“Drag story hour” faux controversy distracts from youth action, prayer blunder

Democrats in the State House have been banned from using the building’s conference rooms because they used one for a “Drag Story Hour” with Planned Parenthood, allegedly in secret. In rationalizing the ban before the media, conservatives fretted about childrens’ exposure to “radical activism” and “perverse ideology,” however no children were present at the event. Continue reading

Secular AZ attorneys sign, file brief urging dismissal of Christian nationalist school board member’s lawsuit

Adapted from a news release by Freedom From Religion Foundation

In an amicus brief filed April 18th, Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ) joined Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) in asking a federal district court to dismiss a case that a religion-spouting school board member has brought against her own board. Continue reading

“A Profound Violation”: Secular AZ’s Legal Director on the Arizona 1864 Abortion Ban

The court in Planned Parenthood et al v. Hazelrigg et al released on May 9, 2024 said that A.R.S. §13-3603 (the existing ban dating from 1864 and recodified several times) and the statute passed in 2022 (A.R.S. §36-2322) are not in conflict and that the legislature intended for A.R.S. §13-3603 to remain the law if Roe v. Wade fell.  The majority reading them together (harmonizing) the law said all abortions except those necessary to save a woman’s life are illegal.

All the abortion restrictions on the books remain applicable to any abortion done to save the life of the woman. The total ban cannot be applied retrospectively.

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Minors’ Rights in Health Care

Previously, the Secular AZ blog has featured articles about minors’ rights in school and their right to access information. Adolescents also have unique concerns regarding their right to privacy in healthcare settings. The COVID-19 pandemic, culture wars around vaccines, and recent changes in abortion law have made confidentiality and consent issues particularly critical. The international human rights community recognizes confidentiality in health matters as a component of a youth’s fundamental right to privacy. Continue reading

BREAKING: Magical sugar pills are not as effective as actual medicine!

This past September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to eight companies for manufacturing or marketing unapproved eye drops in violation of federal law. The eye drops in question, which include the brands EzriCare, Delsam, and Similasan, claim to be “homeopathic eye drop solutions” that purport to relieve dry eyes, pink eye, cataracts, styes, allergy symptoms, and computer eyes.

The problem? Homeopathy is a nonsensical, unregulated junk science and these eye drops can actually harm people. Continue reading

Know your rights: religious freedom in public schools

Public schools are required to be secular institutions. Because public schools are funded by taxpayers and because children are more impressionable than adults, these schools have a special obligation not to infringe on the religious rights of their students, parents, and teachers. But what are those rights? Can coaches pray at games or not? Can teachers talk about religion in class? Can students have bible club on campus? Continue reading

Statement on Heather Rooks’ lawsuit against Peoria Unified School District

A message from our Executive Director:

On behalf of Secular AZ, we find that the lawsuit filed by Heather Rooks against the Peoria School district is another in a long string of bullying behaviors aimed at intimidation of the Board, a usurpation of legitimate authority, and an enforcement of Christian nationalists’ dogma. Continue reading

Fetal Heartbeat Laws Defy Science, Religion, and Law

The laws against abortion that include a “fetal heartbeat” provision defy science, religion, and the law. There is no fetal tissue, no heart, and no heartbeat at the early stages of pregnancy to which these laws apply. Women are being forced to carry pregnancies based on a scientific lie.

No religious or societal consensus exists on when life begins or whether abortion is an allowable health choice. Women are forced to carry pregnancies based on the beliefs of one religion. Basing a law solely on the beliefs of one religion violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, because it cements into law the belief of that one religion that is contrary to the beliefs of many other religions and nonreligious people. It also violates the Free Exercise clause of the Constitution because people of any other religion or none are prohibited from practicing their religion as they see fit.

Click here to read the rest of this article on Secular AZ’s Substack. 

Phoenix’s Washington Elementary School District folds to ADF lawsuit

A few weeks ago, we accomplished something big. We called on Phoenix’s Washington Elementary School District to end a teacher training contract with the discriminatory Arizona Christian University, over its policies of hate and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.

Unfortunately, it seems high-powered lawyers from hate group Alliance Defending Freedom have pressured the school district into reversing the decision. Continue reading