March against religious attacks on human rights
Defend religious freedom, oppose religious privilege
Saturday 15 September 2012
Assemble: 13:30 Storey’s Gate
Rally: 15:00-17:00 Surrey Street (Temple Place)
“Join the march and rally against religious attacks on human rights. All across Europe, religious leaders are orchestrating campaigns against equality for women and LGBT people,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“Most UK religious leaders oppose same-sex marriage. They support legal discrimination against same-sex couples. Some faith organisations ban women clergy and bishops. Others oppose divorce, contraception, abortion, donor insemination, embryo research and adoption by same-sex couples. Several have been involved in child sex abuse and the cover-up of these crimes against children.
“Cardinal O’Brien in Scotland has stirred homophobic prejudice and intolerance by comparing gay marriage to slavery and by denouncing marriage equality as “grotesque” and as an “aberration” that will lead to society “degenerating” into “immorality”.
“Saturday’s protest demands an end to religious privilege and to religious exemption from the equality laws. We support women's rights, children's rights, LGBT rights & all human rights.
“While we defend the human rights of all believers and non-believers, it cannot be right that faith organisations have special rights and privileges in law.
“It is not compatible with democracy for the Church of England to be the official state religion and for 26 of its bishops to sit automatically in the House of Lords, with the ability to influence legislation. This is an insult to people of other faiths and to those with no faith at all,” he said.
The secular Europe campaign opposes:
Privileged status of churches under Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
Official state religions and established churches
The special status of the Vatican at the United Nations and its economic and political privileges across Europe
State-funded religious schools
The secular Europe campaign supports:
Freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech
Women’s equality and reproductive rights
Equal rights for LGBT people in all the European Union
A secular Europe – democratic, peaceful, open and just, with no privilege for religious organisations
One law for all, no religious exemptions from the law
State neutrality in matters of religion and belief
Robin Ince, Comedian and BHA Distinguished Supporter
Chris French, Skeptic and Professor of Psychology, Goldsmiths University
Warren Ellis, Writer and BHA Distinguished Supporter
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner
Joan Smith, Journalist
Mejindarpal Kaur, Legal Director, United Sikhs
Richard Norman, Philosopher
Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs, British Humanist Association
Terry Sanderson, President, National Secular Society
Antony Lempert, Secular Medical Forum Chair
Adam Knowles, Gay And Lesbian Humanist Association
Nahla Mahmood, Council of ex-Muslims of Britain and One law for All
Sue Cox, Survivors Voice Europe
Maurizio Turco MP, Italian Radicals
For further information:
0207 403 1790