Open Letter to State Elected Officials

November 11, 2016

Dear Arizona State Elected Government Officials:

The Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ) was founded to advocate for separation of church and state as guaranteed by the US and Arizona Constitutions.  We take our role as defenders of freedom, equality, inclusion and knowledge in the state of Arizona very seriously. 

Arizonans cherish our First Amendment right to a secular government that will make no law regarding the establishment of a religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof   We at Secular AZ stand strong against religiously motivated legislation including laws that weaken secular government, promote religious discrimination and inhibit science-based education and medicine.  We have worked with and against both political parties to ensure our government remains secular and ensures fairness for all Arizonans. In this cause, we have enlisted the help of many allies, including individuals and organizations that represent both secular and faith-based communities.

Our country has just elected a new president who has made numerous promises to the American people.  Specifically, he promised to:

  • repeal the Johnson Amendment which limits church participation and funding of political campaigns
  • restrict a woman’s right to abortion services and punish women who use them
  • overturn the right of same-sex couples to marry
  • ignore scientific research on climate change that threatens our planet
  • institute religious tests for US citizenship under an “extreme vetting” program of immigrants

In addition to being poor public policy, delivering on these promises would be unconstitutional and unlawful in our secular society. They would negatively impact every American…and every Arizonan.

We sincerely hope that as public officials charged with representing the interests of all Arizonans, you will not be influenced by these ill-conceived promises and that you will continue to work to protect our rights to a government free of religiously-motivated policies.  Our increasingly diverse society can only truly be great if every Arizonan is free to live and prosper unencumbered by a government that dispenses bias and discrimination mislabeled as religious freedom.

As loyal Arizonans, we wish you success as you deal with the many critical issues facing our state. We pledge to work with you constructively to continue our progress towards a greater Arizona.   On behalf of all Arizonans, we are also prepared to do all we can to oppose any measure that would seek to roll back our hard-won freedoms.

Zenaido Quintana
Executive Director
Secular Coalition for Arizona
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