Humanist Group to Defend Local Family against Colorado School District's Religious Programs

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November 15, 2016

Contact: Merrill Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 105,

David Niose, 202-238-9088 ext. 119,

The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center will present oral arguments before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to defend local families in Douglas County, Colorado, whose First Amendment rights to freedom from state-sponsored religious activity were violated by the Douglas County School District, which repeatedly sponsored and promoted religious programs.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 9:00am MST

WHERE: Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1823 Stout Street, Denver, Colorado, 80202

WHO: David Niose, legal director of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center, will present the oral arguments. Mr. Niose will also be available to speak with the media before and after the arguments.

WHY: The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Legal Center repeatedly warned the Douglas County School District to stop its participation and support of religious programs, including Adventures in Missions™ and Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian organization founded by Rev. Franklin Graham. When the school district failed to respond adequately to these warnings, the Appignani Humanist Legal Center filed a lawsuit in October 2014.

Earlier this year, the Appignani Humanist Legal Center appealed the lawsuit to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to defend the standing of the local families on whose behalf the a lawsuit was filed. In oral arguments, the Appignani Humanist Legal Center will argue that the local families have the right to challenge the Establishment Clause violations of the school district for coercing impressionable, young children into participating in religious programs.

MORE INFORMATION: Members of the press who would like more information about the lawsuit or who are interested in attending the oral arguments should contact Merrill Miller, communications associate, for more information at 202-238-9088 ext. 105 or at

A copy of the lawsuit can be viewed here. The request for oral arguments in the Tenth Circuit can be viewed here.


Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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