The Secular Humanist Society Gibraltar have said that “in asking for, and getting, an extension to the command paper on the Abortion Bill, the catholic bishop has invoked and been granted undeserved christian privilege.”
The SHSG, who represent a fast growing section of the community, calls for this extension to be annulled, "[but] we are certain that this won’t happen, as this privilege seems only to extend to one individual."
Their statement, released this evening, continues, "Although the bible is virtually silent on this matter, and the church is free to submit a document like everyone else (we are all for freedom of expression), it would seem that inexplicably, his view carries more weight than any others. This is the essence of religious privilege – getting better treatment for their views than other organisations.Our concern is not about the extension per se, but what else has the bishop asked for using this special licence? What other concessions have been given within this framework of christian privilege?"
"In our opinion, the Catholic Church is overreaching, in the meantime people are made to wait longer and suffer. The SHSG advocates for freedom of religion and freedom from religion as demanded in our Constitution."
"Right now, we believe this fundamental human right, enshrined in our constitution, is being ignored, trampled on and run roughshod. Moreover, didn’t the so-called 'Pro-Life Movement' (More accurately the 'Anti-Choice Movement') state that they weren’t religious?"
"None of the Pro-Choice organisations have requested an extension - we know this for a fact. On whose behalf is the bishop speaking or what group is he openly helping? It can only be the alleged 'Pro-Life' group. This organisation has disingenuously led people to believe that it is not a religious movement, when it clearly is."
Additionally, the SHSG says it calls upon the Government of Gibraltar to uphold its duty to separate church and state by stopping religious privilege once and for all.