Humanist Society Scotland has welcomed MSP support for its Scrap Blasphemy Law Campaign.
On the 7th June, MSPs debated the findings of the Lord Bracadale review of Hate Crime Legislation. SNP MSP Ivan McKee raised the issue of Humanist Society Scotland’s campaign to scrap Scotland’s Blasphemy law under forthcoming hate crime legislation.
Speaking in the debate Ivan McKee, MSP for Glasgow Provan, said:
I note that the blasphemy laws are still on the statute book, although they have not been used for some time.Ivan McKee, MSP for Glasgow Provan
They focus on a narrow definition of religion and they hamper efforts to challenge blasphemy laws that are used in many countries around the world.
Individuals have faced persecution, imprisonment and even threat of execution by states that still have active blasphemy laws, but international efforts to convince those states to rescind such laws have faced challenge because countries including Scotland still technically have blasphemy laws.
In that context, steps to remove blasphemy laws from the statute book as part of the wider review would be welcome.
Commenting on Ivan McKee’s call, Humanist Society Scotland’s Chief Executive, Gordon MacRae, said:
It is great news that the Scottish Parliament has discussed the impact of Scotland’s Blasphemy law and the Humanist Society Campaign. SNP Ministers should now take up their own backbenchers call to scrap this outdated restriction.Gordon MacRae, Humanist Society Scotland
Here in Scotland, Humanists, atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers enjoy freedoms and respect that would be denied elsewhere. However it should be a badge of shame that Scotland is cited in the footnotes of other countries who actively persecute people under Blasphemy laws.
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