With the general election fast approaching on 12 December, we are asking our members and supporters to take three quick actions to ensure that our humanist call for a secular society and equal treatment in law and policy for everyone, regardless of religion or belief, heard in this election.
1. Ask your candidates where they stand on our top humanist priorities
We’ve prepared a draft email you can send to your prospective parliamentary candidates about the key issues that are important to humanists. This action takes less than five minutes to complete. Click on the question to find out more about each issue and why we need MPs to act.
Blasphemy laws are a violation of the right to free speech and are used around the world as a means of discriminating against humanists. They impede the right to freedom of religion or belief. Blasphemy remains a criminal offence in Northern Ireland. Read more about this campaign.
We believe that RE should become an inclusive, impartial, objective, fair, balanced, and relevant subject allowing pupils to explore a variety of religions and humanism, sitting alongside other humanities subjects in the curriculum and with the same status as them. Read more about this campaign.
The Westminster Government is legally bound to make regulations for both legal same-sex marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland, coming into force in 2020. We believe that these regulations should provide a similar level of access to both of these as is currently the case in the rest of the UK. Read more about our abortion and same-sex marriage campaigns.
The UK is the only country in the world that imposes compulsory Christian worship in state schools by law. The law is discriminatory, divisive, and increasingly inappropriate in a society that’s more diverse and more non-religious than it has ever been. Regardless of their religious or non-religious backgrounds, all pupils have a right to determine their own beliefs and not be proselytised to. Read more about this campaign.
Many state-funded faith schools in the UK prioritise children from certain religious backgrounds in their admission arrangements. This discriminates against children of the ‘wrong’ or no faith on the basis of beliefs they are too young to confidently hold for themselves, reduces the access of local parents to local schools, and leads to communities that are divided along lines of religion, race, and family income. Read more about this campaign.
Humanists defend the right of everyone to live by their own personal values and see being able to die, with dignity, in the manner of one’s own choosing as a fundamental human right. The current law, which prevents terminally ill and incurably suffering people from being able to access a medically assisted death, is not only unjust but also causes immense suffering. Read more about this campaign.
The UK is the only democratic sovereign state in the world to give seats in its legislature to religious representatives as of right. This is not just a harmless historical anomaly but a present example of discrimination, privileging one religious denomination over those of all other beliefs, and of undemocratic politics. This cannot be justified in today’s society, which is both increasingly diverse and increasingly non-religious. Read more about this campaign.
This post will make the UK a leading nation in supporting the right to freedom of religion or belief and ending the persecution of religious and non-religious minority groups across the globe.
2. Use our mini-manifesto to engage with candidates
We have produced a short briefing on how you can engage with candidates during the election process, such as at hustings and on social media, as well as facts and figures on issues such as humanist marriages and assisted dying, that you can use keep humanism on the agenda. Read our briefing.
3. Share our messages
Follow Humanists UK on Twitter and Facebook, and help us get our messages out there.
Encourage your friends, families, and colleagues to support us too.
Once all the parties have published their manifestos, we’ll publish a comprehensive guide detailing where they stand on our key issues.