Press Release #8
PRESS RELEASE 25th August 2015
SECULAR HUMANIST GROUP CRITICISES SDGG
‘Gibraltar National Day is and always has been a celebration of our collective Gibraltarian identity. Why, for the first time in its history, is Religion being inserted into the event?’ the Secular Humanist Society (SHSG) has stated today in a communique to media. The Group is responding to plans by the Self-Determination for Gibraltar Group to include a religious boat blessing element within the festivities this year.
‘It is regrettable that the official organizers of the event, the SDGG, which has for so long done an excellent job in promoting Gibraltarian identity, feels they do not have to respond to public criticism or suggestions from other elements of Gibraltarian society. Likewise, they have not as yet explained why they feel the imperative to deviate from the single and traditional central aim of National Day – which is to unite us all, regardless of differences.
‘We have to say that we are disappointed on both these counts – particularly since this group contacted SDGG by email on this matter in addition to ensuring our views were well-covered in public comments on GBC and the press generally. The SDGG should respond openly as to why it is necessary now to introduce elements of division and controversy into the celebrations.
‘We continue to defend our view that National Day must be kept non-sectarian and collective. The vast majority of Gibraltarians today are non-religious, but that is not a good enough argument on our part; we respect the rights of minorities. The heart of our strong opposition to this totally alien initiative for the Day’s event is simple: no to sectarian divides,’ the statement ended.