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AHLC Joins Letter to Lawmakers Condemning Religious Exemptions for Foster and Adoption Agencies

For Immediate Release

Contact: David Niose, 202-238-9088, Monica Miller, 202-238-9088,

(Washington, D.C., July 25, 2018)—On Monday, the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center joined several other secular groups in sending a letter to the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations to oppose a discriminatory amendment (introduced by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)) to the House Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations bill that would put the health and welfare of children in our nation’s adoption and foster care system at risk.

In the joint letter, the AHA and other co-signers—the Center for Inquiry, American Atheists, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Secular Coalition for America, and the Secular Student Alliance—urge lawmakers to think about the burden placed on children still awaiting a permanent home. The letter further argues that allowing those agencies that receive public taxpayer funds to discriminate is a violation of the Establishment Clause. The letter states: “The ability to love and care for a child is not limited to people of one particular faith.”

“If any group wants to run an adoption agency that discriminates based on religion, it should not receive government funding,” said AHA Legal Director David Niose. “Taxpayer money should go only to groups that further the best interests of children, and any program that embodies religious discrimination fails that test.”


Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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