American Humanist Association

Current Actions

  • Will Your Senators and Representative Stand Up for Reason?

    The National Day of Reason, which will be held on May 1st 2014, is fast approaching. The National Day of Reason celebrates the application of reason and the positive impact it has had on humanity.

    The National Day of Reason is also an opportunity to reaffirm the constitutional separation of religion and government, which is especially relevant considering that the National Day of Prayer, which occurs on the same day, asks government officials to encourage their constituents to join them in prayer.

    Every year we call upon members of Congress to enter a statement into the congressional record honoring the National Day of Reason. We need your help to make sure that as many members of Congress as possible make statements recognizing this year’s National Day of Reason and opposing the National Day of Prayer.

    Use the form below to contact your Representative and Senators and urge them to make a statement honoring the National Day of Reason.

  • Minnesota Residents: Support Secular Weddings!

    Bills in the Minnesota state Senate and state House of Representatives would give the authority to legally sign marriage certificates to secular celebrants appointed by atheist or humanist organizations.

    This is great news, as it means that more secular and nonreligious Minnesotans can be married by the officiant of their choice. However, in order for these bills to become law we need your help right now.

    Please take a moment to contact your state Senators and Representative by using the form below, and let them know you want them to support these bills!

  • URGENT: House Vote TOMORROW On Religious Exemptions In Health Care

    It was recently announced that a controversial bill, the deceptively named Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act, is skipping committee review and is going straight to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to be voted on tomorrow.

    The EACH Act contains a provision that would allow anyone with “sincerely held religious beliefs” to be exempt from the mandate in the Affordable Care Act to buy health insurance.

    Religious freedom is being misrepresented by those who support this bill, and it’s time for those who really care about our First Amendment rights and the health of children to step up and be heard. Help us stop those who would abuse religious freedom by using the form below to oppose this bill!

  • Alabama Residents: Say NO to Prayer in Public Schools!

    A bill is making its way through the Alabama House of Representatives that would “prescribe a period of time in the public schools not to exceed 15 minutes for study of the formal procedures followed by the United States Congress, which study shall include a reading verbatim of one of the opening prayers given.”

    Forcing public school students to listen to and study prayers during the school day is absolutely unacceptable and an egregious violation of the separation between church and state. We must stand up to those who are trying to put prayer back in school by demanding that our government representatives oppose this bill.

    Stand up for the separation of church and state by using the form below to demand that your state Representative oppose this bill!

  • Oppose the Federal Funding Of Religious Schools

    Recently, several voucher bills were introduced that would give money to private religious schools who could use that money to teach religion to their new ex-public school students. Even more troubling is the fact that these bills allow religious private schools that receive federal money to discriminate against students on the basis of gender and teachers on the basis of their religious beliefs, policies that are absolutely forbidden in public schools.

    These bills, the Scholarships for Kids Act and the CHOICE Act, threaten everyone’s religious liberty by funding explicitly religious education and allowing federally funded private schools to discriminate.

    Please take a moment to contact your U.S. Senators and Representative by using the form below and tell them to oppose these bills.

  • Contact Your Representative NOW To Pass The Darwin Day Resolution!

    The Darwin Day resolution, which recognizes February 12th as Darwin Day, commends scientists for improving humanity’s quality of life through scientific discovery, and opposes the teaching of creationism, has been reintroduced by Rep. Rush Holt (NJ).

    Please help us honor Charles Darwin and support science by using the form below to:

    •  Send an email to your Representative and ask him or her to support the Darwin Day resolution. We've even written the message for you to make it easy and quick to send.
    •  Get your Representative’s phone number and call to say “I urge you to cosponsor H. Res. 467, also known as the Darwin Day resolution. Creationism is being taught in schools nationwide, and we need Congress to stand up for real science."

  • URGENT: Religious Extremists Are Behind Yet Another Anti-Choice Bill

    Congress is at it again, trying once more to limit the right of women to control their own bodies.

    Recently, a bill called the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” cleared a House committee and is on its way to be voted on before the entire U.S. House of Representatives. This bill takes the unnecessary step of prohibiting the expenditure of federal funds for any abortion and also includes “conscience protections” for medical officials who do not wish to provide abortions services for religious reasons.

    Enough is enough! Take action now by using the form below to tell your Representative to oppose the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

  • Help End Abstinence-Only Education Funding

    Abstinence-only education has been proven to be ineffective at reducing teen pregnancy or halting the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, yet the federal government has still chosen to fund programs that teach abstinence instead of comprehensive sex education at the insistence of the religious right.

    Thankfully, abstinence only education is on its way out, but we need your help right now to make sure it goes away. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA) recently introduced a bill, the Repealing Ineffective and Incomplete Abstinence-Only Program Funding Act, which would stop the government from funding abstinence-only programs and support comprehensive sex education.

    Help support comprehensive sex education by using the form below to contact your Representative and urge that they support this bill.

  • URGENT: Support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act

    The Senate will vote on Monday on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination in the workforce on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Due to an oversight in federal anti-discrimination law, 29 states currently permit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and 33 states permit discrimination based on gender identity.  ENDA extends federal employment discrimination protections currently provided based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability to sexual orientation and gender identity. In other words, ENDA prohibits employers from using a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for employment decisions such as hiring, firing, or promotion.

    While this bill has failed to pass in previous sessions of Congress, it’s exceedingly likely that our nation’s changing opinions on LGBT rights will give this bill the support it needs to pass through Congress. That’s why it’s so vital that we work together right now to demand that Congress do its job and protect LGBT Americans.

    Stand up against LGBT discrimination by using the form below to contact your Senators and urge them to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act!

  • Tell Your Representative NO to Government Funding of Discrimination

    Recently, H.R. 3133 was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (ID) to “prevent adverse treatment of any organization on the basis of views held with respect to marriage.” This bill, also known as the “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act”, effectively allows for organizations that have anti-LGBT programs, such as ones meant to rally against the right of LGBT couples to marry, to receive government grants.

    It is an outrage that these groups believe that they should be able to get taxpayer money from the very LGBT Americans they wish to discriminate against, and it is even more outrageous that government officials would honor their blatantly homophobic ways by introducing legislation on their behalf.

    Stand up against government funding of discrimination by using the form below to contact your Representative today.

  • Help Honor Asa Philip Randolph, 1970 Humanist of the Year

    Two weeks ago was the 50th anniversary of the famous 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which was organized by a brave humanist named Asa Philip Randolph.

    As a union organizer and leader of the secular wing of the civil rights movement, Randolph planned the historic gathering we all know, with Randolph serving as march director and opening speaker. Randolph eventually went on to accept the Humanist of the Year Award from the American Humanist Association in 1970 and sign Humanist Manifesto II in 1973.

    Recently, Senate Resolution 218 was introduced to “honor the legacy of A. Philip Randolph and salute his efforts on behalf of the people of the United States to form a more perfect union.” With your help, we can give Randolph the recognition he deserves for his efforts to make America a true democratic nation that guaranteed equality for all under the law.

    Please take a moment to contact your Senators by using the form below and ask that they support this important resolution.

  • Take Action: Repeal the Rest of DOMA

    The Supreme Court recently struck down a provision of DOMA that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman, but other sections of the law still remain in effect.

