“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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Action alert: grooming bill allows for baseless sex crime accusations

Under HB2310, this very page could be enough to charge us with a felony if it were sent a minor.

HB2310 seeks to classify grooming — preparing a minor for sexual abuse — as a felony. We already have laws prohibiting groomingbut this one would define the crime so ambiguously that the law could be enforced arbitrarily, discriminatorily, and in a way that stifles free speech. Continue reading

Who cares if students have the right to privacy in schools? (You should)

In 1965, a group of high school students were suspended for wearing black armbands to school in protest of the Vietnam War. This sparked the landmark decision Tinker v. Des Moines, in which the Supreme Court declared that students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate. Tinker was focused on free speech, but what about privacy rights for students? 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

Three Stooges Skit or DVUSD Study Session: Why Pick Just One?

Black and white image of Curley of the Three Stooges

Happy September, Secular Fam! We are one month into the school year here in Arizona, and the school board meetings for this 2023-2024 school year have thus far consisted of conspiracy theories, racism, bad boardsmanship, and bigotry.

Today, I’m offering up a recap of a study session in Deer Valley (DVUSD). For those who may not be up to snuff on all things School Board, a study session is a public meeting where school boards and staff can discuss issues happening in their district to learn more about them (hence the word “study”). Continue reading

Fearmongering in Camp Verde

By Adriana Clark

It all started with a Pride display in June. Every month, the staff at the Camp Verde Community Library puts together a display of library books and media highlighting a particular theme. The display gathers materials from all areas of the library, including adult fiction and nonfiction, teen fiction and nonfiction, and audio-visual materials. The June theme was “Read with Pride” and featured books by and about the LGBTQ community. Continue reading

WATCH: Members of the public speak out against discriminatory bathroom policy at school board meeting

Here’s how members of the public spoke up against a proposed policy at Peoria Unified School District banning trans students from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity. And guess what? Members listened. The proposal was shot down 3-2.
Backlash is expected from the religious right at the next meeting on May 11th at 6PM. If you’re in the district, members will need to hear from you: 6330 West Thunderbird Road, Glendale, Arizona. Speak or just show up early and fill seats.

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