Sunday, April 05, 2015

Atheists' Sanctuary City Created: Madison, Wisc.

The liberal stronghold of Madison, Wisconsin has become the first city in the nation to recognize the nonreligious as a protected class of citizens.  The Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), along with other atheists, spoke at the city council in favor of the proposed ordinance, but not a single citizen spoke in opposition; the ordinance passed unanimously.
"This is important because I believe it is only fair that if we protect religion, in all its varieties, we should also protect nonreligion from discrimination. It's only fair."
-- Ald. Anita Weier, City of Madison Common Council
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Atheists Commandeer Invocations: Florida City Council

Atheists Defeat Veterans Memorial in North Carolina

Atheists Force Michigan Schools to Ban Christians

Wisconsin Atheists Want Christians Out of Oklahoma Schools

'God Bless America' Banned from Florida School

Atheists Force Bible Ban at University of Wisconsin and at Colleges Across America

California Boots College Christian Clubs Across the State

Colleges Hire Humanist Chaplains for the Nonbelievers

For myriad attacks on the Bible and Christian faith, read CBS Gives Voice to Atheists, Heretics, & Apostates

However, Wisconsin Governor Ignores Atheists' Demands Regarding the Bible and when a Wisconsin School Banned Christmas Music, the Citizens Revolted

-- From "Madison City Council adds 'nonreligion' as protected class" by Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 4/1/15

Annie Laurie Gaylor, [FFRF] co-president, praised Weir, an outgoing council member, for coming up with the idea.

"We're kicking ourselves that we never thought of it," Gaylor said. "Nonbelievers are near the bottom of the totem poll."

Gaylor said she hopes Madison's move spurs a national movement that will inspire others, including the State of Wisconsin, to pass similar measures.

Madison's new measure adds the words "or atheism" after "religion" in several sections of the city's legal code detailing what is a protected class.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Madison bans discrimination against atheists" by Louis Weisberg, Staff writer, Wisconsin Gazette 4/2/15

“It was something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while,” Weier said. “I’m not running for reelection, so it’s something that I wanted to get passed before I left office. Anyone who was seeking reelection might not have introduced it.”

The ban was added to an existing equal-opportunity ordinance, which protects people from discrimination based on a list of factors, including race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. The March 31 vote added the phrase “religion or non-religion” to the ordinance, which applies to employment, housing and public accommodations.

Although the Constitution prohibits government office seekers from a religious litmus test, people who don’t believe in God are banned from office in six southern states and Maryland. Non-believers say they frequently face discrimination, and a 2012 Gallup poll found that Americans are more likely to vote for gays or Muslims than atheists.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Madison first in nation to pass ordinance protecting atheists" by Matthew Simon, WISC-TV3 (Madison, WI) 4/1/15

UW graduate student, and former Atheists Humanists and Agnostics president Chris Calvey was among the five atheists speaking in favor of the proposals.

They told the council stories of housing, employment, volunteer, community, and parental custody discrimination because of their non-belief in God, saying that fact has no bearing on their character, values or what type of job they do.

"Having it on the books, where we're legally a protected class, that'll make things much easier for atheists," Calvey said. "And we'll be able to be confident that at least if we're honest about what we actually believe, then we have the law backing us up so we can't legally be discriminated against."

"It's really making a big statement that we're not going to put up with discrimination in the name of God. That being a believer doesn't mean you can discriminate," Freedom From Religion Foundation co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read America Going to Hell; Christians Lose Convictions

And read President Obama Provokes Second 'In God We Trust' Movement