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Changes to legislative prayer in the Isle of Man

A guest post by Peter W Edge and Teale Phelps Bondaroff

Cross-posted with permission from Law & Religion UK

Introduction

Tynwald, the legislature of the Isle of Man, has in recent years spent considerable time reflecting on the inclusion of the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man in the upper chamber, the Legislative Council, and in particular their ability to vote on legislation and other matters. The discussion culminated in no immediate change. It has recently returned to the constitutional entwining of church and state in relation to legislative prayers in the dominant chamber of Tynwald, the House of Keys.

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Sexual and reproductive health advocates call for Reproductive Justice in Canada now!

In light of the Supreme Court of the US decision overturning Roe v. Wade, sexual and reproductive health (SRH) advocates in BC join voices across the country to demand reproductive justice throughout Canada.

In their statement, more than 20 organizations are calling on the federal and provincial governments to take real action to improve people’s access to SRH in Canada.

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BCHA submits Budget 2023 response

The BC Humanist Association today renewed its call for a Secular BC in its response to the finance committee's consultations for Budget 2023.

In its response, the organization calls for an end to funding of religious and elite private schools, the end of the statutory property tax exemption for places of worship and for new funding criteria to ensure the government only funds secular and inclusive programs.

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Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses have right to personal data: Privacy Commissioner

Religious organizations are not exempt from disclosures of personal information under BC's privacy law, according to a new ruling by BC's Privacy Commissioner.

The BC Humanist Association is hailing the decision as a victory for secularism and the rights of apostates and those who leave religious communities.

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Vancouver Catholic Archdiocese apologizes to LGBTQ2S+ community

Following a settlement between White Rock Pride Society and Star of the Sea Parish, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver has issued a formal apology to the LGBTQ2S+ community.

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MPs speak in favour of ending prayers in the House of Commons

At a special debate over the Standing Orders last week, two Members of Parliament spoke in favour of ending the prayers said each day in the House of Commons.

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Work with us this summer!

The BC Humanist Association has received funding through Canada Summer Jobs to hire three people to join our team this summer.

The BCHA promotes education about secular humanism and researches issues relating to human rights and secularism.

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BCHA endorses Bill C-216

The BC Humanist Association is lending its support to a private members bill that aims to end the criminal justice approach to the toxic drug and overdose crisis.

Bill C-216, introduced by Courtenay-Alberni Member of Parliament Gord Johns, would decriminalize simple possession of drugs, allow for the expungement of criminal records for people convicted of simple possession and require a health-based National Strategy to the toxic drug crisis based on a regulated safer supply, recovery and harm reduction services and public awareness campaigns.

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Standing up for Reproductive Rights and Justice in BC and Canada

Reproductive Rights & Justice Rally, May 14 2022 at 1pm a  šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn (formerly known as Queen Elizabeth Plaza) south side on Georgia Street

A network of social justice and reproductive rights groups has come together to say never again and not here in relation to changes afoot to abortion access in the United States. “There is an entire generation of women, girls, trans men, nonbinary and Two-Spirit folks that have never known a time when access to abortion was not legal”, says a spokesperson for the group. “This is why we are inviting folks in Vancouver and beyond to join us this Saturday at 1pm to rally for reproductive justice and rights.”

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Nonreligious vow to continue fight to end Parliamentary prayers following Opposition Motion defeat

Today, Members of Parliament (MPs) voted against a motion that would have abolished the practice of opening daily sessions of the House of Commons with prayer. Nevertheless, secularists are pledging to continue the fight to end the practice of legislative prayers.

Since 1877, the Speaker of the House of Commons has read a prayer at the beginning of each day’s sitting. The current prayer begins “Almighty God” and ends in “Amen.” It was last updated in 1994.

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