Over the last six years, American Atheists has developed a powerful partnership with Unchained At Last to combat child marriage, and we are proud to be a co-chair of the National Coalition to End Child Marriage in the United States.

Did you know that between 2000 and 2018, nearly 300,000 children in the United States were married? Too often, in some religious sects, very young girls are forced to marry much older men. Certain Evangelical communities believe younger girls “make better spouses because they are blank slates and can be more easily ‘molded’ to serve their future husbands.” In other fundamentalist or orthodox groups, children and teens can face tremendous pressure to marry to cover up abuse, pregnancy, or improve their family’s status.

If, like me (and the U.S. State Department), you believe child marriage is a human rights abuse, I have to ask: Can you contribute $20 today to help our policy team continue advocating for bans to protect children from being forcibly wed because of their parents’ religious beliefs?

AB 2924 supporters at an Unchained At Last Lobby Day in Sacramento, California, this March. Photo by Evan Clark, our California State Director and the Executive Director of Atheists United.

Our advocacy work works.  Before 2018, child marriage was legal in all 50 states. Today, a dozen states have passed laws to end child marriage. That is remarkable progress, and it’s a testament to our experienced and dedicated team who are experts at affecting meaningful change through policy advocacy, education, and community-building.

Earlier this week, we sent an Action Alert urging our California members to contact lawmakers in support of AB 2924, which, if passed, will make California (which currently has no minimum age) the 13th state to end this horrific practice which has led to young girls being removed from school, raped, and forced to live in poverty. This kind of momentum is simply not sustainable without supporters like you stepping up at times like this.

I know it’s been said before, but these are unprecedented times. While we and our partners are making big strides towards ending child marriage, we’re also facing more and more challenges — attacks on women’s rights, on protections for students and young people, on public education, and on our democratic system of government. The rise of Christian nationalism threatens us all, but I know our team works hard, I know people like you care, and I know that, together, American Atheists can — and will — rise to the occasion.

Your donation of $20, $50, or $100 today ensures we can continue doing this work – breaking down barriers for atheists, defending democracy and the separation of religion and government, and protecting the civil rights of all Americans.

Thank you,

Martina Fern
Senior Director of Development

American Atheists is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, nonprofit educational organization that relies on the support of members like you. Contributions are tax-deductible. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 74-2466507 and our Combined Federal Campaign number is 52217.

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