LGBT rights

LGBT rights

Religion is no excuse for homophobia.

Where religion is privileged, LGBT people are among the first to suffer.
We challenge state support of homophobic religions.

Anti-LGBT views are usually rooted in conservative religious beliefs about relationships and sex. Most world religions are opposed to sexual relationships and marriages between people of the same sex, and often forbid people from deviating from stereotypical gender roles.

As a result, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people face horrific persecution in countries where fundamentalist religion dominates politics.

  • 73% of people in the UK support same-sex marriage.

  • Homosexuality is criminalised in over 70 countries, 90% of which are majority Christian or Muslim. In 10 countries, homosexuality is punishable by death.

Thanks to years of campaigning by groups including the National Secular Society, LGBT rights have improved around the world, where increasing numbers of countries have decriminalised homosexuality and legalised same-sex marriages. But significant problems remain – and many of these are caused by religion.

In the UK, anti-LGBT hate continues to be preached by fundamentalist religions with impunity. Many of these religions are registered charities entitled to tax breaks. Religious homophobia is particularly harmful to LGBT people within religious communities, causing them shame and guilt. They may be at risk of abuse and violence, including so-called 'conversion therapy'.

Religious homophobia is even enabled within state schools. Faith schools are allowed to teach about relationships according to the tenets of their faith. This includes teaching that homosexuality is sinful. This is the official doctrine of our state church.

The National Secular Society believes freedom of expression must include freedom for religions to oppose same-sex relationships. But the state should not endorse, support or condone homophobic doctrines in any way. And LGBT people in religious communities should be afforded the protection and support they need to live and love without fear.

Take action!

1. Share your story

Tell us why you support this campaign, and how you are personally affected by the issue. You can also let us know if you would like assistance with a particular issue.

2. Join the National Secular Society

Become a member of the National Secular Society today! Together, we can separate religion and state for greater freedom and fairness.

Latest updates

Eoin Tennyson, Northern Ireland Assembly

NI assembly votes in favour of inclusive, evidence-based RSE

Posted: Wed, 24 Apr 2024 12:58

MLAs speak of "twisted" RSE teaching that thoughts of sex are "sinful" and same-sex relationships "laughed at".

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

UN raises concerns over ‘gay conversion’ charity after NSS briefing

Posted: Tue, 9 Apr 2024 09:29

Charity regulator's failure to act on gay conversion therapy suggests it is "a protected religious practice" in Northern Ireland, says UN

More information