Separation of Church & State

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Atheist Organization Calls on IRS to Investigate Tax Status of Center for Arizona Policy

(May 21, 2012) Phoenix, Ariz.—Secular Coalition for Arizona (SC Arizona) filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service this week asking for an investigation into Center for Arizona Policy’s 501(c)3 public charity tax-exempt status. SC Arizona has been looking into Center for Arizona Policy’s tax status as part of the secularist organization’s commitment to ensure that religious organizations do not receive special privilege under the law, including tax law.

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Brewer Rejects Reason, Atheists in Arizona Respond

(Apr. 19, 2012) Phoenix, Ariz.— In opposition to the recent flood of religiously-motivated legislation penned by policymakers in Arizona, Secular Coalition for Arizona, on behalf of its 12 nontheistic liaised organizations throughout the state, called on Governor Brewer to declare May 3, 2012 a Day of Reason. The Governor rejected Secular Coalition for Arizona’s request for a proclamation, but the group will nonetheless be collaborating with local nontheistic communities to organize events as part of a larger countrywide movement advocating a National Day of Reason.

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Hijacked Arizona State Legislature Bends to Religionists

Narrow Religious Ideology Wins Big...
Everyone Else Loses

April 17, 2012 -- Last week was a disappointing one in Arizona politics, with secularism taking a major hit and real Arizonans facing damaging new laws as a result. As the legislative season comes to a close, we anticipate a continuous onslaught of anti-secular bills coming up for last-minute votes or for the Governor's signature. Secular Coalition for Arizona will be working hard to make sure you get up-to-date information and opportunities to voice your concerns to your legislators about specific bills. We appreciate how hard you have all been working to respond to the Religious Right's eleventh-hour sneak-attacks on our rights; please continue to help us get our secular message to elected officials through these last critical days.

The State of Secularism in Arizona

Bills Still Requiring Action

SB1359 - The Wrongful Birth bill allowing doctors to lie to pregnant patients was transmitted to the Governor on April 12; we must continue to pressure her for a veto: 602-542-4331

HB2563 - This Bible Curriculum bill was transmitted to the Governor on April 12; we must continue to pressure her for a veto: 602-542-4331

SB1365 - Free Exercise of Religion, a refusal and discrimination clause, has passed both houses, but in different versions. The two versions must be reconciled and before a final vote.

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Another Religiously Motivated Attack on Reproductive Healthcare

Today, March 28, the State Senate will vote on yet another piece of religiously motivated legislation that attacks Arizonan’s access to reproductive healthcare. HB 2625 allows employers to refuse to provide coverage for medications used for contraception if the employer has a religious objection.

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Executive Director Seráh Blain Speaks Out Against Privileging the Christian Bible in Public Schools

Executive Director Seráh Blain Defends Nonbelievers' Right to Affirm Rather than Swear Arizona State Guard Oath

Dawkins, Faircloth, Cornwell, "A Secular Society Worth Saving: The Role of Religion & Secularism in Public Policy"

Presented by Secular Coalition for Arizona, Dr. R. Elisabeth Cornwell, Sean Faircloth and world-renowned author, bioethicist and secularist Richard Dawkins will explore how religion impacts government and how the secular community can grow its influence on legislative decisions.

When: Monday, February 6, 2012 7:00 - 8:45 p.m.

Where: Mesa Arts Center One East Main Street Mesa, AZ 85201

Admission includes: Presentations by Cornwell, Faircloth, and Dawkins, Q and A, & Book Signing

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Secular Coalition for Arizona submits comments to Arizona Supreme Court regarding state bar ethical rule change

Recently, the State Bar of Arizona petitioned the Arizona Supreme Court, which oversees the Bar, to reopen for public comment a proposed rule change to the Ethical Rules of the Bar. The proposed change would include “gender identity” as a protected class within the Bar rules and regulations. Attorneys are required to abide by Bar rules in their professional conduct, so this change would ensure that attorneys not be permitted to discriminate against transgender people.  In no way does this change require an attorney to represent a transgender individual if they choose not to.

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Secular Coalition for Arizona Washington D.C. Lobby Trip: A Closer Look.

Many of you have asked what issues and subjects Secular Coalition for Arizona lobbied on while in Washington D.C.  last month. Here is a summary of SC Arizona in action on your behalf at the U.S. Capital:

1) We "had them at hello!"

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Secular Coalition for Arizona urges Governor Brewer to reject extremist prayer meeting invitation

On August 6, Texas Governor Rick Perry has invited his 49 fellow governors to join him for an evangelical Christian prayer meeting in Houston to "call upon Jesus to guide us" and ask for "God's forgiveness, wisdom and provision."  He contends that "some problems are beyond our power to solve."

In a letter to Governor Brewer the Secular Coalition for Arizona has urged Governor Brewer to reject Governor Perry's invitation to this divisive event.

From SC Arizona's letter to Governor Brewer:

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