    Thankfully, the Respect for Marriage Act has been introduced in the House and in the Senate to repeal the remaining sections of DOMA and extend the federal benefits associated with marriage to all couples regardless of their sexual orientation. The bill already has 41 Senate cosponsors and 161 House cosponsors, but we need your help to ensure its passage.

    Help end discrimination against LGBT Americans by using the form below to ask your Representative and Senators to support this bill!

  • Support Humanist Chaplains In The Military!

    An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act was recently introduced by Representative Jared Polis that would have required the military to “provide for the appointment, as officers in the Chaplain Corps of the Armed Forces, of persons who are certified or ordained by non-theistic organizations and institutions, such as humanist, ethical culturalist, or atheist.”

    Humanist chaplains are needed by the 26% of service members that are non-religious because the information shared between a soldier and his or her chaplain can’t be used against the soldier like information shared between a soldier and a military psychiatrist. Non-religious soldiers also deserve to have someone of a similar worldview to talk to when enduring some of the most hostile and stressful conditions on the planet.

    If your Representative was one of the 150 men and women that voted in favor of the amendment please take a second to use the form below and thank them!

  • Ohio Humanists: Oppose Public School Religion Credits

    Recently, a bill was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives that would permit public school students to attend and receive credit for religious instruction conducted off school property during regular school hours.

    The bad news is that this bill already has bipartisan support, which is why we need your help in our fight to ensure that public schools focus on teaching math, science, and literature instead of encouraging religious study during school hours.

    Stand up for church-state separation and for a secular public school system by using the form below to contact your state representative today!

  • Take Action: Oppose Prayer at School Board Meetings

    Yesterday, Representative Tim Walberg (MI) introduced H. Res. 250, which if passed would declare Congress’s support for opening local school board meetings with prayer.

    This bill states that “the United States was founded on the principle of freedom of religion and not freedom from religion… prayer by a deliberative public body should be protected under law and encouraged in society because voluntary prayer has become a part of the fabric of this society.”

    This bill if passed will encourage more school districts to pray at school board meetings and alienate nonreligious students, teachers, parents, and school administrators from their own communities. Join the AHA in defending church-state separation by using the form below to contact your Representative.

  • Arizona Humanists: Thank State Rep. Juan Mendez For Coming Out As An Atheist!

    Exciting news! During the daily invocation before the Arizona House of Representatives, Rep. Juan Mendez instead quoted Carl Sagan and came out as a secular humanist.

    This brave move by Rep. Mendez is worthy of recognition by his constituents, not only because he opened himself up to criticism from members of the Religious Right, but because he showed people all across the nation that nonreligious government officials exist.

    Use the form below to show Rep. Mendez just how grateful we are for his courageous actions and thoughtful words before the Arizona House of Representatives.

  • California Residents: Thank Rep. Mike Honda for Supporting the National Day of Reason

    Today President Obama will issue a proclamation recognizing the National Day of Prayer, a day that promotes the benefits of prayer and calls on Americans to pray.

    Many Americans, especially the 20% who are nonreligious, oppose the President asking for nationwide prayer not only because it is a violation of church-state separation, but because it excludes humanist, atheist, and nontheist Americans from a civic holiday. This exclusionary practice is one of the reasons humanist communities across the country will instead celebrate the National Day of Reason today.
     
    This year, thanks to the AHA’s lobbying efforts and supporters like you, Representative Mike Honda (CA) and other elected officials on the federal, state, and local levels issued a statement or proclamation recognizing the National Day of Reason.

    “The National Day of Reason celebrates the application of reason and the positive impact it has had on humanity,” Rep. Michael Honda declared in the Congressional record. “It is also an opportunity to reaffirm the Constitutional separation of religion and government.”

    Use the form below to thank Representative Honda for his efforts to include the non-religious community and protect the separation of church and state.

  • DC Residents: Thank Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton for Supporting the National Day of Reason

    Today President Obama will issue a proclamation recognizing the National Day of Prayer, a day that promotes the benefits of prayer and calls on Americans to pray.

    Many Americans, especially the 20% who are nonreligious, oppose the President asking for nationwide prayer not only because it is a violation of church-state separation, but because it excludes humanist, atheist, and nontheist Americans from a civic holiday.  This exclusionary practice is one of the reasons humanist communities across the country will instead celebrate the National Day of Reason today.
     
    This year, thanks to the AHA’s lobbying efforts and supporters like you, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) and other elected officials on the federal, state, and local levels issued a statement or proclamation recognizing the National Day of Reason.

    “I encourage all citizens to join in observing this day and focusing upon the employment of reason, critical thought, the scientific method, and free inquiry to the resolution of human problems for the welfare of humanity," Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said in a statement.

    Use the form below to thank Delegate Norton for her efforts to include the non-religious community and protect the separation of church and state.

  • Take Action: Support the Student Non-Discrimination Act

    Last week Representative Jared Polis reintroduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) which if passed will prohibit discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.

    According to the 2011 National School Climate Survey, 8 out of 10 surveyed LGBT students experience harassment at school, and almost two thirds reported feeling unsafe. This is an unacceptable situation for our public schools, and we need to act now so that all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, feel safe when going to class.

    Use the form below to urge your Representative to support SNDA and help LGBT students feel safe in school.

  • California Residents: End Tax Privileges for Discriminating Youth Groups

    You may have heard recently about discriminatory policies and actions by the Boy Scouts of America, an organization that excludes gay, transgender, and atheist members.

    Unfortunately, youth groups like the BSA often enjoy governmental subsidies and preferential tax status even though they discriminate against those whose taxes help fund these organizations.

    That’s why the AHA is pleased to see that lawmakers in California are taking action. State Senator Ricardo Lara recently introduced SB 323, also known as the Youth Equality Act, to  “deny tax-exempt status to nonprofit youth groups that discriminate on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or religious affiliation."

    We need your help to get this bill all the way through the statehouse and past Gov. Brown’s desk so that LGBT and non-religious Californians will no longer help fund groups that explicitly discriminate against them.

    Use the form below to stand up for equality by urging your state senator to support SB 323.

  • Take Action: Support Imprisoned Atheist Bloggers In Bangladesh

    Police recently arrested three atheist bloggers in Bangladesh after they were accused of "defaming Islam and the prophet Mohammed." As a result of their atheistic blogs, each faces up to 10 years in jail for something that should never be a crime in any country that claims to respect religious freedom and the freedom of expression.

    This isn't the first case of atheist bloggers being arrested for a "crime" against religion. We informed you last year about Egyptian atheist Alber Saber, who was arrested and remains in prison for insulting Islam and the prophet Mohammed.

    This alarming trend of arresting atheists is spreading throughout the world. We need your help to rasie awarness of the situation to high-level government officials who must take action now.

    Please do your part in protecting freedom of speech by using the form below to demand that the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh lodge a formal complaint with the government of Bangladesh over these anti-democratic arrests.

  • Tennessee Humanists: Oppose Discrimination in Counseling!

    The Religious Right is once again trying to enshrine discrimination into law.

