Maryland

Secular Coalition for Maryland - secularmaryland.org

Become a Secular Activist! Subscribe to receive Maryland chapter lobbying action alerts by email. Or, if you prefer, follow us on twitter (see bird icon on right) for very concise alerts. You can send emails to lawmakers, regulators, and others from the Secular Coalition for Maryland lobbying actions page (this page is updated most frequently from January through early April when the General Assembly is in session with updated continuing through May when the Governor signs and vetoes bills). If you also want to add content to this web page (anything deemed obsolete or inappropriate by the administrators of this web site will be deleted) then you can create a password for this web site. Check out the Upcoming Events for our next half hour conference call which is open to anyone who is interested. Lastly, you can sign up to ask about being a Maryland chapter volunteer with the Secular Coalition of America.

Despite the fact that there are tens of millions of nontheistic Americans, we remain one of the most marginalized groups in the country. Religious liberty is one of the basic tenets of secularism that we support, but accommodating some people's religious beliefs should not be allowed to take priority over other people's freedoms, civic equality, health, or safetyThe Secular Coalition for America is working to make sure that we are heard on Capitol Hill. We fight against religious privileging on a federal level, yet some of the most egregious violations of separation of church and state are being promoted and passed at a state level We need your help to see real change in Annapolis and across Maryland.

The SCMD, as a chapter of the SCA, brings together secular Americans to influence government officials, legislation, and regulations. Our focus is Maryland. Our exclusive purpose is lobbying government officials.

Child vaccine exemptions when parents are religious

Mississippi and West Virginia require child vaccinations. The health and welfare of children should not be compromised merely because their parents are religious.

Education §7–403. Read more about Child vaccine exemptions when parents are religious

Religious schools exempt from state certification

§2–206.
(2)   The State Board shall issue a certificate of approval to a noncollegiate educational institution if it finds that the facilities, conditions of entrance and scholarship, and educational qualifications and standards are adequate and appropriate for:

Medication to hasten death of a terminally ill adult

Prescribing medication to assist terminally ill adults to voluntarily hasten their day of death is a felony.

 

Criminal Law §3–102 Read more about Medication to hasten death of a terminally ill adult

Religious nursery schools exempt from child care license

COMAR 13A.16.16.03

.03 Approval to Operate an Educational Program — General Requirements.

Help the SCMD by researching state laws and regulations

For those among us who are looking for a useful spare time activity - the Secular Coalition for Maryland could benefit from research. When arguing against particular bad bills, regulations, or laws we would like to cite exemplary alternative regulations and laws in other states.  We would also like to have a better awareness of the regulations in Maryland that differentiate between citizens based on religious belief in any way that does harm or exhibits unfair favoritism.

If you know the answers to any of these questions then let us know: Read more about Help the SCMD by researching state laws and regulations

The deadline to register for health insurance is March 31!

The final deadline to register for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is Monday, March 31! If you don’t currently have health insurance, be sure to purchase a plan before the deadline, or you may have to pay a fine. There is financial help available to assist those in need. To see if you qualify, you can use this calculator. If you have questions about the process, there is local help available that can guide you through the process at no cost.  Read more about The deadline to register for health insurance is March 31!

Except not on Sunday

Here are some examples of favoritism in Maryland law for Sunday as day of rest.

 

Alcoholic Beverages §11–102 

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the hours during which alcoholic beverages may be sold or delivered to retail license holders by holders of wholesalers’ licenses are from 6 a.m. to midnight, on every day except Sundays.

  Read more about Except not on Sunday

Religious nursery schools exempt from child care license

COMAR 13A.16.16.03

.03 Approval to Operate an Educational Program — General Requirements.

The deadline to register for health insurance is March 31!

The final deadline to register for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is Monday, March 31! If you don’t currently have health insurance, be sure to purchase a plan before the deadline, or you may have to pay a fine. There is financial help available to assist those in need. To see if you qualify, you can use this calculator. If you have questions about the process, there is local help available that can guide you through the process at no cost.  Read more about The deadline to register for health insurance is March 31!

Does Maryland have a Facebook page?

Not sure, as I haven't seen it.  I will be happy to work with others on this between now and February 8th, and after April 8th Read more about Does Maryland have a Facebook page?

