Arizona's Voice for Secular Government

I'm Secular and I Vote

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Don't Let Religious Oppression Destroy Arizona's Small Business Community!

It seems like every day our legal team is uncovering additional ways in which SB1178, purportedly a religious "liberty" bill, will cause real harm to real Arizonans--and we need to make sure our legislators have this information as well. The bill's supporters claim it protects religious "liberty" by allowing individuals to disregard public law if the law conflicts with their religious beliefs--but many of the protections proponents claim it will provide already exist under Arizona's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

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Tell the House: Don't Sacrifice Public Safety for Religious Liberty! Let's Have Both!

Tomorrow, May 9, 2013, the State House of Representatives will take a final vote on SB 1178, relating to the free exercise of religion. While the bill purports to provide protection for religious exercise and observance, these protections already exist under Arizona's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

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Tell the Senate: Religious and Nonreligious Communities Should be Treated Equally Under the Law!

The State Senate will be voting today, May 7, 2013, on HB2446, which expands property tax exemptions for property used to further a religious mission. The bill removes the necessity for religious groups to have an IRS nonprofit determination letter in order to receive this exemption.

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TAKE EMERGENCY ACTION: Don't Let Free Religious Exercise become Dangerous Religious Oppression!

URGENT action needed. We are up against the worst, most damaging piece of legislation we’ve seen yet this year—and we need all hands on deck to stop it! TOMORROW, Thursday, May 2nd, the House will be voting on SB1178, which dramatically expands the ability of individuals in our state to discriminate against people they don’t agree with in the name of religious belief--resulting in increased vulnerability for nonbelievers, the LGBT community, and others on the target list of religionists.

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SB 1178 grossly expanding "Toilet Papers Please" bill sneaked through committee in subversion of democratic process.

A grossly expanded version of Rep. John Kavanagh's "Toilet Papers Please" bill sailed through House Judiciary early Thursday morning. Fueled by fear of Phoenix's newly passed Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, the bigots are on a tear and they didn't want to deal with the hundreds of opponents who showed up to oppose Rep. Kavanagh's bill on Wednesday. 

This measure, a Strike All Amendment to SB 1178, says that no gov't entity can burden "religious freedom." Then it defines "burden" to include any sort of action that gets in the way of a person's prejudices as mandated by their religion. 

Stop the Religious Right’s Dangerous Attacks against Transgender Arizonans!

Tuesday, February 26, the Phoenix City Council will discuss whether to add “disability,” “sexual orientation,” and “gender identity” to the City Code as additional categories protected from discrimination in employment, public accommodations, housing, and certain contracts with the City—and the Religious Right is using this opportunity to spread dangerous lies about transgender Arizonans.

The Evangelical Christian lobby organization, the Center for Arizona Policy, continues to miseducate its constituency about the LGBT community in an effort to further marginalize an already politically vulnerable group of people in the name of “religious freedom.” Center for Arizona Policy is calling the ordinance a “Bathroom Bill,” and suggesting it empowers predatory men to follow little girls into public restrooms. Center for Arizona Policy is also falsely stating that churches will face civil and criminal prosecution for failing to welcome members of the LGBT community.  

Here are the facts:

  • This ordinance has nothing to do with bathrooms. It is an attempt to end discrimination against people on the basis of disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity in employment, public accommodations, housing, and city contracts.
  • LGBT people, as well as straight people, use public restrooms in Phoenix daily without incident. Predators who attempt to harass or assault anyone anywhere in the City will continue to face the same criminal charges and prosecution they would under current law.

Abe Lincoln Could Not Get Elected Today

As a young man Abraham Lincoln rejected religion and questioned the existence of god. He said “The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession.” Such a statement by a modern day politician would surely draw well-funded attack ads and probably bar him from election. Imagine the loss to our country if the radical religious minority of today were as powerful during Lincoln's times!

Yet agnostics, atheists and those who choose not to affiliate with a religious organization now comprise one fifth of the population. In fact we outnumber evangelicals.

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SC Arizona Names Director of Development and Marketing

Linda Brown has joined the Secular Coalition for Arizona (SC Arizona) as Director of Development and Marketing. She brings with her a depth of experience in non-profit management and advocacy havingserved most recently as Executive Director for the Arizona Advocacy Network and Foundation where she led a legal effort to overturn voting barriers, spearheaded statewide election protection programs and produced their acclaimed bi-annual guide to Arizona’s ballot measures. She currently serves as Vice President of the Arizona Hispanic Community Forum.

Prior to coming to Arizona Linda created award-winning marketing and media literacy campaigns as Director of Educational Marketing and Programming for Discovery Networks in Bethesda, Maryland.

“We are thrilled to have Linda join us,” said Seráh Blain, Executive Director for SC Arizona. “Attracting someone of her caliber and expertise is another signal that Arizona’s nontheist communities are on the rise in both numbers and clout.”

Brown said she was drawn to the organization because of the need for Arizona’s elected officials to hear the perspective of nontheists. “SC Arizona represents some of the most thoughtful, compassionate and pragmatic Arizonans you’ll meet,” Brown said. “With at least one in five Arizonans identifying themselves as atheists, agnostics or religiously unaffiliated, we’re your neighbors, colleagues and familymembers. We have long needed a professional, effective voice at the Capitol and Seráh Blain has been very impressive in that role. I couldn’t be more pleased to be joining her!”

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ACTION ALERT: Help stop taxpayer funding of religious schools!

The Center for Arizona Policy is once again pushing legislation that threatens secular education and uses your tax dollars to promote religion! SB 1363 expands Arizona’s Empowerment Accounts, a program which currently allows students to use state funds for private school education or homeschooling—including private religious schools and religious homeschool curriculum.

SC Arizona Hires an Atheist Combat Vet as Spring Legislative Intern

Secular Coalition for Arizona is pleased to announce the newest addition to our team: 2013 Legislative Intern Josiah Nosek. Josiah is an Environmental Science and Research Meteorology student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott. He is an engaged community member, committed to educating the public and advocating for responsible governmental decision-making processes--particularly those concerning the environment and social justice issues.

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