Americans United vs Heritage Charter Schools

Americans United  for Separation of Church and State (AU) intends to file suit against an Arizona public charter school that has been providing religious instruction to students in a mandatory American Government course. The course material claims that "America and its Constitution were established by the hand of God," and that the U.S. will prosper only when its leaders obey and implement God's law as described in the Bible.

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Prayer in Government Meetings

 
At the Arizona Capitol
Secular AZ holds that a government meeting is not an appropriate forum for prayer. While the right to public prayer at government meetings has been upheld in 2014 by the U.S. Supreme Court, this ruling specified that prayers and invocations offered should be inclusive of all religious and philosophical views represented by the population governed.

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The 2017 Legislative Wrap Up is here!

The Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ) ignited our 2017 legislative work in a charged political environment colored by the general election. We started strong, locking arms in solidarity with over 40 anti-discrimination groups during an Opening Day rally. We began lobbying immediately on January 12th against regressive bills aimed at education, science, and women’s reproductive rights.

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Sine Die Celebrations!

Secular AZ is celebrating the end of the 2nd session of the 52nd Regular Legislature with Happy Hour awards ceremonies in both Tempe and Tucson.  We'll be raising funds to continue our important work, recognizing lawmakers who went above and beyond just voting to support secular public policy and celebrating our victories in fortifying the wall separating church and state.  

Here are a few highlights of our accomplishments:

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DES Director uses state email system to proselytize to 7,700 state workers

“Director Jeffries has long been known for his ‘quirky’ style of leadership, which includes frequent mention of his religious views in DES all-employee meetings and on video presentations,” said Zenaido Quintana, chair of Secular Coalition for Arizona. “This latest all-employee email, which was sent to us by a DES employee disturbed by its contents, is particularly egregious and could have had him fired from many companies - organizations where policies are in place to prevent work email from being used to proselytize religion.    
 

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Full Text of Mendez Invocation 3-3-16

Today, Rep. Juan Mendez gave a secular invocation on the House Floor.  He was immediately attacked for not praying to a "higher power" by fellow lawmakers.  Please send him a thank you note by clicking here.  Read the text of his invocation here:

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Secular Coalition for Arizona speaks up for Science in Committee

Secular Coalition for Arizona was the only group speaking up in committee Wednesday against SB1474: human fetus; embryo; prohibited actions; a bill motivated by the now-discredited infamous "Planned Parenthood" videos released last summer.

Our take: Government policy on the use of fetal tissue should be based on scientific and medical research.

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Secular AZ Letter to State Re Invocations 2-9-16

Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ) is pleased at the outcome of the recent Phoenix City Council vote to replace the official invocation at the beginning of city overnment meetings with a moment of silence.  This was a true victory and fortification of the wall separating church and state.  Secular AZ has decided to take this opportunity to encourage the Arizona State Legislature to adopt a similar, or at least more inclusive invocation policy.

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Secular AZ Letter to Phoenix re Invocations 2-3-16

Below is the letter sent to Phoenix Mayor Stanton and the Phoenix City Council on February 3, 2016, regarding agenda item 43.1 to change the invocaton policy at city council meetings.  This agenda item was requested to stop a minority group from giving the invocation on February 17, 2016, and subsequently changes the policy to only allow those groups that city council members invite to provide the invocation.
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Dear Mayor Stanton,
 

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About School Vouchers

Arizona's Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) are nothing more than school vouchers.  While the vouchers are primarily used for private education, they can be used for home-schooling with very little oversight.  These funds can be used to pay for tuition and other fees at any private school, including parochial schools.  From the Secular Coalition for America Policy Guide (2013): "Public funds should not support parochial schools, either directly or indirectly through voucher programs. Vouchers provide citizens with direct funding to apply to private school tuitions.

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