The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) has declared its strong support for the British Humanist Association’s campaign to encourage people who do not consider themselves religious to tick the “no religion” box in the UK census currently being completed. In 2001 more than 70% of people identified as “Christian” despite evidence that far fewer people consider themselves “religious”, or actively believe in a personal god.
GALHA Chair Adam Knowles commented:
“This issue is of particular importance to gay people. While not all religious leaders are anti-gay, and many religious believers support gay rights, it is clear that in Britain – as in many other countries – almost all of the most vocal opposition to gay rights and gay equality comes from religious lobbyists and institutions. For example Church of England Bishops in the House of Lords have used their privileged position to try to block gay rights legislation, and to lobby for exemptions for religions from equality laws.
“The claim, based on the last census that over 70% of the UK population is Christian and that non-religious people are a small minority has also been used to justify the expansion of religiously run schools paid for by the taxpayer, despite evidence that, for example, homophobic bullying is even more of a problem in religious schools than in other state schools.
“If people with no active religious beliefs tick the “no religion” box then this will more accurately reflect the true nature and needs of our society, and help the huge number of non-religious people to have a more equal voice and access to decision makers.
More details of the census campaign can be found at:
“GALHA also welcomes the fact that the census will identify couples in civil partnerships, but also urges other cohabitating gay couples to fill in their form to reflect their status. The 2001 census suggested that as few as one in 300 couples living together were gay, which again has been used to suggest that very few gay people form lasting relationships. While clearly not all couples cohabit, counting those who do will help to correct this misapprehension.”
GALHA exists to provide a voice to the many LGBT people who are non religious, and also to promote the values of Humanism to LGBT people.