Raelians protest Mardi Gras rejection

Representatives of the UFO-related Raelian movement gathered in Taylor Square on Saturday to protest against their exclusion from this year’s Mardi Gras parade.

More than 20 members of the Raelian movement erected posters proclaiming "No god, no guilt", "Debaptise yourself from your homophobic religion" and "Raelian gays not welcomed by Mardi Gras".

At 3pm performance artist and Raelian spokesperson Luke Roberts arrived, dressed as Pope Alice in papal robes, an alien face mask and red sequined slippers. An entourage of followers in white robes and Hawaiian leis distributed flyers denouncing the Mardi Gras board as "little Hitlers".

New Mardi Gras co-chair Michael Woodhouse told Sydney Star Observer there was little to say about the protest against the Raelian’s exclusion from the 2004 parade.

"We made a decision in good faith based on the information in front of us," Woodhouse said. "That information did not demonstrate the support of the Raelian organisation for the GLBTQ community and we made a decision accordingly."

Raelian protesters also held a "debaptism ceremony" for members of the public wishing to dissociate themselves from the "sexist and homophobic discrimination perpetuated by the churches". Among the debaptised were country singer Mic Conway, a friend of Roberts and not a member of the Raelian movement.

Not everyone was impressed or amused. Several passers-by heckled the group with cries of "blasphemers" and "you’re being brainwashed by idiots".