Where do the parties stand on key issues of concern to humanists? Today Northern Ireland Humanists are publishing a table giving an overview of their views on issues of concern to their members and supporters, ahead of the upcoming Northern Ireland Assembly election.
Northern Ireland Humanists put 8 questions to the various parties last month, and has produced the tables by drawing on these responses, the parties’ manifestos, and other sources.
The questions asked were:
- Would you support an end to religious discrimination in the employment of staff in all state-funded schools?
- Do you think we should get rid of faith-based religious education in state schools, and instead treat all major religious and non-religious worldviews equally?
- Would you support making high-quality, comprehensive relationships and sexuality education part of the statutory curriculum in Northern Irish schools?
- Would you support legalising abortion in a similar way to how it is legal in Britain?
- Would you support the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland?
- Would you support the legalisation of humanist marriage in Northern Ireland, which has been hugely popular in Scotland since its legalisation there?
- Would you oppose any moves in Westminster to weaken our human rights settlement, including pulling out of the European Convention on Human Rights – which is essential in protecting fundamental human rights and freedoms?
- Would you support the legalisation of assisted dying for people who are terminally ill or are permanently and incurably suffering, in order to protect their right to autonomy and self-determination?
Wales Humanists has similarly been asking questions of the parties, and the two groups have also been encouraging their supporters to contact their candidates. Meanwhile, in London, LGBT Humanists organised a hustings with representatives of the six biggest parties.
Boyd Sleator, Northern Ireland Humanists Coordinator, commented: ‘Democratic participation is a vital part of ensuring we are a society that is compassionate, ethical, and evidence-based society. We hope that humanists across the UK will take up matters of shared concern with their candidates, and that our research will equip voters with the knowledge they need to make a fully informed decision.’
Northern Ireland Humanists is part of the British Humanist Association, working with the Humanist Association of Ireland. The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.