The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) is “the nation’s premier civil rights coalition” and “has coordinated the national legislative campaign on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957.”
This is a big deal.
It’s an acknowledgment that the rights of non-believers need to be protected, just like those of disabled Americans, gay Americans, and religious Americans, among others.
From an SCA press release:
Recognition that the nontheistic minority must be included in the struggle for civil rights marks a milestone. There are several religious groups within LCCR’s coalition, but the Secular Coalition for America is the first nontheist (atheists, humanists, and other Americans without a god belief) group to be included. Both organizations agree that religious freedom as protected by the Bill of Rights must also include the freedom to practice no religion.…
Secular Coalition Director, Lori Lipman Brown, said, “This decision says as much about the LCCR and its willingness to acknowledge and include nontheists as it does about the Secular Coalition and its recognition of our theistic allies who support our rights.”
In the past, there have been those in the non-religious camp who have not viewed atheism as a civil rights issue and many that have.
I wrote more thoroughly about this in a previous posting.
In any case, there is now acknowledgment from a larger, respected, credible organization that atheists deserve (and are in need of) equal rights.
The recognition is a major step into gaining acceptance from more Americans.