Gay and Lesbian Humanist

Autumn 1988

International Humanist and Ethical Union Slams Section 28

A resolution condemning Section 28 in the UK Local Government Act has been carried overwhelmingly at an international humanist congress.

At the congress held at the State University of New York and Niagara Falls, Canada, from 31 July to 4 August, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) demonstrated its firm opposition to the anti-gay section in the Act which received the royal assent in May this year.

The resolution, which was drafted by Dutch gay humanists and proposed by GALHA in conjunction with the Dutch Humanist League, affirms that “all people should have the freedom to choose their own lifestyle” and that the right of individual self-determination and equality, which forms the basis of democracy, should be defended against all forms of prejudice and discrimination.

Section 28, it says, “threatens the unbiased distribution of information about homosexuality in schools and to the public generally”. It can be used as a justification for the continuing discrimination against lesbians and gay men and will lead to an increase in this discrimination.

The section is “a violation of human rights upheld by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, all of which have been co-signed by the UK, as well as a violation of numerous resolutions of the European Parliament and the European Assembly”.

The resolution calls on the IHEU observers in the UN and the Council of Europe to do everything possible to put international pressure on the UK to abolish Section 28.

It further calls on IHEU member organisations to be active in:

This support for lesbian and gay rights from the humanist movement worldwide follows that from UK humanist organisations like the British Humanist Association and the National Secular Society. It is in sharp contrast to the resolutions hostile to lesbians and gays carried at the 1987 Church of England General Synod and the recent Lambeth Conference.

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Created : Sunday, 2003-03-09 / Last updated : Sunday, 2008-02-10
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