Sunday, April 22, 2007

WASP Summary of the speech of Baroness Greengross in the House of Lords 19th April 2007.

WASP Summary of the speech of noble Lord Baroness Greengross in the House of Lords 19th April 2007. Full text of speech here in Hansard (or with WASP highlights here)
WASP highlights Main Points & Key Points.

TheyWorkForYou entry.

Action: WASP will Send a message of support to Baroness Greengross

Baroness Greengross said:

The Human Rights Act outlaws discrimination between people on the grounds of religion or belief. Two words are used in those Acts—“religion” and “belief”, which are obviously considered to be different or one word would suffice.

Non-religious beliefs are defined as spiritual or philosophical convictions which have an identifiable formal content—humanism being an obvious example. Unfortunately, the Human Rights Act has been slow to be fully enforced and to make its full impact in all the areas where humanists and other non-religious people need it to. Non-religious beliefs are of a single type in their legal aspect along with religious beliefs. They are legally equivalent to religious beliefs, but we have seen again and again that the implications of that are not being felt.

When the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights advised that, to be compliant with the legal requirement not to discriminate between religious and non-religious beliefs, Parliament should explicitly include “belief” along with “religion” in the current Charities Bill, the Government paid no heed to its recommendations. To comply fully with the law, non-religious beliefs must be recognised across all relevant public policy in their own right as having equal validity to religious ones. The implications of this must be fully realised in services, employment, marriage and so on—and in all areas where religion is currently an issue.

I have been inspired in my life by people who live their faith—and they are of many faiths—and by people who do not have a faith and who believe that we should have total responsibility for our own moral codes. I hope that fairness and equal treatment under the law will be what we can all expect.

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