Human Rights,  Secularism

London Protest for a Secular Europe

No Vatican interference in politics 

Stop the Pope’s crusade against women’s and gay rights 

London, UK 


Saturday 14 February 2009

Meet @ 2 PM outside the Natural History Museum

Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD (near the corner with Exhibition Road)

March to the Italian Embassy in Grosvenor Square for a rally.

Saturday’s protest in London is in support of a simultaneous protest taking place in Rome, which is demanding that the Vatican end its interference in Italian politics. 

“This demonstration is demanding that the Vatican stop meddling in politics and abusing its power to oppose human rights. We also want the Italian government to cease kow-towing to the Pope’s theocratic agenda,” said Peter Tatchell of the LGBT human rights organisation OutRage!, who is scheduled as a keynote speaker at the rally outside the Italian Embassy.

“Our aim is a secular Europe, where people are free to practice their faith but where no religion has privileged legal status and unique access to political power and influence.

“We are appalled by the Pope’s repeated attacks on the rights of women and gay people and by his wilful opposition to life-saving condom provision. The Italian government too often allows itself to be bullied by the Vatican, on issues such as same-sex civil marriage and sex education in schools.

“If Catholics suffer discrimination I will be the first to defend them. Equally, when the Pope supports discrimination against women and gay people I will be the first to oppose him. That is the difference between me and the Pope. I oppose all discrimination, including against Catholics. He supports sexist and homophobic discrimination whenever it suits his intolerant interpretation of the Christian faith,” said Mr Tatchell.

Saturday’s protest is endorsed by the British Humanist Association, OutRage!, the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association and many others.

This demo will be in solidarity with the demonstration happening at the same time in Rome against the Vatican’s manipulation of Italian, European and world-wide politics.