Looking for the Australian Christian Lobby online is just as likely to lead you to a satirical website as it is the official political site thanks to the quirky humour of some Melbourne women.
Calling themselves the Australian Cat Ladies, the trio snatched up the domain name australianchristianlobby.org and launched their site at the end of April 2013.
The satirical site mocks the official Australian Christian Lobby website (acl.org.au) right down to the slogan, “voice for values”, which on the cat ladies website is “A Voice for Values (by which we mean ‘cats’).
Similarities also show up in the “About” section of the Australian Christian Lobby’s official website and the Australian Cat Ladies site.
“The vision of the Australian Christian Lobby is to see Christian principles and ethics accepted and influencing the way we are governed, do business and relate to each other as a community,” reads the political party’s website
“The vision of the Australian Cat Ladies is to see feline principles and ethics accepted and influencing the way we are governed, do business and relate to each other as a community,” the Australian Cat Ladies counter.
“The ACL aims to foster a more compassionate and just society by encouraging inclusivity, actively working against oppression of all kinds, and disseminating cat .gifs wherever they may be needed.”
Within hours of launching, the australianchristianlobby.org website went viral on social media, with around 260,000 views in less than 24 hours.
But the political ACL have shown no interest in buying the domain name, apparently content with acl.org.au and australianchristianlobby.org.au.
A spokesperson for the party simply told News Ltd media that they would continue to use its current website for communication with members.
Co-founder Hilary Bowman-Smart confirmed with News Ltd that no attempts had been made to buy the domain after it was purchased and the site launched.
She said while it had begun as a joke, there was potential for the Australian Cat Ladies to “do some good in the future”.
She told News Ltd that the three founders valued reproductive autonomy, comprehensive sexual education, and “a society that does not discriminate based on gender or insist that women adhere to some sort of twisted archaic moral code” – all of which have been points of contention and debate for the Australian Christian Lobby.
“Also, (co-founder) Genevieve (Stewart) is a lesbian and one day would like to be married and free from the homophobia that is often defended by people such as the Australian Christian Lobby under the guise of religious expression,” Bowman-Smart said.
Their domain name should draw in an interesting mix of people, but with cat memes, videos and blogs at an all-time high, it will be interesting to see how popular australianchristianlobby.org becomes compared to acl.org.au.