As evangelical Christians seek to use the European Court of Human Rights as a means of undermining gay rights, a new campaign has been launched that aims for a secular Europe where religion and politics would be separate – and a march/rally has been planned for September 17 in London.

“Gay people should join the Secular Europe Campaign’s march this month as a means of protecting their hard won rights,” said Marco Tranchino, who is organising the campaign.

The Campaign for a Secular Europe will be building on the success of last year’s protests against the Pope’s visit by staging another march and rally in London on Saturday 17 September.

The march will be a protest at the growing influence of religious lobbies on the political institutions of Europe. Much of this influence revolves around undermining the rights not only of gay people but of everyone who does not base their lives on “traditional” religious principles – including unmarried cohabiting couples, divorcees, single mothers and those of other religions.

“Gay people would have much to gain if Europe was a secular continent where religious lobbies would not be able to force their agendas on to the political establishment,” Mr. Tranchino told UK Gay News.

“In Britain we see the evangelical movement trying to undermine abortion law and making a determined attempt to dismantle the hard-won equality legislation that has given equality to gay people. In the European parliament the Vatican is pushing hard to gain more influence and this can only be bad news for the gay community – 80% of British law now originates in Europe.”

Mr Tranchino went on to say that it is important that “we resist” the rise of these fundamentalist groups within politics.

“They pose a real and present danger to the rights that gay people have worked so hard to win over the past two decades. We must act now to stop them pushing us back,” he added

? The march for a Secular Europe will assemble at 10.30am at Temple Place (Victoria Embankment) on Saturday 17 September.

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