Discrimination against atheists, non-religious banned in Madison

05/04/2015 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Wisconsin – The leaders of Wisconsin’s state capital Madison have taken steps to protect the legal rights of atheists and individuals who are not religious. According to an Associated Press (AP) report the city of Madison has banned discrimination against people who have no religious affiliation in what is stated to be a first in the U.S. The statute, which passed on April 1, gives non-religious persons the same protections as other protected classes.

Anita Weier, who authored the ordinance, stated of its origin, “It just seems to me that religion has spread into government more than I feel comfortable with…It just occurred to me that religion was protected, so non-religion should be, too.”

Weier further expressed that the statute’s creation was not in response to the controversy over religious freedom measures being debated in Arkansas and Indiana.

There was reportedly no dissent from members of the City Council in passage of the new statute; however, objections have since been voiced by other individuals and groups.

Julaine Appling, who is president of Wisconsin Family Action, stated of the measure, “I don't understand why they would add this to that litany of protections in Madison, of all places…I thought this was an April Fools' joke.”

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