State of the States: November 20

States of the States: November 20


There will not be a State of the States update next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The next update will be posted on Friday, December 4.

State of the StatesYour weekly digest on the secular movement in the states.

State Campaigns
Please help us spread the word about #PutKidsFirst on Twitter and “Like” the Put Kids First Facebook page here!

The Put Kids First New York coalition held its second bi-weekly strategy call this week. Secular Coalition for New York, Nurses who Vaccinate, and Center for Inquiry-Long Island are working together to mobilize support for S6017/A0829, two companion bills that would repeal New York’s nonmedical vaccine exemption.

The Put Kids First campaign states are traveling to local secular groups to educate the community about nonmedical vaccine exemptions in their states. So far, there have been twelve presentations given in six states.

If your group is located in a campaign state and you’d like to invite your local chapter leader to speak, email your inquiry to

State Legislative Update

Action Alerts
If you are registered to vote in one of these states, please take action!

Florida Action Alert! Don’t let Florida legalize discrimination. 

Illinois Action Alert! Support protecting patients from religious discrimination. 

Ohio Action Alert! Tell Ohio legislators to oppose a 20 week abortion ban


Secular Coalition for Florida (SCFL)
The Florida legislature introduced the Protection of Religious Freedom Act, HB 401, similar to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that passed in Indiana earlier this year. Tell the House not to make the same mistake as Indiana and confuse “religious freedom” with a license to discriminate.

This bill would allow businesses to deny service for any religiously-motivated reason, effectively legalizing discrimination against vulnerable groups like the LGBT community, members of minority faiths, and nontheists. If you’re a Florida constituent, tell your representative to oppose this discriminatory bill.

Follow SCFL on Twitter and Facebook. For volunteer and leadership opportunities, email

Secular Coalition for Illinois (SCIL)
December 4 is the new Final Action Deadline for the Illinois Assembly to vote on Senate Bill 1564. Take action now! This bill would amend the Health Care Rights Consciousness Act to protect patients from being denied the care they need due to a provider’s religious beliefs. This is a critical step toward protecting Illinois citizens from religious discrimination and would make sure patients get the care they need, free of religious judgements on the part of others. If you are an Illinois constituent, please contact your representative and urge them to pass this bill.

Follow SCIL on Twitter and Facebook. For volunteer and leadership opportunities, email

Secular Coalition for Michigan (SCMI)
The Secular Coalition for Michigan continues to closely monitor legislation which would use government resources to promote and encourage donations to the Boy Scouts, which explicitly discriminate against nonreligious boys.

Follow SCMI on Twitter and Facebook. For volunteer and leadership opportunities, email

Secular Coalition for Ohio (SCOH)
SB 127, a bill that would outlaw all abortions at 20 weeks, has passed the Ohio Senate and may soon come up for a vote in the House. If you are a secular constituent in Ohio, please take action here and urge your representative to oppose this bill. Anti-choice advocates often claim that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, a myth that has been debunked by the American Medical Association. The government should not allow an unscientific, religiously-motivated agenda dictate personal decisions that should be left to a woman and her doctor. 

The Secular Coalition for Ohio also continues to monitor HB 286, an unnecessary piece of legislation that reiterates that clergy cannot be forced to perform a wedding ceremony that conflicts with their religious beliefs. Clergy, unlike government clerks who issue wedding licenses, are already protected by law from performing ceremonies that conflict with their faith.

Follow SCOH on Twitter and Facebook. For volunteer and leadership opportunities, email

On the Calendar

November 21- Voltaire’s Birthday

November 24 - Anniversary of the publication of Origin of the Species

November 27 - Bill Nye’s Birthday

Upcoming State Calls
To get involved in your local state chapter, contact

Secular Coalition for Maine: Friday, November 20 (5 pm EST)

Secular Coalition for Iowa: Monday, November 23 (6:30 CST / 7:30 EST)

Secular Coalition for North Carolina: Tuesday, November 24 (5:30 pm EST)


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