The future of Scotland, and the UK, is uncertain, help us deliver an ethical, rational, secular future

In the last four days the future of Scotland, the UK and Europe itself has become more uncertain than ever. Difficult days lie ahead, as we begin to understand the implications of what the vote will mean, and what comes next.

Our country is divided. Many of our European partners feel pained at the sense of loss the Brexit vote has provoked across the continent.

Many people here in Scotland now feel that they have to choose between two unions, the United Kingdom or the European Union.

For important legal and practical reasons the Society will not advocate a position in any upcoming referendum, just as we did not advocate a position in the European Union referendum.

What we will promise you though, is that with your help we will always be here to advocate for a fairer future as an ethical, rational and secular Scotland, in whatever constitutional settlement our citizens choose.

In order to do this it is more important than ever that people like you join our movement today and encourage others to do the same (by, for instance, clicking to share this post using the links below). We get our mandate for change from both the strength of our membership (over 15,000 from Stornoway to Stranraer), and as we receive no state-funding at all, we rely on donations from members and supporters like you to fund our campaigns.

Many members have expressed concerns about what the Brexit vote last week means for our human rights protections here in Scotland and the UK. It is important to reassure members that many of the equality laws in the UK did emerge from requirements of EU law, but are now embedded in the 2010 Equality Act. Whist we want to strengthen many elements of these laws it is not the case that these laws will cease to apply in light of the Brexit vote.

Likewise the European Convention on Human Rights is not a treaty of the European Union. However, as you will know there have been many calls to weaken or repeal our legal human rights protections.

It seems that legal human rights protections are now more at risk than ever.

Let me assure you that we will do everything in our power and work with all partners to ensure that this does not happen.

We have already met with UK Government Ministers about this, and with other partners like Amnesty International to assure them of our support for legal human rights protections. Later this week I will also be meeting with the new Scottish Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Of course, like any other group of people, there will be a range of opinions about the outcome of the European Union referendum, and the future of Scotland as we move forward. The Humanist Society should be a community where we can come together and discuss these, where we can explore our reasonable disagreements and learn from one another. I’m sure we will all exercise the necessary discretion and patience in this time.

There have been alarming reports of racist abuse and attacks in the recent days. Humanism is an internationalist philosophy based on equality and human rights, as such we condemn this vile abuse. Anyone experiencing or witnessing such abuse should contact Police Scotland, by phoning 101 (or 999 if someone is in danger), or online here.

HSS Chief Executive Gordon MacRae

HSS Chief Executive Gordon MacRae

Thank you for your ongoing support,

Gordon MacRae,
Chief Executive

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