Annie Laurie Gaylor

On this date in 1955, Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor was born in Madison, Wisconsin, along with her twin, Ian Stuart Gaylor. With her mother Anne Gaylor she co-founded the Freedom From Religion Foundation in 1976 as a college student. In 1977, Annie Laurie's complaint halted invocations and prayers at University of Wisconsin-Madison graduation ceremonies, ending a 122-year abuse. She earned a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980. Her book documenting bible sexism, Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So, first issued in 1981, has been reissued in a revised and updated form. Annie Laurie edited and published the Feminist Connection, a regional monthly, from 1980-1984, then became editor of Freethought Today, the Foundation's newspaper, in 1985. She wrote the first book exposing the clergy sexual abuse scandal, Betrayal of Trust: Clergy Abuse of Children (1988), and is editor of the first anthology of women freethinkers, Women Without Superstition: No Gods - No Masters (1997). She is married to Dan Barker, FFRF co-president, and they have one daughter.

“The only true shield standing between women and the bible, that handbook for the subjugation of women, is a secular government. U.S. citizens must wake up to the threat of an encroaching theocracy, and shore up Thomas Jefferson's 'wall of separation between church and state.' ”

—-Annie Laurie Gaylor, Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So (2004 edition)

Photo--Brent Nicastro

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