For Immediate Release
Merrill Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 105, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 120, email@example.com
(Washington, D.C., Oct. 6, 2014)—Today the American Humanist Association applauds the County of Los Angeles Board of County Supervisors for allowing Indra Zuno, a Los Angeles County resident and secular invocation speaker endorsed by the Humanist Society, to give a secular invocation at an upcoming Board meeting in accord with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Town of Greece v. Galloway.
As of February 26, 2014, the County refused to grant Ms. Zuno’s request to offer a secular invocation before a Los Angeles Board of County Supervisors meeting. Ms. Zuno made her first of several requests to the County in July 2013. Each of her requests had been met with unresponsiveness and delay, despite the County’s policy of inviting invocation speakers from a broad population of religious and community leaders. In response to the obstruction Ms. Zuno experienced, the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors on her behalf, highlighting the unfair and unconstitutional bias against her secular humanist views.
“In Town of Greece v. Galloway, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that legislative invocation policies must be inclusive, meaning atheists and humanists must not be categorically prohibited from offering secular invocations,” said Monica Miller, an attorney with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “We are pleased that the Los Angeles Board of County Supervisors has finally agreed to allow Ms. Zuno to deliver a secular invocation.”
“Denying an atheist or humanist permission to give a secular invocation discriminates against the views of those who are good without a god,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “In permitting a secular invocation, the Los Angeles Board has given non-religious individuals a voice.”
Ms. Zuno will be delivering a secular invocation at the Los Angeles County Board of County Supervisors meeting on November 12, 2014, at B-4 Kenneth Hahn Hall, 500 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, California.
A copy of the letter sent to the Board by the Appignani Humanist Legal center can be viewed here, and a copy of the Board’s response can be viewed here.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy 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.