    Last year, Michigan AHA members were informed of a state bill that would subvert the national standards of the counseling process and legalize discrimination in our nation’s higher education institutions. This bill was created following a tragic incident at Eastern Michigan University where a gay student was discriminated against by a counselor named Julea Ward, who, as an evangelical Christian, refused to provide counseling services to the student.

    Unfortunately, a very similar bill is up for a vote in the Tennessee Senate. SB 514 “prohibits public institutions of higher education from disciplining or discriminating against a student in a counseling, social work, or psychology program because the student refuses to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the student.”

    If you are a Tennessee resident, don’t give religion a free pass to discriminate. Use this form to stand up against religious discrimination and urge your senator to oppose Senate Bill 514.

  • Take Action: Support the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act!

    Representative Barbara Lee (CA) recently introduced the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act, a bill that would provide five-year grants to state and local education agencies, nonprofit organizations, and public universities to fund science-based sex education programs.

    Show your support for a comprehensive approach to sex education that rejects gender stereotypes and embraces LGBT students by contacting your Congressional representative below.

  • Take Action: Support Secular Weddings in D.C.!

    Washington, D.C. currently limits wedding officiants to religious figures or court officers, which often leaves secular Washingtonians out of this special day. Thankfully, City Councilmember Tommy Wells (Ward 6) just introduced a bill that would allow couples to call upon any officiant they want—without a religious affiliation.

    Use this form to tell the D.C. City Council to support bill B20-0118 and give Washingtonians the option to have a secular wedding.

  • Support the Darwin Day Resolution: Contact Your Representative

    The American Humanist Association proudly worked with Representative Rush Holt (NJ) to introduce House Resolution 41 “expressing support for designation of February 12, 2013, as Darwin Day and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.” We are asking you to help win approval for the resolution by using this form to contact your Congressional representative asking for their co-sponsorship and support.

    Visit www.darwinday.org to learn more about the Darwin Day resolution and join a Darwin Day event in your community. Thank you for standing up for science.

  • Take Action: Thank the Orleans Parish School Board for Defending Science Education!

    Orleans Parish School Board President Thomas RobichauxRecently, the Orleans Parish School Board in Louisiana banned schoolbooks that teach creationism or intelligent design as science or scientific theories, mandated that history books not include revisionist propaganda promoted by the Religious Right, and forbade teachers in its school district from teaching any aspect of religious faith, creationism or intelligent design as science in science classes.

    We need to thank those in Louisiana that stood up for church-state separation and science education. Please use this Action Alert form to send a message to Orleans Parish School Board President Thomas Robichaux thanking him and the other board members for their defense of science education and church-state separation.

  • Take Action: Tell Governor Nikki Haley To Appoint An Atheist To The U.S. Senate!

    South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley must soon appoint a replacement for retiring Senator Jim DeMint, a staunch defender of the Religious Right.

    We need your help to convince Governor Haley that South Carolina can do better than appointing one of DeMint's Religious Right allies to replace him. If you are a South Carolina resident, enter your zip code below to ask the governor to consider as Senator DeMint's replacement Herb Silverman, a proud Charleston resident, AHA board member, and president of the Secular Coalition for America. 

    In 1990, Herb ran for governor of South Carolina to challenge the state's constitutional provision that prohibited atheists from holding public office, a story he recounts in his book Candidate Without A Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

  • Take Action: Ask Your Representative to Attend the First Capitol Hill Briefing on American Secularism!

    Do your part to help grow the secular movement by using this form to contact your Representative today and asking them to attend the first-ever congressional briefing on "The State of Secular America," hosted by the Secular Coalition for America on October 1. Your Representative has already been invited to attend and we need your help to encourage her or him to learn more about the humanist movement and the growing number of secular Americans.

  • Take Action: Tell Your Senators To Oppose The Military Religious Freedom Act!

    Dear Friend,

    Well, that didn’t take long. Now that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has been repealed and the men and women in our armed services are able to serve our country regardless of their sexual orientation, religious conservatives in our government are working their hardest to reinstate discriminatory policies into the military.

    Recently, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), introduced S. 3526, also known as the Military Religious Freedom Act.

    This bill would prevent military chaplains from being required to perform a marriage ceremony if the chaplain objects for reasons of conscience, and prohibits same-sex marriages or marriage-like ceremonies at military facilities.

    While private churches and chaplains are well within their rights to decline performing same-sex marriage ceremonies, military chaplains—paid by federal dollars—have a duty to serve all military members. Military chaplains still retain the right to perform—or not perform—marriages of any kind. However, this bill would remove the requirement to fulfill the needs of all military members by providing facilities and referrals when needed.

    We didn’t fight hard for equality only to see it overturned by religious conservatives in Congress who prefer to divide and insult our troops rather than support them. These are the same people who fought against allowing LGBT soldiers in our military based on misinformation and bigotry.

    Now it’s our turn to fight for the men and women that have given so much to protect us. Stand up for LGBT soldiers and ask your Senators and to oppose this shameful bill.

    The American Humanist Association firmly believes in the right of all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, to be treated equally and justly by their government. We strongly reject any attempt by religious extremists in Congress to discriminate against our brave LGBT soldiers.

    Please take a moment today to contact your Senators and ask them to oppose the Military Religious Freedom Act.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

  • From The AHA’s Feminist Caucus: Remember the ERA?

    Dear Friend,

    August 26 is Women's Equality Day. It commemorates the historic day in 1920 when women achieved the right to vote. Sadly, 92 years later the religious right is working hard to roll back the freedoms and protections that women have fought for.

    Today's political climate makes it abundantly clear that American women need to have their rights permanently protected through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) states, "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex," and has already been ratified by 35 of the 38 states required before it can be enshrined in the Constitution.

    Why is this important?
    Because until we have the ERA as the law of the land, women will continue to fight every few years to get equal pay for equal work, fair family leave policies, protection from violence against women, access to the reproductive health care of our choice, and many more basic human rights.

    How can we get it ratified?
    By convincing our representatives in Washington to sign on to the joint resolution that does away with the deadline for ratification while also getting 3 more states to ratify the ERA.

    What can you do?
    Become involved in our campaign to get the last 3 states to ratify it.
    • Lend us your voice and a few minutes of your time by signing this petition.
    Enter your Zip Code below to contact those who represent you in Washington and let them know about your support for the ERA.

    If America wishes to serve as an international example of liberty and just governance, we must ensure that all citizens are afforded the same rights and that institutionalized discrimination is made illegal. We must all come together, regardless of religious beliefs or political opinions, in order to guarantee equal treatment under the law and the end to gender discrimination.

    Sincerely,
    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

  • Take Action: Tell Congress To Support The Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act!

    Dear Friend,

    Now that the disgraceful “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy has been repealed, most Americans think our troops are serving freely and fairly alongside each other. Unfortunately, this is just not the case.

    Federal law unfortunately still discriminates against married gay and lesbian service members, veterans, and their families by denying them crucial protections and creating two classes of service members in our armed forces.

    Thankfully, Representative Adam Smith (WA) recently proposed legislation that would extend these benefits and protections to same-sex partners of military service members.

