States of the States: November 13

State of the States: November 13

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

State Campaigns
The Put Kids First New York coalition is now holding bi-weekly strategy calls to mobilize support for S6017/A0829, two companion bills that would repeal New York’s nonmedical vaccine exemption. Secular Coalition for New York, Nurses who Vaccinate, and Center for Inquiry-Long Island continue to seek additional partners in the medical establishment, faith community, and secular community to join in this effort.

The Put Kids First campaign states are traveling to local secular groups to educate the community about nonmedical vaccine exemptions in their states. Since the launch of the campaign in Augut, seven presentations have been given in five states, and there are two upcoming presentations in Maine and Ohio.

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 Help us spread the word about #PutKidsFirst on Twitter and “Like” the Put Kids First Facebook page here.

State Legislative Update

Secular Coalition for Florida (SCFL)
Action Alert! Don’t let Florida legalize discrimination!
The Florida legislature recently 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)
Final action deadline extended again! Support protecting patients from religious discrimination
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. Since last week, this bill has gained an additional co-sponsor. 

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


Secular Coalition for Michigan (SCMI)
Government endorsement of Boy Scouts, which discriminates against secular boys
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)
Action Alert! Ohio is one step closer to a 20 week abortion ban
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. Take action now!

Protections for clergy that already exist
The Secular Coalition for Ohio 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 13-15 - Skepticon 8, where Secular Coalition for Missouri will be tabling and our chapter leader will lead two workshops.

November 17 - Anniversary of Stone v. Graham, when the Kentucky Supreme Court found the posting of the Ten Commandments in public schools to be unconstitutional.  

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

Secular Coalition for Virginia: Friday, November 13 (10 am EST)

Secular Coalition for Utah: Monday, November 16 (10:00 am MST / 12:00 EST)

Secular Coalition for Georgia: Wednesday, November 18 (1:00 pm EST)

Secular Coalition for Rhode Island: Wednesday, November 18 (8:00 pm EST)

Secular Coalition for Maine: Friday, November 20 (5:00 pm EST)


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