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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Equality & Human Rights

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.

Key issues

Related News

Jewish faith school’s admission policy amounts to “discrimination on the basis of race”

Jewish faith school’s admission policy amounts to “discrimination on the basis of race”

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:50

The Office of the Schools Adjudicator has instructed two Jewish faith schools to revise their admissions policies, with one of the schools found to have a policy which amounted to "discrimination on the basis of race."

New report on UK sharia ‘marriages’ exposes “tip of the iceberg”

New report on UK sharia ‘marriages’ exposes “tip of the iceberg”

Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:54

A report by a human rights group has exposed the vulnerability of Muslim women living in Islamic 'marriages' in the UK.

Academic calls for “conscience clauses” for Christians

Academic calls for “conscience clauses” for Christians

Fri, 10 Oct 2014 07:45

A Christian academic has called for special "conscience clauses" for Christians in laws of which they do not approve.

Law Society under growing pressure over sharia wills guidance

Law Society under growing pressure over sharia wills guidance

Fri, 19 Sep 2014 11:33

Secularists and human rights campaigners have stepped up their calls for the Law Society to withdraw its controversial practice note on sharia succession rules.

Secularists query decision to reinstate registrar who refused to conduct same-sex weddings

Secularists query decision to reinstate registrar who refused to conduct same-sex weddings

Tue, 09 Sep 2014 14:53

The National Secular Society has criticised a decision by Central Bedfordshire Council to reinstate a Christian registrar who was previously dismissed after refusing to conduct same-sex weddings.