    HB 6406, also known as the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act, would enable same-sex spouses and partners of military personnel and veterans to “obtain essential benefits, including insurance, housing allowances and survivor benefits.” This legislation would finally remove the discriminatory gap in our armed forces and allow gay and lesbian service members and their families to get the benefits and rights that they deserve.

    Stand up for the rights of LGBT soldiers who risk their lives every day to protect our country. Contact your Representative today and ask her or him to support the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act.

    The American Humanist Association firmly believes in the right of all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, to be treated equally and justly by their government. Congress must pass legislation such as HB 6406 that works to protect the rights of all Americans and removes the remnants of institutional discrimination.

    Please take a moment to contact your Representative today and ask him or her to support the Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act.

    Sincerely,
    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director
  • Michigan Residents: Tell Your State Senators To Oppose The Julea Ward Freedom Of Conscience Act!

    Dear Friend,

    Earlier this year, I informed you of a bill in the Michigan House of Representatives that would subvert the national standards of the counseling process and legalize discrimination in our nation’s higher education institutions. This bill, House Bill 5040, also known as the “Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act,” has now passed the Michigan House of Representatives and moves to the state Senate for approval.

    The “Freedom of Conscience Act” was created following a tragic incident at Eastern Michigan University where a gay student was discriminated against by a fellow student named Julea Ward. Ms. Ward, who served as a graduate counselor in the university’s counseling program, was removed from her position and expelled from the university after she attempted to refer a client to another counselor because the client's file indicated a past gay relationship, a relationship Ms. Ward morally opposes as an evangelical Christian.

    The Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association and the Ethical Standards of the American School Counselor Association, which student counselors are obliged to follow as a curricular requirement of the university, mandate that counselors are not to allow their personal values to intrude into their professional work. Since Ms. Ward broke these standards, the school was correct in terminating her from her position. Simply put, the passage of this misleading “Freedom of Conscience Act” would give students in the counseling, social work, or psychology programs free rein to discriminate against LGBT students or students who do not agree with their religious views.

    If you are a Michigan Resident, this is your chance to stand up against state-sanctioned religious discrimination. Contact your state Senators and ask them to vote against the “Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act.

    The American Humanist Association is committed to defending the right of all people not to be discriminated against, and stands in favor of the rigorous standards that are present in the counseling profession. I ask you to help defeat the Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act by taking action now. Thank you for standing up against religious discrimination.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

    P.S. If you're not a Michigan resident, be sure to read about this controversy because it may be an issue in your state next.

  • Take Action: Oppose Religious Discrimination in VAWA Amendment

    Dear Friend,

    The American Humanist Association, with our progressive allies in Washington DC, have been lobbying hard for the passage of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill in Congress—an important step toward formally acknowledging the issue of gender and sexual violence.

    But instead of focusing on how to help victims of violence, Representative Sandy Adams (FL) is using this opportunity to help out her extremist religious supporters by changing VAWA to permit religious aid organizations to discriminate in their hiring practices for programs that use VAWA funds. This means your taxpayer dollars will effectively be used by organizations that can hire or fire anyone based on their religious beliefs—or lack thereof. 

    Take a stand against religious discrimination. Contact your Representative right now and oppose Rep. Adams’ amendment to the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill.

    The passage of the original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994 was a giant step forward for our nation. VAWA meant that our federal government formally acknowledged that gender and sexual violence is wrong, and we support resources that help victims and teach the next generation how to combat gender-based violence.

    The Adams Amendment goes against the original purpose of VAWA and is a clear attempt by religious conservatives in Congress to legalize religious discrimination. Stand with the American Humanist Association today in opposing this unnecessary and discriminatory amendment.

    The American Humanist Association affirms the fundamental nature of a person’s right to be free from violence and discrimination. Congress has a duty to pass legislation like VAWA which protects our fellow citizens from violent aggressors free from any provisions that would legalize discrimination by religious groups.

    Please take a moment to contact your Representative right now and ask her or him to oppose the Adams’ amendment to the Violence Against Women Act.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

  • Thank President Obama for Supporting Marriage Equality

     Send a message to President Obama in support of yesterday's announcement in support of marriage for gay and lesbian Americans. 

    Yesterday, President Obama made a historic announcement: he supports gay and lesbian Americans receiving the rights and benefits of marriage. The American Humanist Association has long lobbied for marriage equality and support of the LGBT community, and we thank the president for standing up for LGBT rights. Please send a thank you note to President Obama for his support of marriage equality. 
  • Support for Rep. Pete Stark’s proclamation recognizing today as the National Day of Reason.

    We are proud to have worked with Representative Pete Stark (CA), who issued a House proclamation declaring today as the National Day of Reason. On the House floor, Rep. Stark said:

    “The National Day of Reason celebrates the application of reason and the positive impact it has had on humanity. It is also an opportunity to reaffirm the Constitutional separation of religion and government. I encourage everyone to join in observing this day and focusing upon the employment of reason, critical thinking, the scientific method, and free inquiry to improve our world and our nation.”,

    There has never been a more important time to stand up for reason. Your taxpayer dollars continue to support organizations that discriminate based on religion, or lack thereof, in hiring practices. Local governments are introducing bills to bring mandatory Bible study back in public schools.

    The Religious Right and supporters of the National Day of Prayer are clear: they want to turn the United States into a Christian nation. They will use all the money and power at their disposal to influence lawmakers and voters to support the intrusion of religion in all aspects of the public.

    This is our opportunity to tell our elected leaders that reason—not prayer—should be the guiding force for public policy in America.

    Please take a moment to contact your Representative right now to show your support for the National Day of Reason.

  • Take Action: Tell The Michigan House To Reject The Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act!

    Dear Friend,

    Extremist religious groups and their allies in government are at it again.

    Unfortunately, the Education Committee of the Michigan House of Representatives recently approved House Bill 5040, also known as the “Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act.” The bill now goes to the House floor to be voted upon in the near future.

    This bill, if passed, would subvert the national standards of the counseling process and legalize discrimination in our nation’s higher education institutions.

    The “Freedom of Conscience Act” was created following a tragic incident at Eastern Michigan University where a gay student was discriminated against by a fellow student named Julea Ward. Ms. Ward, who served as a graduate counselor in the university’s counseling program, was removed from her position and expelled from the university after she attempted to refer a client to another counselor because the client's file indicated a past gay relationship, a relationship Ms. Ward morally opposes as an evangelical Christian.

    The Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association and the Ethical Standards of the American School Counselor Association, which student counselors are obliged to follow as a curricular requirement of the university, mandate that counselors are not to allow their personal values to intrude into their professional work. Since Ms. Ward broke these standards, the school was correct in terminating her from her position.

    Under House Bill 5040, public and private colleges, universities, junior colleges, and community colleges would be prohibited from disciplining or discriminating against a student in the counseling, social work, or psychology programs, because the student refused to serve a client whose goals conflicted with a student's sincerely held religious belief or moral convictions.

    If you are a Michigan Resident, this is your chance to stand up against state-sanctioned religious discrimination. Contact your state Representatives and ask them to vote against the “Julea Ward Freedom of Conscience Act.”

    The American Humanist Association is committed to defending the right of all people not to be discriminated against, and stands in favor of the rigorous standards that are present in the counseling profession.

