By now, we all know the story of Kim Davis, the County Clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue marriage licenses based on her “sincerely held” religious beliefs. But are we likely to see such a spectacle play out in Arizona? Well, we almost did.
During the 2014 Arizona legislative session, State Representative, Steve Montenegro (R-13), introduced a bill referred to as “Arizona’s First Freedom Act” (officially titled “religious beliefs; solemnization of
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.
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!