AZ’s House Education Committee will hear two bills creating an atmosphere of coercion and discrimination in schools:
HB2707 unconstitutionally requires teachers to lead the Pledge of Allegiance and two-minutes of “silent reflection” (i.e. prayer time) in classrooms.
HB2314 creates a discriminatory “separate-but-equal” system for gendered school bathrooms and other accommodations. It also opens non-cisgender students up to unwanted attention and embarrassment by forcing them to make written requests to use facilities matching their gender identity.
Bonds of trust between parents, kids, and their teachers are key to educational success. Kids need to feel like they can trust the adults in their lives to have their best interests in mind—not to foster atmospheres of religious indoctrination or discrimination.
Here’s what you can do right now about these bills:
- Use our action alert form to read more and contact committee members
- If you are a Request to Speak user, sign in against these bills before Tuesday morning.
- RSVP for Secular Day at the Capitol where we will rally and lobby with lawmakers against bills like these
Have more time for action?
The parade of anti-democracy bills and other rights violations impacting us all continues. If you’re ready to really dig in, click here for the complete list of bill numbers you can sign in against through Request to Speak or call committee members about this week.
Thank you so much for your commitment and passion.
-The Secular AZ Team
The intersection of law, medicine and so-called “morality” in the U.S. healthcare system poses a serious threat to patients’ access to healthcare and information. That’s the overarching message sent by a panel of experts in medicine and law we convened in December of 2021. As part of our annual Secular Summit event, Secular AZ organized a discussion on refusals of service based on religious beliefs, featuring the following experts and moderated by Secular AZ Legal Director Dianne Post:
- Atsuko Koyama, MD, MPH, Clinical Asst Professor University of AZ, COM, Creighton University; Dpt of Child Health and Emergency Medicine, Valleywise Health Medical Center
- Professor Elizabeth Sepper, Professor of Law at the University of Texas at Austin
- Dr. DeShawn Taylor, MD, MSc, FACOG, board-certified OB/GYN, clinical professor, and owner of Desert Star Family Planning in Phoenix
You can see the full video here. Let’s summarize what these experts working in the fields of medicine and law have to say about how refusals of service based on religious beliefs affect patients.
We’ll cut to the chase about what we’re facing at the Legislature this year: an onslaught of bills designed to kill public education; oppress minorities; curb critical thought in schools; and politically entrench the extreme religious right.
A major conservative theme this year is “parental rights” – bills designed to suppress freedom of thought, identity, and reproductive choice among youth, and to push adults who support these freedoms out of schools and government.
Respectively, these bills eliminate medical confidentiality protections for minors; require schools to disclose information about students’ gender identities; and ban books that mention sexuality or race.
Here’s what you can do about them:
- Use our web form to read more and contact committee members.
- If you are a Request to Speak user, sign in against the above bills.
- Contact us if you can testify live the Capitol Tuesday or Wednesday.
Intersectionality is at the heart of activism.
That’s why we’re taking this month to commemorate June 28, 1969 — the day police raided the Stonewall Inn, a New York meeting place for LGBTQ+ people. When police demanded to do “sex verification” checks on trans women, a spontaneous protest erupted — led by trans women of color like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. Continue reading