    I ask you to join this important effort by taking action now. Thank you for standing up against religious discrimination.


    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

  • Take Action: Tell the Louisiana State Senate To Repeal The Louisiana Science Education Act!

    Dear Friend,

    Apparently, lawmakers in Louisiana don’t want students to be scientifically literate.

    A controversial law—the result of the deceptively named Louisiana Science Education Act that was passed in 2008—injects religion into science classrooms through the state-sanctioned teaching of creationism and intelligent design. This law also encourages school administrators and teachers to misrepresent and attack evolution’s acceptance by the scientific community.

    Fortunately, Senator Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) recently filed Senate Bill 374 to repeal this act, but we need your help to get it passed.

    If you are a Louisiana resident, this is your chance to help support science education in Louisiana. Contact your state senators and ask them to repeal the Louisiana Science and Education Act.

    Here are the facts: the Science Education Act requires state and local education administrators to promote "open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning." It also permits teachers to use "supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner."

    Senate Bill 374 will end the distribution of unscientific literature in science classrooms and stop the teaching of creationism and intelligent design. Recently, 74 Nobel laureate scientists have spoken in favor of passing this bill and repealing the LSEA.

    Please tell Louisiana’s State Senate to repeal the Science and Education Act by approving Senate Bill 374.

    The American Humanist Association is committed to defending sound science education in public schools. With the AHA’s 71st Annual Conference to be held in New Orleans this June, we must lend our support to the Louisiana state senators who value education.

    I ask you to join this important repeal effort by taking action now. Thank you for standing up for science.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

  • Take Action: Tell Your Senators to Oppose the Blunt Amendment!

    Dear Friend,

    The Religious Right and their supporters in Congress are at it again. These groups are trying to tinker with the health of countless Americans by inserting religious extremism into our government. 

    Following the recent contraceptive care controversy, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) has pushed for passage of the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act”, which would allow ALL employers to exclude health benefits from their employees' health plans that they deem immoral or “contrary to their religious beliefs.”

    Unfortunately, this amendment is likely to be voted on this week. Giving in to religious extremism and bargaining with the health of Americans is unacceptable. Please take a moment to contact your Senators and ask them to oppose the Blunt Amendment.

    Data recently compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that an estimated 20.4 million women are now taking advantage of preventive health care services provided under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the Blunt legislation could put their access to these services at risk. These services include contraception, mammograms, pre-natal screenings, cervical cancer screenings, flu shots and much more.

    This amendment affects how many Americans, especially women, will be able to pay for necessary medical services. If this amendment is passed, private employers would be able to eliminate many important health benefits while justifying this removal upon dubious religious grounds.

    While employers are permitted to their own personal religious beliefs, they should not be entitled to interfere in the health care of their employees. The American Humanist Association believes that employees should be able to make their own decisions about health care.

    Stand with the American Humanist Association today by contacting your Senators and telling them to oppose this unnecessary and extreme amendment.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

  • BREAKING: President Obama Caves to Religious Pressure on Reproductive Access

    Dear Friend,

    BREAKING NEWS: President Obama has announced his plans to accommodate religious groups’ opposition to a new rule that requires faith-based organizations to offer health insurance to their employees that fully covers birth control coverage.

    This is an outrage. The President has caved to the pressures of Religious Right organizations that use their narrow-minded views to deny reproductive services to thousands of women.

    Giving in to religious groups and bargaining with the health of Americans is unacceptable. Please take a moment to contact President Obama and ask him to support contraceptive coverage and oppose special treatment for faith-based employers.

    There has been a lot of talk in recent days about contraceptive care and the responsibilities of employers who are affiliated with religious organizations to their employees.

    In this atmosphere of back-and-forth spin, we think it’s important for you to know the facts:

    The Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a rule requiring employers that are affiliated with religious organizations, but not religious organizations themselves, to provide health care plans that cover contraceptive services for their employees.  

    This rule does not apply to religious organizations such as churches, synagogues, mosques, or other places of worship. It only applies to organizations like schools and hospitals that are merely affiliated with a religion.

    President Obama has already caved to these groups by granting them an additional year to comply with the contraceptive rule. Regrettably, the President has now stated that he wishes to reach an additional compromise to placate the extreme views of the conservative religious establishment.

    Stand with the American Humanist Association against special treatment for religious organizations.

    The American Humanist Association believes that faith-based employers should be required to abide by the same health standards that apply to everyone else. If they receive a special exemption from this new rule, thousands of Americans will have a harder time securing the vital health services that they need.

    Take action now. Call or write to President Obama and ask him to support contraceptive coverage and stand behind women’s health.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt

    Executive Director

  • Take Action: Tell Congress To Oppose Funding For Abstinence-Only Education!

    Dear Friend,

    Congress will soon introduce an appropriations bill that funds the federal government through the end of Fiscal Year 2012. Unfortunately, this bill contains a $5 million earmark that would revive funding for obsolete abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

    This earmark contradicts the budget cutting message Congress constantly pushes on the American people. It is upsetting that politicians would decide to once again to waste taxpayers’ money by funding the now-defunct Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) grant program that decades of research has shown to have no effect on teen behavior.

    The removal of abstinence-only funding and the focus on comprehensive sexual education programs has greatly improved sexual health among American teens and has prepared them for a lifetime of responsible decision making. A reversion back to ineffective sexual education programs such as the abstinence-only program endangers our youth and hinders our nation’s ability to promote a responsible and comprehensive sexual education program.

    Contact your Representatives and Senators right now and stand with the American Humanist Association in opposing funding for ineffective abstinence-only education programs

    The American Humanist Association supports sexual education programs that are based in a scientific understanding of the body and a realistic approach towards youth behavior. Comprehensive sexual education is vital to the health of our youth, and ineffective programs such as the abstinence-only program hinder our ability to inform and prepare them for a lifetime of decision-making regarding sexual activity. Please take a moment to contact your Representatives and Senators to oppose this earmark.

    By supporting education programs that utilize the best available scientific and psychological information, you help to improve the lives of countless individuals.
    Please take action now.



    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

  • Take Action: Tell Congress To Reauthorize The Violence Against Women Act!

    Dear Friend,

    Senators Patrick Leahy (D- VT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) have recently introduced a bipartisan bill, S. 1925, to reauthorize and improve the Violence Against Women Act.

    The passage of the original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994 was a giant step forward for our nation. Domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking are pervasive issues throughout the United States. VAWA meant that our federal government formally acknowledged that domestic and sexual violence cause tremendous harm, and therefore put resources into helping victims and responding to these crimes. Our nation and millions of individuals are safer as a result.

    The time has come to again reauthorize this critical legislation. The Violence Against Women Act of 2011 will build upon efforts to prevent violence before it begins and teach the next generation that violence is always wrong. Congress must reauthorize this legislation to address this and build healthy communities.

    Stand with the AHA in supporting this important piece of legislation today.

    The American Humanist Association affirms the fundamental nature of a person’s right to be free from violence. As such, we believe that Congress has a duty to pass legislation like VAWA which protects our fellow citizens from violent aggressors. Please take a moment to contact your senators and ask them to support VAWA now.

