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Atheists Express Opposition to California Anti-Marriage Amendment Initiative

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ATHEISTS EXPRESS OPPOSITION TO CALIFORNIA ANTI-MARRIAGE AMENDMENT INITIATIVE

Civic laws should not be based on religious beliefs

Los Angeles "" The board of Atheists United, the preeminent atheist civil-rights organization in Southern California, unanimously voted today to formally oppose the passage of the Marriage Limitation Amendment to be voted on by California voters in the November 2008 presidential election.

The resolution reads as follows:

"WHEREAS, the California Supreme court has ruled that; 'the right to marry is not properly viewed simply as a benefit or privilege that a government may establish or abolish as it sees fit, but rather that the right constitutes a basic civil or human right of all people.' (In re Marriage Cases S147999, May 15, 2008, footnote 41.)

"WHEREAS, a proposed constitutional amendment, to limit marriage, will be on the November 4, 2008 General Election Ballot in California, stating; 'Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.'

"WHEREAS, such a limit on the right to marry is based on religious belief, not on the reasonable interests of the state, and therefore is an effrontery to the separation of government from religion.

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"THEREFORE, Atheists United declares its opposition to this ballot measure and urge other organizations and individuals to oppose the measure and to vote against it."

"This is a basic moral values issue," stated Atheists United president Stuart Bechman. "Religious people who wish to define marriage restrictively are free to do so for themselves, but it is frankly immoral for one group to dictate their restrictive views of a basic human right on all citizens."

"Those who oppose gay marriage should simply refuse to marry someone of their own gender."

Atheists United will be combining its efforts and resources with other gay and civil-rights groups over the course of the campaign season to educate the public on the reasons why this amendment should be defeated.

Atheists United is a 501(c)(3) educational organization dedicated to the protection of civil rights of atheists and other non-theists and public education of and support for the US atheist community.

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Stuart Bechman is a rationally-fanatic activist for atheism and freethought in the Los Angeles metro area, where he serves as president of Atheists United of Los Angeles. He also serves as vice-president of Atheist Alliance International.

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