ATHEIST RADIO SHOW HOLDS TELETHON FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY
TACOMA – On July thirteenth through the fourteenth, the cast and crew of the Tacoma-based radio show, “Ask an Atheist” undertook an endurance contest for civil rights.
For twenty-four hours, the sleep-deprived heathens put on an internet telethon from their studio in Tacoma’s Oldtown to raise money to preserve marriage equality for Washington’s same-sex couples.
“After we caught wind that the Religious Right and their allies had gotten enough signatures to challenge marriage equality, it wasn’t even a question that we needed to do something” says Sam Mulvey, one of Ask an Atheist‘s producers. “This is a textbook case of religious privilege. These are historically powerful people acting like they’re being persecuted because everyone else isn’t forced to follow their narrow religious doctrines.”
The coalition behind the opposition to same-sex marriage rights in Washington includes frequent culture war participants as James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, Phyllis Schaffly’s Eagle Forum, and the leadership of the Catholic Church, who gathered signatures for the referendum during church services.
“People can believe whatever they want,” says Mulvey, “but when they enter the arena of public policy, they have to put their dogma aside and argue based on evidence. The fact is that there is no fact-based reason to oppose equal rights for same-sex couples. The only reasons to oppose LBGT rights are religious reasons and the Supreme Court has been clear that this just isn’t good enough.”
Throughout the event, cast and crew members of Ask an Atheist, answered questions from listeners, and raised nearly two-thousand dollars from supporters in the Puget Sound area and around the world.
“When we see the attacks on gay and lesbian equality,” says fellow show producer, Mike Gillis, “we see a lot of the same theocratic rogues gallery that harrasses, maligns and stereotypes atheists and rationalists, doing it for exactly the same reasons. What right would I have to call myself a supporter of civil rights and equality if I remained silent about intolerance towards someone else?”