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American Humanists Letter to the Angelika Plano

American Humanists Letter to the Angelika Plano

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Published by DallasObserver

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Published by: DallasObserver on Apr 27, 2012
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04/27/2012

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April 24, 2012ManagerAngelika Film Center7205 Bishop Rd., Suite E6Plano, Texas 75024cc: angelika.plano@readingrdi.com
Re:
Angelika Film Center’s
Illegal Refusal to Accept Atheist Advertising from theDallas-Fort Worth Coalition of Reason
To Whom it May Concern:This letter is in response to the decision of the Angelika Film Center (
the “Theater”) to
refuse to allow the Dallas Fort-Worth Coalition of Reason
(the “Coalition”
 
or “DFWCOR”
) tocontract with the Theater to lease pre-show advertising
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time and s
 pace on the Theater’s movie
screens. As will be further explained below, this refusal is a violation of the federal law thatprohibits discrimination on the basis of religious views by a business open to the public, such asyours.The Appignani Humanist Legal Center is a project of the American Humanist Association
(“AHA”)
, a national nonprofit organization with over 10,000 members and 20,000 supportersacross the country, including in Texas. In addition to defending the separation of church and state,
the legal center’s mission includes protecting
the civil liberties and legal rights to equality of humanists and other atheists. The legal center represents the AHA and the United Coalition of Reason. DFWCOR is a local affiliate of the United Coalition of Reason.As you know, the Theater solicits the public to purchase advertising on its screens to runbefore its films.
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In the first week of April 2012, the Theater agreed to contract with the Coalitionto run its advertisement promoting a positive view of atheist families. The Theater, uponreceiving anti-atheist complaints from members of the public following media coverage of thisagreement, canceled the contract. I have been informed that the Theater has previously contractedwith Christian advertisers to display religious pre-show advertising. This pattern of facts clearly
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The advertisement included the text “What make our families beyond belief? Find out at DFWCOR.org.”
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Under the heading
“ADVERTISE WITH US,” the Theater’s website solicits advertisers with the following text:“The Angelika Film Centers, located in New York City and in Texas
, [including in] Plano, Texas. . . . The Angelikaoffers several ways, through our theaters and our websites, to reach our sophisticated clientele: Pre-Show On ScreenAdvertising
. . .”

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