“What an amazing night.”The positive online comments keep pouring in!
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Hartford, CT-- Yesterday the Secular Coalition for Connecticut held a Lobby Day at the state capitol. The occasion brought nontheists from across Connecticut together to lobby their state representatives and senators in support of secular and science-based public policy.
"It was great to see so many participants at our first Secular Advocacy Day in Connecticut," said Patrick McCann, Chair of the Secular Coalition for Connecticut. "All the feedback was positive and the legislators that we spoke to were very receptive to the three bills we are supporting this year. The Secular Coalition for Connecticut is a team of individuals dedicated to fulfilling our mission of protecting and strengthening the secular character of our state government as the best guarantee of freedom for all Connecticut citizens. Organizing a Lobby Day for secular constituents to meet their representatives is one of the ways in which we do that."
Attendees urged state lawmakers to support three bills: SB-939, The Patient's Right to Know Act, HB-6024, An Act Concerning Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill Patients, and SB-740, An Act Concerning the Form of Oaths. This was the first ever lobby day for the Secular Coalition for Connecticut, a chapter affiliate of the Secular Coalition for America.
"This was my first time participating in a legislative advocacy event," said attendee George Unser. "I was pleased that so many people with a wide variety of secular viewpoints could come together to focus on common goals. I found that the legislators made it easy for us to discuss our issues with them. In all, I think it was a successful event."
"As the number of nonreligious Americans continues to grow, lawmakers at every level of government will increasingly hear from their secular constituents," said Larry T. Decker, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. "It is essential that state lawmakers know that nontheists are their neighbors, their friends, and most importantly, their constituents. Advocacy at the state level is essential for increasing our visibility, advancing science-based policy, and protecting the secular character of our government. I'm proud that our chapter was able to put faces to the voices of secular Connecticuters."
Contact: Patrick McCann, firstname.lastname@example.org, 860-704-9003.
The Secular Coalition for Connecticut is a coalition of ten secular organizations in Connecticut with a reach of over 8,000 individuals. SCCT represents atheists, humanists, agnostics, and other nontheists. Its mission is to increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in Connecticut, and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all.
Washington, D.C. -- Today the Secular Coalition for America is relaunching its annual Bad Bill Madness campaign, a parody of the popular college basketball competition. The educational campaign pits 16 state bills from across the country into a two-versus-two tournament bracket and invites the Secular Coalition's supporters to vote on which bill is the worst. The winner is awarded the infamous title of "Worst State Bill."
The survey will be conducted on social media via the Secular Coalition for America's Facebook and Twitter pages. Voting will be held in four rounds beginning today and concluding on March 23. The winner will be announced on March 27. The roster features bills covering a wide range of issues including reproductive rights, religious refusal laws, the teaching of creationism in public schools, and LGBT rights. Some notable contenders this year include Texas's SB 651, which would legalize religiously-based discrimination by licensed professionals and Alabama's HB 180, which would allow a church to operate and manage its own police force.
"The campaign is an opportunity to shine a light on the attacks against our secular government that are occurring at the state level," said Larry T. Decker, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. "Our goal is to inspire activism through education. Lawmakers know that their attempts to impose religious privilege are largely unpopular and success depends on pushing these bills through quietly. The Secular Coalition for America and its supporters will not allow this to happen. The Bad Bill Madness campaign is one of the ways we're sounding the alarm."
Last year's Bad Bill Madness voters crowned Mississippi's HB 786, the "Church Protection Act", as the winner. The bill deemed that "killing a person while acting as a participant of a church or place of worship security team is justifiable homicide."
Contact: Casey Brescia, Communications Associate, Casey@secular.org, (845)-380-6201
The Secular Coalition for America is the nation's premier advocacy organization representing atheists, humanists, agnostics, and other nontheists. Its mission is to increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States, and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all. The Secular Coalition represents 19 voting member organizations.
It's time to set the record straight: The Trump Administration doesn't have a damn clue what religious freedom means. That's exactly what I said during an interview with the New Republic a few weeks ago and I'm not backing down from those remarks. The reality is that we're facing an administration which, along with many members of Congress, is determined to push an agenda of radical religious privilege on a scale we haven't seen in generations.
Just this past weekend, a senior official on President Trump's transition team said the White House is still planning to issue a "religious freedom" executive order, similar to the one that leaked just a few weeks ago. This is a wrecking ball aimed at the wall of separation between church and state, allowing for taxpayer-funded discrimination against same-sex couples, single mothers, and transgender persons. It is almost impossible to overstate the damage that would be done by such an executive order.
The Secular Coalition for America is the first, last, and best line of defense for our secular government. In just the first two months of 2017, the Secular Coalition for America:
Everything we have accomplished is only possible because of your support. The Trump Administration and their accomplices in Congress have shown they're ready to do everything it takes to advance the religious right's discriminatory and destructive agenda. We have to do everything we can to stop them.
I could not be prouder of what we've accomplished in just the first two months of 2017 but winning this fight requires building on our momentum. I'm not backing down from my remarks about President Trump, I'm not going to stop calling out the religious right, and I'm not going to stop fighting to keep religion and government separate.
Can I count on you to do the same?
Larry T. Decker