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Friday, September 16, 2005

 Oppose Federally Funded Religious Discrimination in Head Start

Church-State separation is at risk.

Tell your representatives you oppose any attempt in the School Readiness Act (H.R. 2123) to permit federally funded religious discrimination. Urge them to vote "no" on the final passage of the bill if it includes such a provision.


H.R. 2123 is a bipartisan bill with provisions to protect, expand, and improve the Head Start program that benefits children across the nation. It currently maintains civil rights protections signed into Head Start legislation thirty-three years ago.

Representative John A. Boehner (R-OH) plans to introduce an amendment that would allow discrimination on the basis of religion in employment.

It would specifically allow taxpayer funded faith-based organizations to hire and fire teachers on the basis of religious beliefs. It could even be used to prevent people with different beliefs from volunteering and prevent underprivileged children from receiving a valuable education at an important age.

If passed, the provision would legally sanction discrimination by jeopardizing the rights of nonreligious and religious Americans alike.


We ask you to contact your representatives and urge them to oppose any attempts by Representative Boehner to the School Readiness Act (H.R. 2123) that would roll back critical civil rights protections. If such an amendment is added to the bill, urge your representative to oppose final passage of the bill.

You can reach your representative by calling the Capitol Switchboard toll-free at 877-762-8762 and ask to speak with her/his office. The House website http://www.house.gov also lists the direct office lines and e-mail addresses for every representative. It is important that Humanist voices be heard at this critical juncture.

The School Readiness Act (H.R. 2123) is expected to go to a full floor vote in the House next week.

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