For Immediate Release
Contact Patrick Hudson, 202-238-9088 ext. 105, email@example.com
Matthew Bulger (202) 238-9088 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, D.C., 23 May, 2017)—The American Humanist Association (AHA) welcomes the introduction of H.Res. 349, designed to protect religious and secular minorities by encouraging the repeal of blasphemy laws around the world. Blasphemy laws put thousands of lives at risk, with too many offenders serving long jail sentences or being executed for “insulting” a specific religion.
The American Humanist Association worked with Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Alex Mooney (R-WV), David Cicilline (D-RI), and John Culberson (R-TX) to reintroduce the legislation, which calls for a repeal of blasphemy laws worldwide. The legislation, which was introduced in the last session of Congress by Reps. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), encouraged the President and the State Department to make the worldwide repeal of these laws a priority, while also opposing any attempts at the United Nations to support blasphemy laws.
In many countries, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, nontheists, and other religious minorities are imprisoned, tortured, sentenced to death, and executed for blasphemy offenses. The resolution urges countries that still maintain such laws to “amend or repeal such laws, as they provide a pretext and impunity for vigilante violence against religious minorities.”
“This resolution is a step forward toward better protecting theists and nontheists alike,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. The freedom to believe or not believe is a fundamental human right that is being infringed upon around the world, and this resolution goes a long way to ensure that these individuals have their rights restored.”
“Blasphemy laws target marginalized religious minorities and leave them vulnerable to attacks and imprisonment,” said Matthew Bulger, legislative director of the American Humanist Association. “This resolution can help end the unnecessary threat to religious freedom and basic human dignity that blasphemy laws pose.”
The full Resolution can be found here.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.