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Clive Lewis MP to Chair All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group

We are delighted that Labour MP Clive Lewis will take over as chair of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG). We thank outgoing chair Lord Warner, who had led the group since 2010.

Clive is the new MP for Norwich South.

The APPHG brings together over 100 humanist MPs and Peers from across the parties in Parliament and is supported by the British Humanist Association (BHA). The APPHG has covered issues such as inclusive education, human rights including freedoms of belief and expression, equal marriage, teaching evolution in schools, calling out and opposing religious privilege, human fertilisation and embryology, stem cell research, secular public services and much more.

The APPHG has regular meetings and its members raise key secularist and humanist issues in both Houses of Parliament through debates, questions and amendments to legislation. Labour Humanists will continue to work to support Labour MPs and Peers, working constructively and collaboratively with humanists from other political parties and affiliations for our shared aims.

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Ed gives support for humanist marriage

In an interview with Pink News, Labour leader Ed Miliband re-iterated the party’s support for legalising humanist marriage in England and Wales. He said,

There was widespread support for humanist marriage across Parliament during the passage of Equal Marriage and across the country, including from Labour. We still support the legal recognition of humanist marriages and we’ll review the law for those who wish to marry with a humanist celebration.

We’ll work with the next Labour Government to help to make this happen!

Blog News

Question your candidates!

We’ve written to all Labour parliamentary candidates ahead of the General Election, asking them 10 questions on topics such as education, human rights and constitutional reform. Now’s your chance to question your local candidates.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has set up a an easy way for you to email your local candidates of all parties, to ask them about the issues that matter to you. You can write your own email, use the BHA’s suggested information, or feel free to use some or all of our questions. We’re really interested in any response you get from your Labour candidate – do consider sharing it with us.

If you are an activist or running for Parliament yourself, we send you the very best wishes and we look forward to working with a Labour Government after 7 May.

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Fight back against faith schools

The British Humanist Association (BHA) employs the only dedicated campaigner in the country working on the issue of faith schools. To keep this important position going, the BHA is asking for donations. By giving even a small amount you would be helping to ensure that the BHA is able to keep making significant achievements in reforming schools and education for the better. Please donate here.

As well as campaigning for the reform of faith schools, the post works on evolution and creationism, religious education, PSHE and sex and relationships education, and collective worship. Visit the BHA’s Facebook page to see a gallery of information about the work of the faith schools campaigner.



Blog News Uncategorized

New Labour Humanists Leaflet




Blog News

Surveying Labour candidates ahead of the General Election

We are writing to Labour parliamentary candidates ahead of the General Election, asking them to answer 10 questions (below).

This is to give our members and the wider Labour electorate more information about their Labour candidates and their perspectives on some issues that matter to them, such as education, human rights and constitutional reform.

If you have been in touch with your Labour candidate yourself about issues such as faith schools, do consider sharing that information with us.

Candidate survey, General Election 2015

  1. Do you support fully inclusive admissions with no religious selection in all state-funded schools, including faith schools?
  2. Do you support the teaching of non-religious world views such as Humanism equally alongside religious perspectives in schools?
  3. Would you support moves to prevent state-funded faith schools from hiring and firing otherwise qualified teachers on religious grounds?
  4. Would you support legislation to ensure that humanists in England and Wales will be able to have a legal marriage ceremony that reflects their own beliefs conducted by a celebrant who also shares them? (Humanist marriage has been legally recognised in Scotland since 2005).
  5. Do you support an end to having reserved seats for Church of England Bishops in the House of Lords?
  6. Should Labour defend freedoms of thought, expression and belief at home and internationally, including through opposing blasphemy laws?
  7. Do you think public services should be equal, inclusive, and protect and promote human rights, including when they are provided by religious groups working under public contract?
  8. Would you support a change in the law to permit assisted dying for people who are terminally ill or who are permanently and incurably suffering, who have who have made a clear decision, free from coercion, to end their lives and who are physically unable to do so themselves?
  9. Do you believe the NHS should fund unproven alternative “treatments” such as homeopathy?
  10. Following the General Election, would you consider joining the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group?
Blog Events News

Should Humanism matter in politics? Video from the World Humanist Congress.

