The Australian Christian Lobby has opposed gay rights advocates on various issues but three Melbourne feminists have started their own ACL and bought out the rights to the very similar web address.
Hilary Bowman-Smart, Genevieve Stewart and Jessica Alice launched the Australian Cat Ladies website last weekend after they bought up the available domain name, www.australianchristianlobby.org.
The actual Australian Christian Lobby’s website is listed under www.acl.org.au.
The Australian Cat Ladies website is promoted as “a voice for values (by which we mean ‘cats’)”.
“We believe in family values – like hard work, marriage equality, and lots of tummy rubs,” it reads.
Issues supported by the new group included LGBTI rights, the right to abortion, ending poverty and better education.
The website went viral online at the weekend and it’s reported to have received about 260,000 hits.
Melbourne lesbian Genevieve Stewart told the Star Observer the response had been overwhelmingly positive.
“Honestly, we started it as a joke between friends,” she said.
The trio had wanted to start a group on Twitter called #YoungTwitterFeminists and had joked about the ACL and if the name actually meant Australian Cat Ladies.
Bowman-Smart realised the domain name, www.australianchristianlobby.org, was free and bought the name for under $20 on her smart phone.
They replaced #YoungTwitterFeminists for Australian Cat Ladies and launched the website over the weekend.
“We’re not really big fans of the Australian Christian Lobby; we’re all ladies and Jess and I are queer so they offend us on a pretty regular basis,” Stewart said.
She said marriage equality was obviously important to her but she said out they were advocating for more than just extending marital rights.
“We’d really like to point out we don’t believe it’s the only important queer issue and we’d like to talk about trans equality and sex education,” she said.
She said the majority of comments had been positive but they had received a few criticisms of their “ungodly nature”.
Stewart added they had received some unexpected complaints about supporting cat owners so cats don’t kill native wildlife.
“We’ve overwhelmed ourselves for a joke, we’ve not thought out what we should have been focusing on,” Stewart jested.
“The new and improved ACL, we stand for equality for all, inclusion, acceptance, and waving lasers at walls.”
The Herald Sun reported the Australian Christian Lobby had not tried to buy the name back.