States of the States: December 4

State of the States: December 4

States of the States Your 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 campaign states are traveling to local secular groups to educate the community about nonmedical vaccine exemptions in their states. So far, there have been thirteen 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 putkidsfirst@secular.org. Help us spread the word about #PutKidsFirst on Twitter and “Like” the Put Kids First Facebook page here.

 

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.

SCFL is currently monitoring eight bills that were recently pre-filed ahead of the 2016 legislative session. Three of them are religiously motivated anti-choice bills, including the Florida Right to Life Act, which includes references to a "Creator" and language urging the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. SCIL supports two bills, including SB 258, which would ban conversion therapy, and HB 4019, which strikes language from Florida's existing laws defining marriage as a union excuslusively between a man and a woman. 

Follow SCFL on Twitter and Facebook. For volunteer and leadership opportunities, email florida@secular.org.


Secular Coalition for Illinois (SCIL)
The Final Action Deadline for the Illinois Assembly to vote on Senate Bill 1564 has been extended yet again to January 29, 2016. Take action now! This bill would amend the Health Care Right of Conscience 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 illinois@secular.org.


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. 

Follow SCOH on Twitter and Facebook. For volunteer and leadership opportunities, email ohio@secular.org.

 

On the Calendar

December 10 - Human Rights Day

 

Upcoming State Calls
To get involved in your local state chapter, contact states@secular.org.

Secular Coalition for Connecticut: Tuesday, December 8 (5:30 pm EST)

Secular Coalition for Maryland: Wednesday, December 9 (5:30 EST)

Secular Coalition for Michigan: Thursday, December 10 (5:00 pm EST)

Secular Coalition for Texas: Thursday, December 10 (5:00 pm CST / 6:00 pm EST)

Secular Coalition for Virginia: Friday, December 11 (10:30 am EST)

 

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