion's role in state education is impeding the rights and freedoms of children and young people growing up in the UK.
Sat, 24 Sep 2016 07:12
The British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) has endorsed several recommendations made by the National Secular Society, in a submission to the United Nations.
Fri, 10 Jun 2016 07:29
A UN committee has urged the UK to repeal laws requiring the provision of 'broadly Christian' worship in UK schools. It also called for pupils to be given the independent right of withdrawal from any religious worship held in schools.
Fri, 06 May 2016 13:32
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has been asked by the Department for Education to investigate an independent Islamic school that segregated its staff by gender.