Declaration of Rights amendments needed

Article 36 of the Maryland constitution declares that it is the duty of every man to worship God and that anyone who does not believe in the existence of God can ipso-facto be declared incompetent to serve as a juror or be a witness.

Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2013

The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2013 was considered by the Senate Committee on Judicial Proceedings, but received an "unfavorable report" in that it failed on a vote of 5-6.  The Act would have provided protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  Here is the link to the bill:

http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=sb0449&stab=01&pid=bil... Read more about Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2013

Report on Advocacy Day, June 13

On Thursday, June 13, the SCA held an Advocacy Day to give humanists in the Greater D.C. area an opportunity to bring our concerns to Congressional staff.  Members of ethical societies were coming to D.C. for the annual conference of the American Ethical Union (AEU), and this event was timed to build on their participation. Read more about Report on Advocacy Day, June 13

Help the SCMD by researching state laws and regulations

For those among us who are looking for a useful spare time activity - the Secular Coalition for Maryland could benefit from research. When arguing against particular bad bills, regulations, or laws we would like to cite exemplary alternative regulations and laws in other states.  We would also like to have a better awareness of the regulations in Maryland that differentiate between citizens based on religious belief in any way that does harm or exhibits unfair favoritism.

If you know the answers to any of these questions then let us know: Read more about Help the SCMD by researching state laws and regulations

No documents have been added to this group.

Child vaccine exemptions when parents are religious

Mississippi and West Virginia require child vaccinations. The health and welfare of children should not be compromised merely because their parents are religious.

Education §7–403. Read more about Child vaccine exemptions when parents are religious

Religious schools exempt from state certification

§2–206.
(2)   The State Board shall issue a certificate of approval to a noncollegiate educational institution if it finds that the facilities, conditions of entrance and scholarship, and educational qualifications and standards are adequate and appropriate for:

Medication to hasten death of a terminally ill adult

Prescribing medication to assist terminally ill adults to voluntarily hasten their day of death is a felony.

 

Criminal Law §3–102 Read more about Medication to hasten death of a terminally ill adult

Except not on Sunday

Here are some examples of favoritism in Maryland law for Sunday as day of rest.

 

Alcoholic Beverages §11–102 

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the hours during which alcoholic beverages may be sold or delivered to retail license holders by holders of wholesalers’ licenses are from 6 a.m. to midnight, on every day except Sundays.

  Read more about Except not on Sunday

General Assembly prayer

The House switched to a system where individual Delegates offer prayer in 2000, after conflict over Christian clergy offering invocation “in Jesus’ name.”  The House clerk’s office is supposed to give Delegates an old brochure put out by the National Conference of Christian and Jews advising how to give “Public prayer in a pluralistic society.” It recommends prayer that “uses universal, inclusive terms for deity, rather than particular proper names for divine manifestations.” Read more about General Assembly prayer

Bladensburg WW I veterans memorial cross

The forty foot cross of cement and marble is also referred to as the "Peace Cross".  It was erected by the Snyder-Farmer Post of the American Legion of Hyattsville to remember the forty-nine men of Prince George’s County who died in World War I. The cross was dedicated on July 13, 1925. Read more about Bladensburg WW I veterans memorial cross

Grants to religious affiliated charities

Religious-affiliated charities in Maryland drew in more than $70 million in funding from the state in 2012.
 

Government or religious marriage officiants

Family Law 2-406

(2) A marriage ceremony may be performed in this State by:

Sectarian language

Phrases such as "minister of the gospel", and words such as "priest", "bible", "church", and "synagogue" appear occassionally in the statutes.  More generic phrases and words, such as clergyperson, house of worship, and holy book, would be better. Read more about Sectarian language

Non-sectarian standard allows discrimination

Religiously affiliated organizations lobby for, and receive, millions of dollars of state grants and loans.  Recipients include private colleges, hospitals, and places of worship.  Each bill authorizing the grants specifies that none of the taxpayers' money can be used to build facilities used for religious worship or instruction.  However, there appears to be no ongoing effort to enforce this secular usage restriction nor any penalties for violators. Read more about Non-sectarian standard allows discrimination

No polls have been added to this group.