Arizona's Voice for Secular Government

I'm Secular and I Vote

Working to Lobby AZ Governement and Officials

A Vibrant and Growing Community

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.

News Type: 

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.

Category: 

News Type: 

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.

News Type: 

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!”

News Type: 

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.

News Type: 

SC Arizona Engages Legislators on New Bills, Constitutional Oath

It has been an incredibly exciting week at the Arizona State Capitol! With the glamorous ceremony of last week’s Opening Day at the legislature fading into the background, Secular Coalition for Arizona is getting to the nitty gritty work of sifting through all of the new bills as they are introduced, meeting with legislators on both sides of the aisle, collaborating with other policy groups, and advocating reason and compassion in our political process. Several of the bills that have been introduced already have piqued our concern—and we have been contacting bill sponsors and working on solutions accordingly. One such piece of legislation has already drawn quite a bit of media attention, and secularists from around the country have been reaching out to SC Arizona to make sure we know about it—and indeed, we do!

News Type: 

Arizona's Fifty First Legislature is Now in Session!

After a wonderful legislative off-season in which Secular Coalition for Arizona was able to tour the state, connect with many of our communities, talk to our constituents, and engage the public both through media and our Secular Voters town hall meetings, the legislature is back in session—and SC Arizona is there, representing nontheistic Arizonans at the State Capitol fulltime for our second year.

The Fifty First Legislature – First Regular Session opened last Monday, January 14 with the swearing in of 30 Senate members and 60 members of the House of Representatives, along with Governor Brewer’s State of the State speech. Capitol events included a rally of hundreds of individuals and dozens of organizations focused around ending the theocratic encroachment into women’s reproductive rights—and our Executive Director, Seráh Blain, was among the speakers, calling for legislators to stop the dangerous descularization of our state government.

The first week back at the legislature, and Opening Day in particular, made evident how far we have come as an organization and as a movement. Last year, everything was new. We had no relationships with legislators, few connections with allied organizations, and SC Arizona was simply unrecognized beyond our own community. This year, we were invited to speak at a very visible, important, and well-attended rally; we were asked by legislators and other organizations to participate in policy discussions; dozens of people came up to our Executive Director to thank us for our work and to ask how to participate. Phone calls come in daily with new supporters, both from the State Capitol and beyond. Nontheists have a real place at the table in legislative discussions this year.

News Type: 

Pages

Subscribe to Secular Coalition for Arizona RSS