Home Social Madison, Wisconsin, The First City to Forbid Discrimination Against Atheists

Madison, Wisconsin, The First City to Forbid Discrimination Against Atheists

“Nonreligion” was added as a protected class by the Common Council under the city’s equal opportunity ordinance. The enactment was co-supported by 14 of the chamber’s 20 individuals and was endorsed without protest. Madison, Wisconsin was the first city to forbid discrimination against atheists.

The First City to Forbid Discrimination Against Atheists
State capitol building in Madison, Wis., where discrimination against atheism has been banned (image credits : baytdz.com)

“This is significant I believe it is quite reasonable that on the off chance that we protect religion, in the entirety of its assortments, we ought to likewise shield non-religion from discrimination. It’s quite reasonable,”  ordinance sponsor Anita Weier said. “There are numerous categories that are ensured… furthermore, it happened to me that assuming religion was, maybe the inverse ought to be.”

The ordinance states : “Atheism implies the doubt or absence of confidence in the presence of God or Gods.” The ordinance protects individuals who don’t have faith in God, generally called atheists, from discrimination in the space of employment, housing and public facilities.

Previous Atheists Humanists and Agnostics president Chris Calvey supported the legislation.

“It’s really something we’re generally very concerned about, in light of the fact that atheism is seen as a particularly untouchable in this country, and there’s such a stigma with it,” Calvey said. “People in my student group, for instance, are reluctant to speak the truth about their absence of confidence in God out of dread that they will be discriminated against…  if that came up in a job interview that’s held against them.”

The Common Council  approved the legislation in the last gathering before elections.

“Having it on the books, where we’re legitimately a protected class, that will make things a lot simpler for atheists,” Calvey added. “Also, we’ll have the option to be certain that in any event assuming we’re straightforward about what we really accept, we have the law backing us up so we can’t legally be discriminated against.”

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