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2019 general election: Help us get humanism on the agenda!

TAKE ACTION: Three quick and simple things you can do to ensure that humanism is on the agenda at this upcoming general election

Based in Northern Ireland? Please see our Northern Ireland general election take action.

With the general election fast approaching on 12 December, we are asking our members and supporters to take three quick actions to ensure that the call for a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail is 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.

Do you support legally recognising humanist marriages in England and Wales?

Religious people across the UK have a choice between being married by a civil registrar or being married by a representative of their religion who shares their approach to life. But in England and Wales, humanist marriages are not legally recognised, so humanists are denied the same choice. In Scotland, humanist marriages were given legal recognition in 2005, overtaking Church of Scotland marriages in popularity by 2015.  Read more about this campaign.

Do you support legislating for school assemblies to be equally inclusive of all pupils, regardless of their religion or belief, rather than being acts of collective worship?

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.

Do you support the inclusion of humanism in English Religious Education syllabuses? (On an equal footing to the major religions, in line with case law?)

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.

Do you support fully inclusive school admissions with no discrimination on the basis of religion?

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.

Do you support legalising assisted dying for people who are of sound mind but are terminally ill or incurably suffering?

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.

Do you support removing the automatic right of the 26 bishops to sit in the House of Lords?

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.

Will you support the introduction of an Ambassador-level post for global freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief?

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 marriage and assisted dying, that you can use keep humanism on the agenda. Read our election briefing.

3. Share our messages

Follow Humanists UK on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram 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 to where they stand on our key issues.

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