For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Gerard, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-238-9088 ext. 105
(Washington, D.C., December 20, 2019) — Yesterday, Senators Lankford (R-OK) and Coons (D-DE) introduced a resolution in the United States Senate calling for the global repeal of blasphemy, heresy, and apostasy laws. The American Humanist Association (AHA), in coordination with dozens other religious freedom advocacy organizations, are standing up for religious freedom by advocating for its passage.
This Resolution calls upon the President and the U.S. State Department to make the repeal of blasphemy laws a priority in their relationships with countries that have such laws and to release prisoners who have been accused or convicted of blasphemy offenses. It further calls for the President and State Department to oppose any efforts at the United Nations or other international forums to support blasphemy laws.
The AHA leads a coalition of more than thirty-five organizations in support of this resolution and its companion introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Raskin (D-MD) and Meadows (R-NC).
“We are fortunate to live in a country where freedom of religion and freedom from religion are fairly well protected, however, not everyone around the world shares such freedoms,” AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt said of the legislation moving forward. “This resolution is a critical step in expanding freedoms around the world as it can move countries with blasphemy laws to rethink those policies.”
Blasphemy laws exist in more than 84 countries and are the most explicit laws banning the expression of doubts or criticism regarding religion. In several countries, the penalty for violating these laws is as severe as death. These laws affect not just the nonreligious, but dissidents from all faiths and philosophies.
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The American Humanist Association (americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington D.C., its work is extended through more than 175 local chapters and affiliates across the United States.
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms a responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.