Secular AZ is continuing to work against numerous bills granting harmful religious exemptions, attacks on minorities, and more. Here’s a breakdown of what happened last week, and what’s coming up:
Major religious privilege bill HB2507 passes House
HB2507 passed the House. This bill amends Arizona’s civil rights code to declare all religious organizations “essential services,” and gives preferential treatment to these entities in matters when enforcing criminal and public safety codes. HB2507 was amended to only marginally mitigate its sweeping impact. It is now assigned to Senate Government Committee.
It should be noted that Democratic Representatives Chavez (D-29), Daniel Hernandez (D-2), Alma Hernandez (D-3), Espinoza (D-19), Meza (D-30), and Sierra (D-19) crossed party lines to help pass this bill.
The next hearing date has not been set, but we urge you to contact members of that Senate Government Committee as well as your own Legislators, regardless of party affiliation. We’ve revised the action alert we put out a couple weeks ago so that new messages will be directed to those members:
Below is a list of the top bills overlapping with the issue of church/state separation.
Religious Privilege bills:
HB2507: mass expansion of religious privilege described above. Status: PASSED House, headed to Senate.
HB2449: granting clergy special privileges to enter health care facilities and ignore their safety protocols. Status: PASSED the House, headed to Senate.
SB1399: prohibiting the state from taking action against foster care agencies on the basis they discriminate for religious reasons. Status: STALLED in Senate, possibly dead (for now).
Religious discrimination bills:
HB2608: would have banned all gender transition treatments for youth. Status: PULLED FROM COMMITTEE; DEAD FOR NOW.
SB1138: mirror bill to above. Status: MOVING TO HOUSE with amendment mitigating bill’s impact (only prohibiting genital surgeries until age 18).
SB1044: banning the state from using abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood as resources for sex education curricula Status: FAILED COMMITTEE, DEAD FOR NOW
HB2314: creating discriminatory “separate but equal” accommodations for transgender students Status: HELD, DEAD FOR NOW
HB2707: coerced Pledge of Allegience and mandatory “moment of silence” (prayer) bill for classrooms. Status: MOVING TO SENATE
HB2112: banning teaching subjects relating to race or sexual/gender identity. Status: MOVING TO SENATE
HB2086: prohibiting schools from requiring HPV or COVID-19 vaccinations. Status: MOVING TO SENATE
HB2161: forcing schools to disclose information that would “out” LGBTQ+ students to their parents. Status: MOVING TO SENATE
HB2448: mandatory gun training in schools. MOVING TO SENATE
HB2495: broad ban on “sexually explicit” books and materials MOVING TO SENATE
SB1049, allowing parents to sue for “parent’s bill of rights” violations MOVING TO HOUSE
SB1617: protects the act of protesting at school meetings, which, as written, would indirectly include such meetings as student LGBTQ+ clubs, student political groups, and others. MOVING TO HOUSE
SB1510: requires schools to implement anti-bullying programs. (Secular AZ-supported.) MOVING TO HOUSE
Bills enabling extremism:
SB1125: would ban registration and buyback laws, ban taxes on firearms and gun equipment, and preemptively ban any bans of assault rifles, ammunition and bump stocks. PASSED SENATE COMMITTEE
Reproductive rights bills
HB2637: forcing the state to divest from organizations that provides abortion or sex ed to K-12. FAILED THIRD READ
HB2811: complete prohibition of abortion medication FAILED ON SENATE FLOOR
SB1164: 15-week abortion ban; HEADED TO HOUSE
Please note that only bills scheduled for committee hearing will appear on Request to Speak. If you would like to contact your Legislators about any of these bills, it will be best to contact their offices directly. You may look up their contact information here.