I recently attended a federal trial speaking on behalf of the NEPA Freethought Society concerning the rejected ‘Atheists’ bus ad. Media coverage followed.
A court date concerning the NEPA Freethought Society’s rejected ‘Atheists’ bus ad is approaching following new court documents released on April 10, 2017.
In April of 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP representing the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Freethought Society filed a free speech lawsuit against the County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) following COLTS’ refusal to display a bus advertisement with the word ‘atheists.’ In July of 2015, COLTS filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit to which ACLU and Schnader responded. The motion to dismiss was denied in January of 2016. COLTS has since responded in February of 2016, and depositions took place in 2016.
Most recently — on April 10, 2017 — United States District Judge Malachy E. Mannion signed documents denying both parties’ summary judgments to resolve the issue outside of court. There will be a pre-trial conference and a trial date will be set.
Stay tuned for more updates and see past information concerning the lawsuit, some of which was linked above, here.
New documents are available below:
I recently appeared on the WFMZ-TV television program ‘Business Matters’ based in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley representing the NEPA (Northeastern) Pennsylvania Freethought Society for the segment ‘What is the Role of Religion in Today’s Society?’
I appeared on a panel discussion alongside a Catholic representing the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Evangelical Christian representing the Liberty Worship Center, a Muslim representing the Muslim Association of the Lehigh Valley, and a Jewish rabbi representing the Congregation of Brith Sholom.
I wasn’t able to offer lengthy thoughts because the panel was fast-paced, included many members, and tackled various topics, but I enjoyed the experience, was able to get my point across, and look forward to returning for a future episode. Thanks to the crew at WFMZ-TV and ‘Business Matters’ for the invitation. Thanks to Lehigh Valley Humanists for suggesting I appear on this program.
Watch the video below
on WFMZ-TV’s website:
As always, feel free to comment below.
I will be appearing on WFMZ-TV Channel 69’s Business Matters program to present a secular humanist perspective on current events as part of a moderated interactive panel alongside religious leaders. The show — recorded on April 15, 2016 — will be released online following the studio taping.
The show will seemingly be released online on May 30, 2016 according to WFMZ’s website.
More information about the show:
Business Matters with Tony Iannelli, is the region’s only local business show on commercial television. Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce President, Tony Iannelli, hosts this weekly program that airs Monday’s at 7:30pm on WFMZ-Ch. 69. WFMZ reaches 2.7 million cable, satellite, and over air with antenna households from Hazelton to the Jersey Shore.
Business Matters is a half-hour interview show that gets inside the minds of business and community leaders to talk about their successes and challenges, as well as regional public policy issues and world trends. Topics range from legislation affecting the business community (right to work; immigration, prevailing wage…) to community at large issues (gun rights, school vouchers, taxes…). The show has 4 panelists representing two sides of an issue. One-on-One programs with VIP’s include U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, US Secretaries Hillary Clinton, Ray Lahood and PA Governor Tom Corbett…just to name a few!
In December of 2009, I worked alongside the ACLU to remove unconstitutional religious displays on Luzerne County Courthouse grounds which would later be erected in a more inclusive holiday display. Unfortunately, many of the news articles and videos — to my knowledge — were taken offline, but a friend sent me a recording of one news clip which I uploaded to YouTube for informational purposes. Enjoy.