The HAI is working towards a secular state and the equal treatment of people of no religion in the Constitution, in legislation and other practices of the State and its agencies by campaigning on behalf of the non-religious in Ireland in a number of areas. On an ongoing basis, the HAI seeks to have a secular Constitution and has identified the need for change in the following areas:
- The Constitution itself by deleting:
- the religious preamble
- the requirement for religious oaths/declarations for judges and holders of high office
- its concept of blasphemy
- Changes in State practices relating to:
- Oireachtas prayers
- religious oaths for jurors and witnesses
- the use of State property for religious purposes
- primary and secondary education (including primary teacher training, school chaplains and the religious curriculum)
- medical care
- religious symbols in public places
- the national Census
- the use of State employees for religious purposes
These and other topics are more fully described in the HAI publication Equality for the Non-Religious.
A successful HAI campaign, spearheaded by our Director of Ceremonies, Brian Whiteside, came to fruition with the passage of the Civil Registration (Amendment) Bill to give legal status to Humanist marriage through the Dáil and Seanad in late 2012. At the time of writing (April 2013) the HAI are in touch with the General Register Office and working through the process of having HAI celebrants approved as marriage solmenisers.
Previous Single-Issue Public Campaigns
The HAI has been involved in a number of single-issue campaigns, including
- An ad in all DART carriages drawing attention the requirement for religious oaths for judges and for the Presidency in 2009 under the heading; IS IT FAIR?
- A similar DART ad highlighting the loaded nature of the Religion question in the 2011 Census form.
The HAI is always actively interested in maximising its membership and its influence. If you would like to become involved please see our Membership page.