Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"No Pope" Protests Upheld Down Under

The Vatican and its supporters in Australia were thwarted today in their attempts to silence protest of Pope Benedict's Sydney visit later this week with laws that they claimed don't allow people to "annoy" the pilgrims or the pope. Gay protests had been planned are were the main concern of the Vatican. But the Federal Court ruled that the laws -- under which you could get arrested or fined over $5000 for wearing an "anti-Catholic" t-shirt -- are unconstitutional:

"We now have a lot more confidence to take to the streets to condemn Pope Benedict's policies against condom use, against contraception, against homosexuality," Rachel Evans from the "No Pope" group which challenged the laws.

"We are glad the court has ruled that we do have the freedom of expression to communicate our political views on Saturday."

Evans said "No Pope" protesters welcomed young Catholics in Sydney, but would hand them coathangers to protest against backyard abortions, condoms to promote safe sex, and stickers with gay themes to promote the rights of homosexuals.

That's surely a fitting welcome.