Last night the BBC documentary A Cut
Too Far? asked whether male circumcision could be justified. We've long made the case that the non-therapeutic cutting of children's genitals is
a violation of the right to grow up in an intact body and to make individual decisions about religion and belief. And today our CEO Stephen Evans has argued that
children should be protected from the harm caused by circumcision, regardless of religion, in The Independent.
Meanwhile we're pleased to reveal that Brian Leach, who was sacked from his job at Asda for sharing a Billy Connolly video mocking religion, has been reinstated.
This is a victory for common sense.
If you're keen to see us continue to make the case for defending children's rights and freedom of expression against religious impositions, please consider
joining or donating to us. Thank you.
Ministers keep condemning the "misuse" of Pakistan's blasphemy laws in response to parliamentary questions. But the 'misuse' of indefensible laws isn't the
issue – the existence of them is, says Chris Sloggett.
Every child should enjoy the freedom to grow up with an intact body and to make their own choices about permanent bodily modifications.
LGBT-inclusive education latest
MPs have debated relationships and sex education and religious groups' attempts to restrict inclusive teaching in the House of Commons.
During the debate schools minister Nick Gibb said more prescriptive guidance forcing primary heads to teach about LGBT relationships would not have prevented
protests outside schools in Birmingham.
An episode of BBC Panorama has highlighted the issue and the views of anti-RSE campaigners from a variety of religious backgrounds.
The NSS campaigns for inclusive education about sex and
relationships and has played a crucial role in exposing religious
groups who have tried to restrict it by protesting and spreading misinformation.
Harrow Council in north-west London has voted in favour of adopting the definition of Islamophobia proposed by the all-party parliamentary group on British
Muslims. NSS chief executive Stephen Evans wrote to councillors before the vote to urge
them to reject the definition.
A Hindu faith organisation will run a new secondary school and two new primaries in Hertfordshire. The NSS has warned of the risk that religious groups who run nominally non-faith schools
may be able to impose a religious ethos on them.
The House of Lords has backed moves to introduce same-sex marriage and
abortion reform in Northern Ireland. But meanwhile pro-choice pressure groups have warned
against potentially lengthy delays to the extension of abortion rights.
For men who are unhappy with the way their penis looks and feels as a result of being cut in infancy, there is no way back.
Quotes of the week
"Sometimes you have to decide what takes precedence. In so far as any devout person loses a scintilla of their practical observance of their beliefs by
having their children taught about different kinds of families, it is a tiny price well worth paying." David
Aaronovitch on anti-LGBT protests outside schools
"Simply put, Charedi children don't know how children are made." Eli
Spitzer, head of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish school, objecting to sex education and LGBT-inclusive education
NSS speaks out
Our chief executive Stephen Evans had a letter published in The Sunday
Times arguing that the government had been too reluctant to confront religious groups over relationships and sex education.
Our education and schools officer Alastair Lichten discussed religious opposition to LGBT-inclusive RSE on BBC Coventry & Warwickshire radio station.
The chair of our Secular Medical Forum, Dr Antony Lempert, was quoted in the Huffington
Post and Jewish
News on male circumcision.
Stephen Evans was quoted in the Harrow Times on the local council's proposal to adopt the definition of Islamophobia proposed by the all-party
parliamentary group on British Muslims. He was also quoted in the Eastern Daily
Press and Thetford & Brandon Times on council prayers in Norfolk.
Petition comment of the week: endorse the manifesto for change
"The proposals set out in this report are a step in the right direction for a modern society not ruled by religion, nor giving those who hold beliefs
preferential treatment, whilst protecting the rights of those who believe and those who do not."
The NSS scholarship supports research which makes a significant contribution to the evidence base of our existing campaigns and has the ability to improve
understanding of secularism among both academics and the wider public.