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Atheists upset with Hochul veto

Dec 26, 2022 12:45 pm

The religious equality organization American Atheists condemned New York's Gov. Kathy Hochul veto of the Secular Recovery Bill (A.8163/S.7313). The Secular Recovery Bill would require courts to inform New Yorkers of their constitutional right to object to religious 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and instead participate in a nonreligious substance abuse treatment program. “Very often, we hear from people trapped in court-ordered substance abuse programs that force religion on them. It’s already difficult to recover from addiction. But suffering through unwanted religious indoctrination at the same time makes recovery so much more difficult,” said Alison Gill, Vice President for Legal and Policy at American Atheists on Dec. 23. “New Yorkers need to know that it’s their constitutional right to attend a secular program before it’s too late and they’re stuck in a program that violates their freedom of religion.” The Freedom From Religion Foundation also denounced Hochul's veto. "It's disheartening to see secular individuals required to attend a religious recovery program," says Freedom From Religion Foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “The separation of church and state must include secular addiction recovery resources in the public realm.”

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