The Board, Staff and Volunteers of Atheist Alliance of America would like to express our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Anne Nicol Gaylor, who died on June 14 at the age of 88. An atheist and reproductive rights advocate, Ms. Gaylor co-founded the Freedom From Religion Foundation and served as its elected president for 28 years. Among many recognitions, she received the Humanist Heroine Award from the American Humanist Association in 1985 and the second annual Dr. George Tiller Memorial Award by NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin in 2011.
According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Ms. Gaylor founded the Zero Population Growth Abortion Referral Service in 1970 and co-founded the Women’s Medical Fund in 1972 to help low-income women pay for abortions. In 1976, she co-founded the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) along with her daughter, Annie Laurie, and another gentleman, to promote freethought and the separation of church and state. Annie Laurie Gaylor now serves as the FFRF co-president, along with her spouse, Dan Barker.
“All of us in the atheist community owe Anne Gaylor a debt of gratitude for her lifetime of work as a staunch activist for atheism and other progressive causes. Her contributions to the advancement of freethought will have a lasting impact,” said Amy Monsky, Executive Director of Atheist Alliance of America.
Bobbie Kirkhart, Vice President of AAofAmerica’s Board of Directors added, “Many organizational leaders have a single focus on their work. This was not true of Anne Gaylor. Her nurturing of Annie Laurie not only earned her the deep love and loyalty every mother wants; it assured all of us that Anne’s legacy continues. This strong family value, enriched with a sense of purpose, earned open and loving respect from Dan Barker when he came into the family. While we are all grateful that Anne left us this legacy, we must not forget that she was not only a champion of our cause but a mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother who will be deeply mourned.”
Photo credit: FFRF.org