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.
Wed, 20 May 2015 17:00
Tim Farron, one of two candidates for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats, has called for the Church of England to be disestablished and has also expressed his opposition to faith schools.
Tue, 19 May 2015 11:47
Belfast County Court has ruled that the Ashers Bakery, run by a Christian family, unlawfully discriminated against a gay customer who ordered a cake featuring a slogan in support of marriage equality.
Fri, 15 May 2015 10:55
The National Secular Society has strongly rejected the comments of a former High Court judge, who said atheists and secularists exhibit an attitude to "freedom of speech which is as restrictive of that of Elizabeth I or Burghley."
Christianity has “lost status” because of equality and human rights legislation, say evangelical Christians
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 08:06
An Equality and Human Rights Commission report has found that "some Christian employers, service users and providers" believe Christianity has "lost status" because of equality laws.
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."