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Supporting Civil Rights for Atheists and the Separation of Church and State
Atheists File Suit Against Bradford County, FL Decalogue
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 25, 2012
For more information, please contact:
Dave Silverman, President; 732-648-9333; [email protected]
Blair Scott, Communications Director; 256-701-6265; [email protected]
Bridget Gaudette, Florida State Director; 407-399-5808; [email protected]
ATHEISTS FILE SUIT AGAINST BRADFORD COUNTY, FL DECALOGUE
On Friday, May 25, 2012 American Atheists, a national atheist civil rights and first amendment public policy organization dedicated to the total separation of church and state, filed a complaint against Bradford County, Florida for placement of a large Ten Commandments monument on the courthouse lawn. The suit was filed in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida; Jacksonville division.
American Atheists asserts that Bradford County violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 3 of the Florida State Constitution, by placing the Decalogue on the lawn of the public County Courthouse, which also contains the offices of the Sheriff, Property Assessor, Building and Zoning, Supervisor of Elections, Tax Assessor, Clerk of the Court, and the Board of County Commissioners.
Bridget R. Gaudette, Florida State Director, said, “Bradford County is devaluing our Constitution by putting up this display. The Establishment Clause prohibits preference by the U.S. government of one religion over another. The Ten Commandments monument shows preference to the Judeo-Christian religions and dismisses other religious and non-religious philosophies and beliefs.”
“What we need is a 6-ton granite monument of the U.S. Constitution to serve as a reminder that we are all Americans and should be treated equally: without bias," stated Ken Loukinen, Director of State Operations.
“Equality is an all-or-nothing prospect. The government is not allowed to sponsor one religious position and ignore all others. Even Christians have to obey the law,” noted Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists.
A similar monument in nearby Dixie County was already deemed unconstitutional and is on appeal.
AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a non-profit 501(c)3 national organization that defends civil rights of Atheists, Freethinkers and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of church-mosque-temple and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.
American Atheists, Inc.
P.O. Box 158 Cranford, N.J. 07016
Tel: (908) 276-7300
Fax: (908) 276-7402