D.C. Government Backs Down from Privileging Churches After Warning Letter from CFI


December 12, 2018

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Today, CFI is pleased to announce that the District of Columbia government reversed a recent proposal that would have privileged religious institutions by charging them a lower water services fee than other nonprofit organizations. The Center for Inquiry sent a letter on December 4 warning the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority that special treatment for religious institutions in the provision of government services would violate the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, opening the District to potential lawsuits.

The proposal, which was drafted by the Department of Energy and Environment, would have required a vote of approval by the Water and Sewer Authority. CFI applauds the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority and the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment for standing with the separation of church and state.

Read the full letter below:

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.