    By supporting the survivors of violence and methods to prevent these crimes, you help to improve the lives of countless individuals. I’m asking you, as a supporter of humanism and human dignity, to make a difference and take action now.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

  • Take Action: Tell Congress To Oppose Detention Provisions In The Defense Authorization Bill!

    Dear Friend,

    A recent amendment proposed by Senators Jim Webb (VA) and Mark Udall (CO) which would have removed unconstitutional detention provisions from the National Defense Appropriations bill has been defeated by the Senate.

    These defense provisions authorize the military to indefinitely detain without charge individuals – including American citizens apprehended on U.S. soil – who are suspected of involvement with terrorism. A second section forces law enforcement officials to transfer a large category of terrorism suspects into military custody, against the advice of counterterrorism professionals. A third section will further institute restrictions on the transfer of cleared Guantanamo detainees.

    Stand with the AHA in opposing these unnecessary and unconstitutional provisions by contacting your Senator today.

    By allowing American citizens to be detained indefinitely without trial, Congress is removing an important part of our system of checks and balances. Because of this unconstitutional action, the power of the Executive branch of government has been inappropriately expanded.

    The American Humanist Association affirms the fundamental nature of a citizen's right to be free from involuntary and unconstitutional confinement. Congress has overlooked the severity of the harm done when potentially innocent citizens can be imprisoned indefinitely without a trial. Please take a moment to contact your Senator and ask them to oppose these provisions now.

    These detention provisions are a significant step backwards in regards to civil liberties and the maintenance of the rule of law. I’m asking you, as a supporter of humanism and representative democracy, to make a difference and take action now.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

  • "In God We Trust" Motto To Be Reauthorized: Take Action Now!

    Dear friends,

    A resolution was recently introduced in the House of Representatives that would reaffirm “In God We Trust" as the official motto of the United States and would support and encourage the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions. This resolution is currently in committee, and will come up for a vote tomorrow in the House. We need your help to ensure that it does not pass.

    Stand with the American Humanist Association and urge your Representative to oppose the “In God We Trust” resolution right now.

    House Continuing Resolution 13 (H. Con. Res. 13) was introduced in the House by Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA) on January 26th, and currently has 64 co-sponsors. The current motto of the United States, “In God We Trust”, weakens the wall of separation between church and state by declaring our national recognition of a deity. This motto is insensitive to the many non-religious Americans who object to government encouragement of religion and belief, and is opposed to our national tradition of secular governance.

    Please take a moment to contact your Representatives and ask them to oppose the resolution. The American Humanist Association supports the wall of separation between church and state, and opposes any government action that violates the secular tradition found in our Constitution.

    This bill is a momentous step backwards in regards to religious freedom. I’m asking you, as a supporter of humanism, to make a difference and take action right now.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

  • Protect Life Act To Be Voted On This Week: Take Action Now!

    Dear friends,

    A bill was recently introduced in the House of Representatives that would prohibit federal funds from being used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services. This bill is coming up for a vote this week in the House, and we need your help to ensure that it does not pass.

    Stand with the American Humanist Association and urge your Representative to oppose the Protect Life Act right now.

    The Protect Life Act (H.R. 358) was introduced in the House by Representative Joseph Pitts (R-PA) on January 19th. Currently, federal funds cannot be used for abortion services and plans receiving federal funds must keep federal funds segregated from any funds for abortion services. However, this bill would effectively eliminate comprehensive insurance coverage that also includes coverage for abortion in the new health care market. Contrary to existing law, the bill would also allow hospitals to refuse to provide life-saving abortion care for women. Current federal law requires hospitals to provide appropriate medical care to a patient facing an emergency, including medically necessary abortions. This bill would allow a hospital to turn away a pregnant woman experiencing a life-threatening complication without further regard for her health or well-being.

    Please take a moment to contact your Representatives and ask them to oppose the Protect Life Act. The American Humanist Association supports the right of women to make their own decisions regarding their own body, and opposes any government intervention that would remove that autonomy or threaten the life of a patient.

    This bill is a momentous step backwards in regards to personal freedom and patient’s rights. I’m asking you, as a supporter of humanism to make a difference and take action right now.

     

    Roy Speckhardt

    Executive Director

  • Take Action: Tell President Obama To Stop Federally Funded Faith-Based Discrimination!

    Dear Friend,

    On July 22, 2011, President Obama spoke at a Town Hall meeting in College Park, Maryland about the Administration’s policies concerning faith-based federally funded employment discrimination. Though he criticized religiously discriminatory employment practices in Zanesville, Ohio, in 2008, his recent statements suggest that he supports federally funded religious organizations that choose to hire and fire on the basis of religion.     

    Tell President Obama to take a stand against religiously discriminatory employment practices!

    As a member of the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination (C.A.R.D.), the American Humanist Association has joined 55 other organizations, calling on the President in a letter to address these concerns by clarifying the Administration’s stance on the issue and take steps to end these discriminatory practices.

    Our message is clear: a federally-funded employer should have no grounds to discriminate against potential and current employees on the basis of their religion—or lack thereof.

    Please take a moment and contact President Obama, asking him to stop federally funded faith-based discrimination and put an end to these discriminatory allowances.    

     
    Sincerely,
     

    Roy Speckhardt

    Executive Director

  • Take Action! Support Mandatory Women’s Service Coverage

    Last week, the United States Department of Health and Human Services adopted eight new women’s services to receive mandatory coverage under private insurance policies. These services include well-woman visits, gestational diabetes screenings, domestic violence screenings, and all FDA-approved birth control methods.

    But a narrow “religious refusal” clause is offered for institutions who believe the mandate violates their beliefs. If this clause is widened, it could mean thousands of women lacking access to these important wellness services.

    Health and Human Services has opened a 60-day public comment period regarding the change, and conservative religious organizations are expected to loudly voice their disapproval in an attempt to widen the religious refusal clause. This clause must remain narrow, or be eliminated completely. 

    Send a message to the Department of Health and Human Services and let them know that religion should have no role when it comes to women’s access to much-needed medical services.

    The American Humanist Association is a strong advocate of women’s rights. Access to healthcare is a fundamental necessity which no woman should lose in the face of the religious refusal of their employer.  

    Please take a moment to participate in the comment period at http://www.regulations.gov. Copy the ID Number HHS-OS-2011-0023-0002 into the “Enter Keyword or ID” box, and voice your support for the mandatory women’s services. Copy, paste, and update the example below with your own thoughts!  

    As a member of the American Humanist Association, I object to the religious refusal clause because ________.

    Note: All comments will be made available to the public. Do not include any personally identifiable information (such as name, address, or other contact information) or confidential business information that you do not want publicly disclosed. All comments are posted on the Internet exactly as received, and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines. No deletions, modifications, or redactions will be made to the comments received, as they are public records. Comments may be submitted anonymously.

  • Take Action: Tell Congress to Support the Respect for Marriage Act!

    Great news! Yesterday, White House spokesman Jay Carney told White House reporters that President Obama fully supports the Respect for Marriage Act, and the administration would no longer uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a bill which limits the legal definition of marriage to a union between one man and one woman, in a court of law.

    Stand with the American Humanist Association and urge your Senators to support the Respect for Marriage Act right now.

