BIG NEWS

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

There’s probably going to be no atheist bus ads. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life

What a shame. The wheels have fallen off the atheist bus campaign, after it collected $20,000 to fund advertising to go on the side of buses. Apparently NZ Bus received complaints and have rejected the ads.

Naturally you'll get calls saying that the Human Rights Act has been breached as the lack of a religious belief, along with a religious belief is a prohibited ground of discrimination. NZ Bus would have to argue that they pulled the ads because of something other than a religious element. If they can do this, it is not unlawful discrimination.

The Atheist Bus Campaign is considering making a complaint to the Human Rights Commission against NZ Bus. To be fair, it should also make complaints against all the other bus companies who have turned down the ads. But it won't, because the NZ Bus potential case is based on rejection after prior approval, not just religious grounds. That can be seen as discrimination in itself.

Perhaps the Atheist Bus Campaign can put the ads on the Labour bus when it does its nationwide campaign against a GST increase.

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