Aussie thought police to crack down on Catholic-baiters

Australian authorities have introduced special regulations to police this month’s Catholic World Youth Day. The new rules will give police and service workers the power to arrest anyone behaving in a way which “causes annoyance or inconvenience to participants in a World Youth Day event.”

The new offence carries a potential $5,300 fine.

World Youth Day is actually a week long Catholic festival (July 15-20), due to be attended by Pope Benedict the Whatever. Naturally, several groups are keen to protest about the church’s stance on homosexuality, contraception, and abortion. But this new law could mean that someone wearing a t-shirt bearing a pro-contraception slogan could be arrested and fined if deemed to be “causing annoyance” to any passing biscuit-muncher.

Ekklesia reports that civil liberties groups, the NSW Bar Association, and green and secularist groups are outraged at the ad hoc legislation, which has bypassed normal parliamentary scrutiny.

The stage is set. We will keep you informed.

8 Responses to “Aussie thought police to crack down on Catholic-baiters”

  1. marc draco says:

    I predict a riot. No really. This really could cause a riot.

  2. Stuart H. says:

    So you can be arrested for wearing a T-shirt with a condom on it because that might ’cause annoyance’?
    What about if a cross-dressing geriatric German with a two foot gold dick on his head turns up?

  3. sean says:

    What a perfect time that would be to dust off the old ‘Jesus is a cunt’ t-shirts!

  4. What would happen if a Catholic became offended by the presence of a Muslim? And then the Muslim got uppity because the Catholic had got offended? And then . . .

  5. Elliott says:

    Here is a poster some enterprising Aussies may wish to print up and distribute:

    “World Youth Day 2008
    One Stadium
    50,000 Christians
    What’s missing . . .?

    Sponsor a Lion today!”

  6. G. Tingey says:

    IF this “law” has “bypassed normal parliamentary scrutiny” then it is surely NOT a law, and has no validity?

    I assume the Aussie law-groups, atheists, civil rights groups etc will contest it under those grounds – never mind any actual arrests/fines/imprisonments resulting.
    Whoever was responsible for this is plainly unfit to hold office, or be trusted with anything more dangerous than a bog-brush.

  7. […] an update on this story, The BBC reports that a court in Sydney has overruled the controversial “don’t annoy […]