    The Respect for Marriage Act (S.598), introduced in the Senate by Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA), Patrick Leahy (VT), and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) in March, would effectively repeal DOMA in its entirety. The American Humanist Association joined a coalition of dozens of progressive groups to call on Congress to support the Respect for Marriage Act.

    Please take a moment to contact your Senators and ask them to support the Respect for Marriage Act.The American Humanist Association supports the marriage rights of all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation. The LGBT community should no longer be discriminated against in the eyes of the federal government.

    This bill is a vital step forward for LGBT equality. I’m asking you, as a supporter of humanism and LGBT rights, to make a difference and take action right now.

     
    Roy Speckhardt

    Executive Director

  • Tell President Obama To Stop Faith-Based Employment Discrimination!

    In 2002, President Bush implemented Executive Order 13279, a policy allowing faith-based organizations receiving federal funding to hire and fire employees on the basis of religion. While on the campaign trail in 2008, President Obama vowed to reform the faith-based initiative to prevent this form of discrimination, but has yet to make good on this promise. 

    Take Action and tell President Obama to stop faith-based employment discrimination now!

    Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) recently called attention to this issue by holding a press conference, which the American Humanist Association attended, honoring the 70th anniversary of President Roosevelt issuing Executive Order 8802. E.O. 8802, also known as the Fair Employment Act, was the “first federal action …. to promote equal opportunity and prohibit employment discrimination in the United States.”

    The American Humanist Association supports this initiative as an active member of the C.A.R.D Coalition (The Coalition Against Religious Discrimination) in Washington D.C., and now we’re asking you to show your support as well.

    Contact President Obama to put an end to faith-based employment discrimination, and rescind Executive Order 13279 immediately. No employee should be hired or fired from their job on religious grounds, and no organization receiving federal funds should have the authority to make these discriminatory decisions without consequence.


    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

  • Take Action: Stop the Navy's Backtracking on Gay Marriage

    Dear Friend,

    Just when we thought we were gaining progress in the U.S. military for LGBT rights, the Religious Right intervened. 

    In April, Navy Chief of Chaplains Rear Admiral M.L. Tidd issued a memorandum allowing same-sex marriage on military bases following the official repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the federal policy banning all gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. This was a major victory.  

    But today, Admiral Tidd declared the memorandum “suspended until further notice,” pending further legal review—a move which may put the policy on hold indefinitely. 

    This sudden backtracking by the Navy can only mean one thing: anti-gay marriage activists were able to wield their political power and stifle the progress our movement has helped to make in the battle for LGBT equality.  

    Take action now. Contact Rear Admiral Tidd and show your support for our LGBT servicemen and -women.  

    The American Humanist Association strongly advocates the rights of gays and lesbians to not only serve openly in the military, but to marry those they love. The support of the Navy chaplaincy is a crucial step forward in the fight against homophobia within our country, and Rear Admiral Tidd’s unwavering support of same-sex marriage on military bases is a vital component. 

    I hope you will take a moment to contact Rear Admiral Tidd, and ask him to continue his support for gays and lesbians serving their country. Simply click "ASK a question or request information" on the main screen of the Navy Chaplaincy website linked above, and make your voice heard. Don’t allow the LGBT military community to be denied their rights any longer.

     
    Sincerely,
    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director



  • Say No to Evangelical Bias on Church Tax Commission!

    Dear Friends,

    Yesterday the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations, a commission created in the effort to examine the tax activity of religious organizations, announced the appointment of its members - all of whom come from the Evangelical Christian faith. 

    Speak out against this shameless religious bias. 

    The absence of secular leaders appointed to the commission is an outrageous omission and an offense to humanists, secularists and tax-payers alike. Such a commission, intended to patrol religious organization use of non-profit tax loopholes, warrants the participation of parties outside the Evangelical circle, such as members of the secular and interfaith community. Without this diversity, the commission risks bias and an abuse of tax-payer money. The American Humanist Association supports transparency and finds the need for secular, humanist or atheist representation on this commission essential.

    Secular leaders deserve a voice in this matter. Please take a moment to contact Senator Grassley and Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability President Dan Busby and tell them that true financial accountability requires the input and discretion of outside parties. Religious tax law should not be evaluated solely by those who benefit from it most. Stand with the American Humanist Association, and together we can make sure that the humanist voice is heard and religious organizations who abuse their nonprofit status are held accountable.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt

    Executive Director

  • Call Your Senators and Oppose the DC School Voucher Program!

    Dear Friend,

    Yesterday, the Scholarships for Opportunities and Results Act (SOAR), a revival and expansion of the District of Columbia voucher program, was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. This program, which provides private school tuition stipends to qualifying students, funnels federal money into religious charter schools.

    This bill now faces action in the Senate, and we need your help to stop it.

    Tell your Senators right now to oppose federal funding of religious schools through the DC voucher program.

    This bill is strongly opposed by the National Coalition for Public Education, the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC Mayor Vincent Gray and President Barack Obama.

    If this bill passes, your taxpayer dollars would be forced to support private religious schools. It also fails to take into account the students and faculty who are not offered protection under the D.C. Human Rights Act, putting LGBT families especially at risk of discrimination and harassment.

    The fact remains: religious schools shouldn’t receive any form of subsidy from the government. I need you to send a strong message to your Senators and ask them to respect the separation between church and state.

    Please take a moment right now to contact your Senators and ask them to vote “no” on the Scholarships for Opportunities and Results Act.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt

    Executive Director

  • Tell Your Representative To Vote "No" on H. Con. Res. 13

    Dear Friends,

    Yesterday, H. Con. Res 13, a resolution which reaffirms the official motto of the United States as “In God We Trust,” was passed in the House Judiciary Committee, and now faces general debate in the House. If passed on the House floor, the resolution would encourage the display of “In God We Trust” on public buildings, including government institutions and public schools.

    “If religion and morality are taken out of the marketplace of ideas,” the resolution reads, “the very freedom on which the United States was founded cannot be secured.” The resolution goes on to state, “’As President Eisenhower said and President Ford later repeated, ‘Without God, there could be no American form of government, nor, an American way of life.’”

    This resolution is an excuse to take aim at the country’s secular foundation and to push the social conservative agenda.

    Please take a moment and tell your Representative to vote “no” on H. Con. Res 13 today!

  • (No Title)

    Dear Friend,

    Teen bullying is an epidemic sweeping our school systems. LGBT students, and students perceived to be LGBT, are particularly affected by this ugly trend. According to the 2009 National School Climate Survey, 9 out of 10 surveyed LGBT students experience harassment at school, and two thirds reported feeling unsafe. Teen suicide, often committed in the face of severe bullying, is the third leading cause of death among young adults ages 15 to 24. We must put a stop to this tragic chain of events. 

    This week, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) into Congress.  SNDA serves to prohibit discrimination and harassment on the basis of perceived sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools. While race, religion, sex and disability are all protected from public school discrimination under federal law, sexual orientation and gender identity are not. The Safe Schools Improvement Act was also introduced in the Senate this week by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL). The act requires public schools to implement a comprehensive program created to prevent the bullying and harassment of all students. 

