Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Federal Prison System Agrees To Recognize Humanism As A Religious Belief

The American Humanist Association announced yesterday that it has entered an Enforceable Settlement Agreement (full text) with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in a suit brought by a federal prisoner in Oregon who sought to form a Humanist study group and have Humanism recognized as his religious affiliation. (See prior related posting.) The settlement agreement, applicable to the entire federal prison system, is summarized by the AHA in its press release:
Under the terms of the enforceable settlement, the Federal Bureau of Prisons will acknowledge humanism as a worldview that deserves the same recognition as theistic religious beliefs. The Manual on Inmate Beliefs and Practices will include a section on humanism, and inmates may identify as humanists for official assignment purposes. The prison will also authorize humanist study groups and permit humanist inmates to annually observe Darwin Day.