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Arizona's Fifty First Legislature is Now in Session!

After a wonderful legislative off-season in which Secular Coalition for Arizona was able to tour the state, connect with many of our communities, talk to our constituents, and engage the public both through media and our Secular Voters town hall meetings, the legislature is back in session—and SC Arizona is there, representing nontheistic Arizonans at the State Capitol fulltime for our second year.

The Fifty First Legislature – First Regular Session opened last Monday, January 14 with the swearing in of 30 Senate members and 60 members of the House of Representatives, along with Governor Brewer’s State of the State speech. Capitol events included a rally of hundreds of individuals and dozens of organizations focused around ending the theocratic encroachment into women’s reproductive rights—and our Executive Director, Seráh Blain, was among the speakers, calling for legislators to stop the dangerous descularization of our state government.

The first week back at the legislature, and Opening Day in particular, made evident how far we have come as an organization and as a movement. Last year, everything was new. We had no relationships with legislators, few connections with allied organizations, and SC Arizona was simply unrecognized beyond our own community. This year, we were invited to speak at a very visible, important, and well-attended rally; we were asked by legislators and other organizations to participate in policy discussions; dozens of people came up to our Executive Director to thank us for our work and to ask how to participate. Phone calls come in daily with new supporters, both from the State Capitol and beyond. Nontheists have a real place at the table in legislative discussions this year.

While our development has been impressive, and the shift of power in our state government after the elections has been favorable for secularism, we still have an uphill fight. Many of the issues about which the nontheistic community is passionate will not be easy to champion, including ending the Religious Right’s intrusion into women’s reproductive choices; end-of-life care options; public schools; civil marriage, etc. An uphill fight is not, however, an impossible fight—and with your continued support, we will make powerful strides toward rebuilding the badly damaged wall of protection between church and state in Arizona. 

Keep an eye out for upcoming Action Alerts, events, and opportunities to talk to your representatives about secular values. This will be a year to remember!

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