May 13th, 2014
For Immediate Release
(Washington, D.C., May 13, 2014)—Today the Freethought Equality Fund announces its second slate of endorsements for the 2014 election cycle.
“All of the endorsed candidates fully support the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which calls for a separation of church and state,” said Bishop McNeill, coordinator for the Freethought Equality Fund PAC. “Hopefully this sends the message that the 20 percent of Americans who don’t identify with any religion deserve to be represented and given a voice.”
In its second slate of candidates, the Freethought Equality Fund endorses United States House Representatives Steve Cohen (TN-09), Beto O’Rourke (TX-16), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) and Mike Honda (CA-17). These members of Congress scored highly on scorecards by the Center for Humanist Activism and the Secular Coalition of America in 2013, which rated representatives based on votes dealing with humanist and secular issues. All have proven to be strong advocates for separation of church and state and have pledged to ensure equality for all Americans.
The Freethought Equality Fund also endorses United States House candidates Mark Dunec (NJ-11), James Woods (AZ-05) and Gabriel Rothblatt (FL-08). A member of Jewish faith, Dunec recognizes the importance of maintaining a secular government at all costs, which is why he has pledged to take the oath of office on the U.S. Constitution, should he be elected to Congress. Woods made the news recently when he became the first candidate to publicly campaign for Congress openly as an atheist. He also hopes to be the first blind member of Congress in almost 100 years. Rothblatt, son of Sirius XM radio founder Martine Rothbatt, is a progressive Democrat who fully supports the separation of church and state. Rothblatt is very open-minded about his spirituality. He was raised Jewish and still identifies with many customs and practices of that faith. However, today he is agnostic about the concept of a higher power.
The Freethought Equality Fund is also pleased to endorse Shenna Bellows in her bid for United States Senate in Maine. Bellows is the former Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, where she spent 8 years fighting for civil liberties protection of all Americans, regardless of race, gender, sexual preference or religion. Bellows will be a strong advocate for the separation of church and state, as well as women’s rights and reproductive choice.
Also earning endorsement from the Freethought Equality Fund in bids for election to their state legislatures are Karalee Hargrove (CA-42) and Daniel Moran (TX-63). Hargrove, who does not identify with any religion, is seeking election to the California State House in the 42nd District. In 2012, she was elected as a Trustee to the Morongo Unified School District and will bring that leadership and passion for her community to the California General Assembly. Daniel Moran, an open atheist, is a Democrat running for Texas State House in the 63rd District. Like so many of his generation, Moran’s activism began online, where he discussed politics and religion in America. He also founded the Secular Student Alliance at the University of North Texas.
These 10 new candidates will be supported in addition to the Freethought Equality Fund’s first slate of candidates, announced in December: U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02), U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12), U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03), U.S. House candidate Dr. Lee Rogers (CA-25), State Rep. Carolyn Tomei (OR-41) and State Rep. Juan Mendez (AZ-26). For more information on all of the candidates that the Freethought Equality Fund is endorsing, visit www.freethoughtequality.org.
The Freethought Equality Fund (FEF) PAC’s goal is to change the face of American politics and to achieve equality by increasing the number of open humanists and atheists in public office at all levels of government. The FEF PAC is affiliated with the Center for Humanist Activism.
The FEF PAC will provide nontheist Americans the opportunity to make their voices heard in the political process by supporting candidates who identify as humanist, atheist, agnostic, and who share our goals of protecting the separation of church and state and defending the civil liberties of secular Americans.