Co-Founder: Freedom From Religion Foundation, Madison, Wisconsin, 1976, when she was a college student, with her mother Anne Nicol Gaylor. Annie Laurie first joined FFRF’s staff in 1985, and served as editor of Freethought Today, FFRF’s newspaper, until 2009. She became co-president with Dan Barker in 2004. The Foundation incorporated as a national nonprofit educational organization with two purposes in 1978 under the leadership of Anne Nicol Gaylor and works to protect the constitutional principle of state/church separation and to educate about nontheism. Annie Laurie’s books, all published by FFRF, include:
- Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So (first published in 1981, revised edition still in print)
- Betrayal of Trust: Clergy Abuse of Children (1988, out of print)
- Editor of: Women Without Superstition: No Gods – No Masters (1997, in print), an anthology of women freethinkers
Annie Laurie has overseen countless lawsuits on behalf of the Freedom From Religion Foundation to keep religion out of government, and has served as a plaintiff in many of them.
As a college student she persuaded the University of Wisconsin-Madison to stop holding graduation prayers. She graduated in 1980 from Journalism School, University of Wisconsin Madison, where she was editorial page editor of the Daily Cardinal, and was recipient of the Ken Purdy Scholarship. She edited and published The Feminist Connection from 1980-1985, pronounced the “most nonpatriarchal” feminist periodical of its time by author Meridel LeSueur. She was on her first feminist picket line at age 14, was co-chair for more than a decade of the Feminist Caucus of the American Humanist Association, and is co-administrator of the Women’s Medical Fund, the longest continuously-operating abortion rights fund in the nation, founded by her mother Anne Gaylor, Prof. Robert West and Peg West. The all-volunteer fund has helped more than 25,000 indigent Wisconsin-area residents exercise their constitutional right to safe abortion care. She is married to Dan Barker, they have a grown daughter, and live in Madison, Wis.