Opinion Former Article

The British Humanist Association celebrates the end of blasphemy laws

The British Humanist Association (BHA) today welcomes the abolition of the blasphemy laws, and hails this change in legislation as a victory for equality and freedom of expression.

Hanne Stinson, BHA Chief Executive, said 'We are delighted that principles of equality and free speech have triumphed, with Parliament voting out the outdated and discriminatory blasphemy laws in the UK. The blasphemy laws have, until now, enshrined in law protection against criticism for the beliefs and doctrines of the Church of England. The abolition of these laws makes clear that the privileged position of the church and the privileges given to religion more widely are out of sync with the laws of modern British society, which aim to protect real people and their rights, but not to protect their thoughts and beliefs from criticism.'


The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, which was passed on 8th May 2008, contained an amendment to abolish the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel.

For further comment or information, please contact Hanne Stinson on hanne@humanism.org.uk or on 020 7079 3583.

Find more information about the BHA's position on blasphemy at www.humanism.org.uk

The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious and campaigning for an end to religious privilege and discrimination based on religion or belief. It is the largest organisation in the UK working for a secular state.

Naomi Phillips
Public Affairs Officer

British Humanist Association
1 Gower Street, London, WC1E 6HD
020 7079 3585

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