Powerhouse Panelists Announced for 2021 Secular Summit!

Our list of powerhouse speakers for our big virtual event on Dec. 11th just got more powerful. In addition to keynote speaker Rep. Jamie Raskin, we are thrilled to add to our lineup:
  • Lindsay Love: Governing Board Member for Chandler Unified School District
  • Dr. Deshawn Taylor: OB/GYN, professor, reproductive rights advocate, and owner of Desert Star Family Planning in Phoenix
  • Dr. Atsuko Koyama: abortion provider and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health
  • Professor Elizabeth Sepper: nationally-recognized scholar of religious liberty and health law
The three doctors and Prof. Sepper will be part of an in-depth panel on religious refusals, and Ms. Love will join us for remarks on how Christian nationalism is impacting education in Arizona.
Each panelist has intense first-hand experience with their subject, and has been featured in statewide and national media. Don’t miss it!
 

Hatred, Bigotry, Anti-Science and Conspiracy Theories Do Not Belong at School Board Meetings

At the October 27, 2021 Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) Governing Board meeting, several speakers gave public comments regarding mask wearing in schools. While this topic wasn’t up for vote or discussion on the agenda, such comments from community members have become a regular occurrence in CUSD, and the angry, anti-science, antisemitic rhetoric coming from these individuals has increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Continue reading

Announcing Secular Summit 2021 w/ keynote speaker Congressman Jamie Raskin!

Do you support secular public policy in Arizona? Are you a Secular AZ member? Meet fellow members and be part of the discussion how we will fight for you in 2022!

The event will feature a keynote address from US Rep. Jamie Raskin: chair of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, co-chair/co-founder of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, and lead impeachment manager for the second impeachment of President Donald Trump!

Secular AZ leadership will also report on how we’ve been fighting for your rights this year; recognize outstanding secular activists and leaders; and discuss what we can look forward to in 2022.

December 11th
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Via Zoom

This is a free event for members only. (Memberships are available here.). We also deeply appreciate donations to pay for speaker fees and ongoing organizational costs. Be recognized as an event sponsor by pitching in $100 or more!

Support the Secular Summit

Legislative Prayer in Arizona

by Beth Houck, Secular AZ Legal Committee volunteer attorney

This summer, Secular AZ’s Legal Committee has been reviewing the invocation policies and practices in every county’s board of supervisors’ meetings, and in the city council meetings of the cities that are county seats. It’s a big project, requiring many public records requests and listening to hundreds of hundreds of recordings going back to the beginning of 2020. Continue reading

Secular AZ is Seeking an Executive Director

Secular AZ is seeking candidates for an Executive Director position.

Since 2010, Secular AZ has been working to ensure that Arizonans have a secular state government by educating lawmakers and the public about the importance of secular issues.  We advocate on behalf of all individuals, including the nontheistic community, who believe that public policy free of religious preference is the best way to ensure freedom of conscience for Arizonans of all faiths and of none. Continue reading

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a Gun

By Matthew Adler, Secular AZ legal intern

In a recent unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that government officials may be sued in a personal capacity for money damages when they violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). This decision was a step towards providing much needed justice to a group of Muslim men who had been victimized by the FBI following 9/11, but it also served to strengthen a highly dubious piece of legislation that is routinely used to circumvent the law. Continue reading

Urgent: final votes imminent on dangerous religious exemptions bill

On short notice, religious exemptions bill HB2648 has been fast-tracked for final votes at the State Legislature today.

Proponents of HB2648 claim that the bill merely protects the right to worship during public emergencies. But the bill is much more extreme.

As written, HB2648 would essentially give any self-proclaimed religious organization — including extremist and fringe organizations — a “get out of jail free” card for nearly any violation of any law at any time. This would particularly jeopardize children, as it would diminish Arizona’s ability to enforce laws shielding them from abuse and other harms within the walls of such organizations.

HB2648 is not only dangerous. It is unnecessary. Current Arizona law  already protects religious freedom, even in times of crisis.

The bill could receive final votes in the Senate any minute. From there, it would go to quickly to the House and then the Governor.

Please join us in contacting our State Senators (again) ASAP.