At the World Humanist Congress 2014 in Oxford, a fantastic panel bringing together humanists from UK, Europe and the USA discussed ‘Should Humanism matter in politics’: London Assembly member Tom Copley, UK Member of Parliament Kerry McCarthy, American Humanist Association Director of Development and Communications Maggie Ardiente and European Humanist Federation policy director Julie Pernet discuss how much Humanism should influence politicians who are humanists at the 2014 World Humanist Congress in Oxford.

The session was chaired by British Humanist Association (BHA) trustee and Labour Humanists chair Naomi Phillips. The video is now available to watch on YouTube. Do follow the BHA’s channel to see more sessions from #WHC2014 as they are published.

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Labour commit to make SRE compulsory in all schools

We welcome today’s announcement that a Labour Government would make Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) compulsory in all state-funded schools, including Academies, Free Schools and Voluntary Aided schools. It has been reported in Pink News that Labour plans to make ‘age-appropriate SRE more LGBT inclusive’ and will also ‘ensure all teachers are trained to deal with homophobic bullying’.

This policy would include faith schools, which make up about a third of state-funded schools. This is very welcome as we believe children and young people have a right to excellent, comprehensive and statutory SRE regardless of the school they attend. However, we will be working to ensure that faith schools will not be afforded any opt-outs, such as on teaching about abortion or LGBT rights.

We support a broad and balanced curriculum including teaching: about non-religious beliefs such as Humanism as well as different religious beliefs; comprehensive PSHE and SRE; science including evolution.


Blog News

Government set to U-turn on equal humanist marriage

We’ve been campaigning for the legal recognition of humanist marriage in England and Wales – something that is already available and increasingly popular in Scotland. Currently, humanist weddings in England and Wales have no legal force of their own, and couples are required to pay a visit to the registry office to make their marriages official. We proudly support the British Humanist Association’s (BHA) long-standing campaign for non-religious people to have the choice of a legal marriage ceremony which reflects their beliefs, just as many religious people do.

Over the past couple of years we have worked to increase awareness of the issue within Labour and to support Labour parliamentarians in their efforts to ensure legislation is passed. In fact, we have been delighted that it has been the Labour front bench in parliament which has spearheaded recent attempts to legalise humanist marriage. Many Labour MPs have also signed a motion supporting humanist marriage.

In July, we welcomed the Government’s agreement to set in motion moves which would see humanist marriages be made lawful in England and Wales, before the General Election.

It is hugely disappointing that the Tory-led Government now appears to have U-turned on that agreement, as Number 10 is reported to be blocking the legal recognition of humanist marriage.

Our asks of Labour

We believe there is everything still to fight for – that the Government could still be convinced to make time for this important legislation in this parliament. While Labour has shown good support so far, it has done so along with colleagues from across parties, with religious and non-religious people. Legalising humanist marriage in England and Wales is not a party political issue.

  1. It’s really important for Labour now to make clear that it will give the Government the time to get the regulations through this side of the election, should it decide to do so.
  2. We would also like Labour publicly to state its commitment to equal humanist marriage – and that it would legalise it should it get the chance after the General Election if the present Government really does go back on its agreement.


Read the BHA’s statement ‘Number 10 intervenes to block humanist marriages‘.

Read more about the broad support for humanist marriage.

Blog News

Fight back against faith schools

Please show your support for inclusive schools by donating whatever you can in support of the British Humanist Association’s (BHA) Faith Schools Campaigner. Each year the BHA, which is a charity reliant on donations and membership fees, fundraises to retain its fantastic Faith Schools Campaigner, who is the only campaigner working full time in opposition to the state funding of faith schools and against religious discrimination in admissions, employment and the curriculum.

Richy Thompson works tirelessly to end the unfair discrimination embedded in the state-funded faith schools system and has helped to make the issue of faith schools a matter of national level debate, as well as providing direct support and advice to parents, teachers, school governors and pupils in local areas. On top of all this, Richy also leads the BHA’s policy work on evolution and creationism, religious education, PSHE and sex and relationships education and collective worship – with a number of notable successes in the past few years.

There is still so much more to be done to have a truly fair, equal and high quality school and education system with no religious discrimination or prejudice. Please donate through the special JustGiving site.

Read more about the BHA’s work on schools and education.