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.
Tue, 14 Mar 2017 11:17
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has advised that employers can ask their staff to "dress neutrally" provided rules are consistent and apply to all religious symbols equally.
Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:10
The Freedom of Thought report highlights cases of individuals who have been targeted for expressing non-religious views, for 'blasphemy' or for promoting secularism.
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:15
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a major new report on religion and belief in the workplace, with recommendations which have been strongly welcomed by the National Secular Society.
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.