Human Rights

The BC Humanist Association fully supports the protection and promotion of human rights, codified in documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These rights transcend individual religious and cultural traditions and represent our shared humanity. We believe that human rights are the best tool to promote human dignity.

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We support the Trans Equality Now pledge to expand human rights legislation to protect individuals from discrimination based on gender identity and expression.

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Latest news


Beyond TWU: The legal conflict between equality rights and freedom of religion

By Bethany Hastie, University of British Columbia and Margot Young, University of British Columbia From conflicts over wedding cakes to university admissions to religious schools, the tension between equality rights and religious freedom is often in the news in Canada, the United States and beyond. Public recognition of diverse family...

Bowen Island human rights complaint affirms atheism is a protected class

Amid the numerous stories we worked on last week, the BC Human Rights Tribunal released a 90-page decision following a complaint against a Bowen Island Montessori School (BIMS). When I wrote about the complaint when it was filed over two years ago, I said: The Montessori’s efforts to single out one...

BC Humanist Association endorses $10aDay Child Care Plan

At its most recent board meeting, the BC Humanist Association unanimously agreed to join hundreds of organizations in endorsing the $10aDay Child Care Plan. The plan is an initiative of the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC. By making quality child care affordable and accessible, the plan sets a...

It's time Canada outlaws physical violence against children

By Valerie Michaelson, Queen's University, Ontario Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement recommending that parents not spank, hit or slap their children. The announcement created a flurry of media attention around the world with headlines such as “Spanking is Still Really Common, and Still Really...

Chilliwack MLA protests passage of Human Rights Commission

On Thursday, Members of the Legislative Assembly of BC voted unanimously at third reading restore the province's Human Rights Commission. One MLA, however, abstained to protest a government he claims is trying to protect the rights of the nonreligious at the expense of "the right of Christians to follow the...

Humanists raise concern about Christian housing funding

Humanists and secularists are raising concerns about two projects announced as part of a slew of new affordable housing initiatives by the Government of BC. The BC Humanist Association is concerned that the projects, run by the Pentecostal Christian Life Assembly in Langley and Salvation Army in Vancouver, may exclude...

Why conversion therapy and ex-gay ministries should be outlawed

By Gerald Walton, Lakehead University “Pray the gay away” is shorthand for Christian programs that, disguised as love, purport that God heals homosexuality. Through the lens of sexual sin, homosexuality is construed as something in need of healing, a disease in need of a cure, an error in need of...

Humanists welcome legislation to restore BC Human Rights Commission

The BC Humanist Association is welcoming legislation introduced today to restore the province's Human Rights Commission. Ian Bushfield, Executive Director, BC Humanist Association: Core to Humanism is the promotion of human rights and the creation of a more just and compassionate society. Human Rights Commissions in every other province play a...

Parliamentary petition calls for conversion therapy ban

An effort is underway to get the Government of Canada to ban so-called "conversion therapy" for minors in Canada. The therapy is based on religious fundamentalism and pseudoscientific claims that a person's sexual orientation or gender identity can be changed. The techniques are discredited by the Pan American Health Organization,...

SOGI and property tax exemptions

A group of 200 pastors lined up to denounce the province's sexual orientation and gender identity curriculum (SOGI 123). The curriculum was developed under the previous provincial government and continues to be supported by the current government, the teachers' union, principals' associations, independent and First Nations schools associations.

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