FFRF Action Fund singles out Florida state Rep. Anna Eskamani for “cheers” as “Secularist of the Week” and Missouri state Sen. Mike Moon for “jeers” as “Theocrat of the Week.”
Eskamani was chosen for telling it like it is about Florida’s just-passed abortion ban, renaming it the “Forced Pregnancy Act,” while Moon was selected for opposing gender-affirming care for minors while endorsing child marriage.
Eskamani, the daughter of Iranian immigrants who represents the state’s District 42, identifies personally as secular. She was among other dissenters who filed more than 50 amendments seeking to block Florida’s six-week abortion ban. One of her amendments sought to change the name of the bill to the “Forced Pregnancy Act” so that, as she explained, “the people of Florida know what we’re actually up to.”
During the floor debate, Eskamani said, “Floridians overwhelmingly oppose bans on abortion. … We should have no say in this personal, private decision. I don’t understand why we can’t find a consensus that forcing people to birth is wrong.”
Missouri’s Sen. Moon has a very different and bizarre take on bodily autonomy. During debate last week over a bill he co-sponsored to ban health care providers from prescribing any gender-affirming care for minors even with parental consent, Moon’s self-contradiction was highlighted.
When state Rep. Peter Merideth called out his past backing of child marriages, Moon replied: “Do you know any kids who have been married at age 12? I do, and guess what, they’re still married.” Missouri passed a law moving the age of consent from 15 to 16 after it was revealed that the state had the nation’s most lenient marriage law for 15-year-olds, allowing children even younger to marry with a judge’s approval, reports the Kansas City Star. Moon voted against the reform, which was criticized for not going far enough.
Friendly Atheist blogger Hemant Mehta points out that Moon has objected to the statue of the Roman goddess Ceres on top of the Capitol dome because it’s a “false god.” The first line of Moon’s campaign site identifies him as “husband, father, rancher, and believer in Jesus Christ.” It adds that “Mike’s faith is the most defining factor of his life.”
“The lesson here is that an individual legislator’s ‘faith’ is not supposed to be the defining factor in how they make public policy,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, president of FFRF Action Fund. “Indeed, when ‘faith’ is the rationale, as it is with Moon and as it was with the majority vote to ban abortion in the Florida Legislature, watch out!”
FFRF Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization that develops and advocates for legislation, regulations and government programs to preserve the constitutional principle of separation between state and church. It also advocates for the rights and views of nonbelievers, endorses candidates for political office, and publicizes the views of elected officials concerning religious liberty issues.