Atheist Ireland asks that civil registration Bill be referred

Sat, Dec 22, 2012, 00:00

Atheist Ireland has written to President Michael D Higgins asking that he send the Civil Registration Amendment Bill to the Supreme Court to test its constitutionality on the grounds that it discriminates against non-believers.

The group has also written to the Irish Human Rights Commission asking that the Bill be examined from a human rights perspective.

In a statement yesterday, Atheist Ireland said: “We welcome the intention of this Bill to make our law more inclusive.

“However, in practice the Bill accepts and further institutionalises discrimination on the ground of religion or belief.”

The Bill “continues the discrimination in the Act that it is amending, which is discrimination in favour of religious people and against nonreligious people, and it adds new discrimination, this time between non-religious people who have different philosophical and non-confessional beliefs,” the statement added.

“However the law regulates how people can legally solemnise marriages, the law should treat all religious and nonreligious people and bodies equally, and should not discriminate on the ground of religion or belief,” it said.