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Despite the fact that there are tens of millions of nontheistic Americans, we remain one of the most marginalized groups in the country. The Secular Coalition for America is working to make sure that we are heard on Capitol Hill. We fight in Washington DC 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 Columbus and across Ohio.
The Secular Coalition for America is forming state chapters across the country. Our chapters will bring together secular Americans in each state to influence government officials, legislation, and regulations. A Secular Coalition for America state chapter is unlike any other nontheistic state organization—it brings together interested organizations and individuals for the exclusive purpose of lobbying government officials.
Once again a bill was introduced to open the door to discrimination against the LGBT community in Ohio under the cover of religious freedom. The difference this time is now were are living in the President Trump administration, H.B. 36 will be moved to the full House for a vote as soon as February 21st. The Secular Coalition for Ohio gave written testimony this week against the proposed law. The text of the testimony follows: Read more about Testimony against House Bill 36 aka the 'Ohio Pastor Protection Act'
Based on a 2014 study by Pew Research, we know that on a national level, there are almost 56 million Americans who are “Nones” - the second-largest “religious” group, trailing only to Evangelical Protestants in number. In the last seven years, the nontheistic Americans have increased from 16% to 23% of all U.S.Read more about Just how Nontheistic IS Ohio?
Sub. HB 425, The Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act, was passed by the Ohio House two weeks ago and is now being considered by the Ohio Senate. It is currently assigned to the Education committee. The Secular Coalition for Ohio submitted the following written testimony to the committee asking the bill be rejected:
To: Senate Education Committee
From: Douglas Berger, co-chair, Secular Coalition for Ohio
Election Day is Tuesday and many of us still travel to a polling place to cast our ballots in person. In many communities the polling place is located inside a church. It's not illegal to have voting in a church but the location still needs to meet state election laws. What should you look for and what should you do to make sure a church follows the rules? Read more about Do You Cast Your Ballot In A Church?
The Secular Coalition has released the Congressional Report Card for 2014. Looking at Ohio we see the highest rated is Rep. Tim Ryan (D-13). The lowest, no surprise, is Rep. Bob Latta (R-5). The biggest surprise is Speaker John Boehner (R-8) scored a 71% on the issues important to the Coalition - who knew?
House Bills 303 and 304, collectively known as the "Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act" passed out of committee on 12/1 and moves to be considered in the full House. The proposed laws would expand special privileges to the religious which secular students would be excluded from using. Take action today and let your elected representatives know you oppose these bills.
The Secular Coalition for Ohio will be holding a public hang out on Google Plus on Wednesday October 29th starting at 7 PM.
This will be the first public hang out for SCO where we can get together and talk about the upcoming general election and how it relates to the separation of church and state. We can discuss which candidates are more friendly to our issues.