Secular Party of Australia
|Secular Party of Australia|
|Politics of Australia
The Secular Party of Australia is a minor Australian political party, founded in January 2006 and registered as a federal political party in 2010. It supports secular humanist ethical principles with its stated political aims being:
- To bring about separation of Church and State in Australia
- To promote secularism worldwide
- To stand for human rights and social justice, affirming the dignity of each human being
- To support the maximisation of individual liberty and opportunity consistent with social and environment responsibility
- To defend freedom of expression everywhere
- To espouse policies which support a rational approach to human problems
- To promote the fullest use of science for human welfare
- To gain and maintain for non-religious people the same rights that are enjoyed by members of religious bodies
- To promote the election to Parliament of Secular Party endorsed candidates
The current executive officers are listed on the party's web site.
The Secular Party was founded in January 2006 after discussions in late 2005, and registered as a federal political party in 2010.
In 2005, the Secular Party took out a series of advertisements airing in prime time, spoken by party founder and then vice-president John Goldbaum. The campaign often used the slogan "Don't Let the Church Govern Australia", attacking the policies of the Howard Government concerning abortion, contraception, and gay marriage.
In 2007 the party merged with the similar Freedom From Religion Party. The phrase "Freedom From Religion" was appended as a subheading to the main party name on the website and in marketing materials. This subheading has since been changed to the sub heading "Freedom of religion and freedom from religion".
The party contested the 2007 Federal Australian election by fielding candidates for each Australian state's representation in the Senate under the campaign slogan "Don't Let The Church Govern Australia - Keep Religion Out of Politics". The party was not registered federally, so the party name did not appear on the ballot paper. Ian Bryce appeared on ABC Radio in a discussion on secularism and John Perkins submitted an article to the Australian political e-journal On Line Opinion, but the party received little other media attention during the campaign.
In 2008 and 2009 the party became more active in Senate Committee discussions around the taxation of religious organisations and the HREOC submission on same sex discrimination.
The 2010 federal election is the Secular Party's first election as a registered political party. The party fielded thirty one candidates across Australia. These included Senate candidates in all states and nineteen candidates for the House of Representatives. According to the Australian Electoral Commission the total number of votes cast for the party in lower house seats was 10,287 or 0.1% of the overall total. The party received 8,741 first preference votes in the Senate election, or 0.09%.
In the 2013 federal election the Secular Party received 4,834 votes in the lower house, or 0.04%, and 12,698 first preference votes in the senate, or 0.09% 
The party supports:
- Constitutional separation of Church and State
- A secular Republic, free of hereditary privilege
- Pro-choice regarding abortion
- Same-sex marriage recognition 
- Recognition of gay families
- Contraception and sex education
- Anti-homophobia education
- No anti-discrimination exemptions for religious schools and businesses
- Right to die
- Voluntary euthanasia
- Embryonic stem cell research
- Lesbian IVF availability
- Scientific research not to be limited by religious objections
The party opposes:
- Unwarranted impositions of religious dogma
- Government support for religious schools
- Religious attire at schools
- Religious indoctrination of children
- All forms of religious coercion and theocracy
- Sharia Law
- History of Secular Party
- "Aims". Secular Party of Australia. Retrieved 2011-05-24.
- "Contact the Secular Party of Australia". secularparty.org. Retrieved 2011-05-24.
- "Freethought Parties Merge - Secular Party Press release". Secular.org.au. 20 August 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "Losing My Religion" - Herald Sun - 2 December 2009
- "The Spirit of Things - ABC Radio National". Abc.net.au. 11 November 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "Secularism as an ideal" On Line opinion - 15 February 2006 (by John Perkins)
- "Secular Party of Australia Information - AEC Website". Aec.gov.au. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "Secular Party of Australia". Secular.org.au. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "Senate State First Preference By Group". vtr.aec.gov.au. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
- Transcript of Radio Interview with Dr. John L Perkins on community radio station 2SER - Recorded 3 February 2006
- Politics and religion: crossed paths - The Sydney Morning Herald - 26 December 2009
- "Policy details of the Secular Party". Secular.org.au. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- "Secular Party of Australia Website". Policy details of the Secular Party of Australia website. Retrieved 2011-09-14.