Victorian Secular Lobby Founded

Representatives of several secular groups met on Saturday [July 9, 2010] to initiate the Victorian Secular Lobby, as a counter to those who wish to impose particular religious values on all members of society.

Initiated by the Isocracy Network, individuals from the Progressive Atheists, the Secular Party of Australia, the Melbourne Unitarian Church, Humanist Society of Victoria, Atheist Meetup and others were in attendance. The group seeks to extend its scope of membership to include mainstream religious organisations who also support the separation of Church and State.

Convenor Enzo Reyes described conservative lobby groups like the Australian Christian Lobby as misrepresenting those of that faith, and excluding people of other beliefs. "They have enormous political power highly disproportionate to the acceptance of their narrow ideas. The Victorian Secular Lobby will seek to address this imbalance. Most people agree that laws should be applied with secular reasoning that respects individual and different religious beliefs."

In the upcoming Federal election the group has identified same-sex marriage rights and the National School Chaplaincy Pprogram as two particular issues that will be targetted.

"Prohibiting same-sex marriage denies the principle of legal equality. Further, it also discriminates against those religious organisations who wish to conduct same-sex marriages."

"As for the school chaplaincy program, we believe that taxpayer's money is much better spent on professional qualified counsellors", he added.

For the Victorian state election the group will be concentrating on supporting MPs who have been targetted by the Right to Life association for supporting reproductive rights legislation and supporting the teaching of secular ethics in schools.

"Abortion law reform is founded on the principle that women have the moral and intellectual capacity to make decisions about their own fertility. It has ensured that women's lives and reproductive capacity is safeguarded for their future", Mr. Reyes said.

For further information contact Lev Lafayette on 0432 255 208