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Newsline 1 February 2013

Annual membership subscriptions for 2013 are now due and if you haven't already renewed (or don't have a standing order), please renew today. You can online or, if you would like to take out a standing order, you can request one fro enquiries@secularism.org.uk. Put your principles into practice – join or renew your membership of the NSS today!

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NSS question Catholic Church's new restrictions on teachers

NSS question Catholic Church's new restrictions on teachers

News | Sat, 26 Jan 2013

The National Secular Society has condemned a new booklet issued by the Catholic Church in England and Wales warning teachers and governors at Catholic schools that they risk dismissal if they enter a relationship that is not approved by the Church.

Experts say “drop the religious opt-out” for pharmacists

Experts say “drop the religious opt-out” for pharmacists

News | Fri, 01 Feb 2013

"Conscience clauses" that permit religious pharmacists to refuse to dispense emergency contraception or the "morning after" pill are unsatisfactory and should be dropped, say experts.

Majority want secular state schooling – while RE declines

Majority want secular state schooling – while RE declines

News | Wed, 30 Jan 2013

The majority of British people want state-funded schools to be secular, a recent YouGov poll has revealed.

Constitution Unit says disestablishment will have to be achieved piecemeal

Constitution Unit says disestablishment will have to be achieved piecemeal

Opinion | Wed, 30 Jan 2013

Several events over the past few months that have strengthened the argument for a change the relationship between the church and the state in this country. Terry Sanderson vows the NSS will not stop until the Anglican Church is in its rightful place – which is not as part of the state.

Edward Leigh’s Bill to put religious conscience opt-out into Equality Act is doomed

Edward Leigh’s Bill to put religious conscience opt-out into Equality Act is doomed

Opinion | Fri, 01 Feb 2013

Keith Porteous Wood on why Edwards Leigh's bill to amend the Equality Act to add "conscientious beliefs about the definition of marriage" as a protected characteristic alongside disability, sex, and sexual orientation should never make the statute book

Muslim patrols are a sign of things to come

Muslim patrols are a sign of things to come

Opinion | Thu, 31 Jan 2013

Maajid Nawaz warns that the longer we stand by and watch the far Right and Islamists impose their dogma on our streets, the more the extremes will become mainstream for a rising new generation.

European Commission failed to implement properly Article 17 in EHF case says EU Ombudsman

European Commission failed to implement properly Article 17 in EHF case says EU Ombudsman

News | Tue, 29 Jan 2013

The EU ombudsman has upheld complaint by the European Humanist Federation that the European Commission has failed to comply with an EU Treaty which requires the EU to conduct a "regular, open and transparent dialogue with churches, religious communities as well as philosophical and non-confessional organisations."

Icelandic Parliament passes life stance equality law

Icelandic Parliament passes life stance equality law

Opinion | Thu, 31 Jan 2013

The Icelandic Parliament (Althing) this week passed a law which gives secular life stance organisations the right to apply for equal legal status with religions.

Have you got your ticket for Secularist of the Year? Book now and avoid disappointment

Have you got your ticket for Secularist of the Year? Book now and avoid disappointment

News | Fri, 01 Feb 2013

This year's Secularist of the Year lunch is approaching (Saturday 23 March) and it promises to be a very special occasion. We hope that you'll join us for the NSS's premier social event.

NSS Speaks Out

Keith Porteous Wood spent almost an hour on Radio Scotland on the popular Call Kaye programme fielding calls (many of them hostile) about the complaint to the Scottish Charity Regulator regarding St Margaret's Catholic adoption agency. Scottish spokesman Alistair McBay had this letter on the same topic in the Scottish Herald and this in the Scotsman; Keith Porteous Wood had this one in the Scotsman. Keith was also quoted in The Sunday Times (subscription required) in relation to the Church's exemption from the gay marriage legislation and in the same paper over the Catholic school edict on "non-chaste" relationships reported above (subscription). This was picked up by Pink News.

Terry Sanderson gave an interview to Premier Christian Radio about their obsession with Christians supposedly being "marginalised" inBritain. Keith was interviewed on BBC Radio Lincoln about Edward Leigh's parliamentary motion to get an exemption from the Equality Act for those religious teachers that want to broadcast their disapprove of gay marriage in class.

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