After rotating between the two coasts, The Freedom From Religion Foundation returns to Wisconsin for its annual convention beginning tonight. The gathering last took place in Madison in 2007 and Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor says they meet on their home base every three years now.
Gaylor explains the goal of the event, “To celebrate free thought and to recharge our batteries for this endless battle between church and state. Trying to protect the first amendment.”
The group often launches legal battles on what it considers constitutional infringements such as religious displays on public land.
The Foundation’s convention will feature Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali native and former Dutch Parliament member, under constant death threat because of her statements.
Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton and former Saturday Night Live star Julia Sweeney will also be speaking.
The conference coincides with FFRF’s “Out of the Closet” billboard campaign that depicts Sweeney and some Wisconsinites talking about why they are atheist.
About 700 participants from around 30 states will be attending the three day conference.