    The American Humanist Association is committed to supporting LGBT rights, including the rights of young people to live free from harassment and bullying. The AHA formed the LGBT Humanist Council to add support to the LGBT equality movement and represent people who identify as LGBT and humanist.

    Please take a moment and contact your Senators and Representative and urge them to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act. All students deserve a safe and accepting environment in which they can learn, grow, and be themselves. 

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt

    Executive Director

  • Tell Congress to Support the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act!

    Dear Friend,

    Teen bullying is an epidemic sweeping our school systems. LGBT students, and students perceived to be LGBT, are particularly affected by this ugly trend. According to the 2009 National School Climate Survey, 9 out of 10 surveyed LGBT students experience harassment at school, and two thirds reported feeling unsafe. Teen suicide, often committed in the face of severe bullying, is the third leading cause of death among young adults ages 15 to 24. We must put a stop to this tragic chain of events. 

    This week, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) into Congress.  SNDA serves to prohibit discrimination and harassment on the basis of perceived sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools. While race, religion, sex and disability are all protected from public school discrimination under federal law, sexual orientation and gender identity are not. The Safe Schools Improvement Act was also introduced in the Senate this week by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL). The act requires public schools to implement a comprehensive program created to prevent the bullying and harassment of all students. 

    The American Humanist Association is committed to supporting LGBT rights, including the rights of young people to live free from harassment and bullying. The AHA formed the LGBT Humanist Council to add support to the LGBT equality movement and represent people who identify as LGBT and humanist.

    Please take a moment and contact your Senators and Representative and urge them to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act. All students deserve a safe and accepting environment in which they can learn, grow, and be themselves. 

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt

    Executive Director

  • Tell Congress to Support Title X and Women's Health!

    Title X, also known as “Population Research and Voluntary Family Planning Programs,” is a federally funded program that provides family planning services to the economically disadvantaged. A large majority of Title X funding goes to family planning clinics across the country. 

    The 2011 GOP has been clear about their intent to eliminate Planned Parenthood funding, and their opportunity will arise with the approaching vote on a Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1), a proposed $100 billion dollar cut in spending for the fiscal year. H.R. 1 seeks to slash all Title X funds.   

    In the absence of Title X, millions of low income women will no longer have access to the family planning care they require. This includes access to counseling, contraceptives, cancer and sexually transmitted disease screenings, gynecological care, and sexual education. 

    The American Humanist Association stands beside organizations such as Planned Parenthood and advocates for a woman’s healthcare rights. Please take a moment and tell your Representative to say no to the elimination of Title X funding.

  • Thank Rep. Pete Stark for H. Res. 81!

    Please contact Pete Stark and thank him for his work in H. Res 81, using the following letter as a guideline:

    Thank you, Rep. Stark, for introducing H. Res. 81, expressing support for designation of February 12, 2011, as Darwin Day and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.  As a member of the American Humanist Association, I fully support science-based education free from religious dogma, and truly appreciate your determination to stand up for these views. With Congressional leadership such as yours, I feel confident that our country can retain the secular values it thrives on, while continuing to give science and reason a voice in government and classrooms across the country. Your tireless dedication to the cause is greatly valued.

  • Support H. Res 81 in Recognition of Darwin Day! Call Your Representatives Now!

    Dear Friends,

    Representative Pete Stark just proposed H. Res 81 to Congress, expressing support for designation of February 12, 2011, as Darwin Day and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity. This resolution is a culmination of collaboration between Representative Stark, 2008 Humanist of the Year, and the American Humanist Association.

    In a statement, Representative Stark said, “Darwin’s birthday is a good time for us to reflect on the important role of science in our society. It is also a time to redouble our efforts to ensure that children are being taught scientific facts, not religious dogma, and to fight back against those who seek to undermine the science of climate change for political ends.”

    This resolution could not have come at a more important time. The New York Times recently reported that only 28 percent of biology teachers present evidence for evolution as recommended by the National Research Council, while 13 percent “explicitly advocate” creationism. Furthermore, with climate change quickly gaining speed, and anti-environment regulation law-makers denying its impact, a true grasp of science is the strongest defense against global warming. You can read the text of the resolution in its entirety here.

    Use the form below to contact your representative now and tell him or her to support Representative Pete Stark’s H. Res 81 in recognition of Darwin Day today!

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director

  • Tell Your Representative to Oppose the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act!

    Last week Congressman Chris Smith (R – N.J.) introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 3), a bill which would severely limit abortion access to those relying solely on government healthcare.  Currently, federal law restrictions on government funded abortions include exemptions for rape, incest, and instances in which the mother’s life is in danger. H.R. 3 seeks to restrict its rape exemption to “forcible rape” only. 

    This vague language not only disregards instances of statutory rape and rape involving drugs, alcohol, and hindered mental capacity, but calls into question the definition of “forcible rape.” Forcible rape, which isn’t defined in the federal criminal code, nor by the bill’s authors, is also undefined by many states, leaving the question of what “forcible rape” is, and what circumstances, if any, qualify. 

    If enacted, H.R. 3 would also financially target private insurance companies offering abortion coverage, and introduce new taxes for individuals and businesses that purchase insurance policies offering coverage as well.     

    These restrictions would leave tens of thousands of women across the United States unable to access the assistance they require. The American Humanist Association is committed to protecting the rights of women, as well as keeping medical care accessible. Please take a moment to contact your Representative and tell him or her to oppose H.R. 3 today.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt

    Executive Director

  • Remind Governor Bentley Nontheists are Citizens Too!

    Dear friends,

    This week, the American Humanist Association (AHA) was shocked to learn of the comments made by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. While delivering a speech at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Alabama on Monday, Governor Bentley told the audience, “Now I will have to say that, if we don't have the same daddy, we're not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother."

    Governor Bentley said to reporters Wednesday, “If anyone from other religions felt disenfranchised by the language, I want to say I am sorry. I am sorry if I offended anyone in any way.” Upon hearing Governor Bentley’s apology for the comments made, we are dissatisfied. 

    Governor Bentley not only failed to acknowledge the non-religious among the offended constituents, but also shirked off responsibility for his comments. Bentley's initial statement implied that Christianity is the exclusively correct path and made a call to convert others. A true apology would have acknowledged that he made a mistake, and addressed all of the people he slighted.

    According to the 2010 Pew Religious Knowledge Survey, 4.7% of Americans identify as a religion other than Christianity, while 16.1% of Americans are unaffiliated with any religion---translating to about 35 million Americans. Since his inauguration, President Obama has taken the lead in acknowledging these 35 million Americans as citizens deserving of respect and recognition. It’s time for other politicians to get with the program and start recognizing their nontheistic constituents.

    Please take a moment right now to send a letter to Governor Robert Bentley and remind him that atheists, non-theists, and humanists are also constituents whom he was elected to serve. For a country attempting to unite and progress, this inclusiveness is vital.

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt

    Executive Director

  • Tell Army Secretary John McHugh to Stop Religious Proselytization!

    Dear Friends,

    The American Humanist Association is disappointed to learn that the United States Army has been engaging in discriminatory practices with the utilization of their Global Assessment Tool (GAT) within the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program. The tool, which is meant to measure various levels of each soldier’s daily functionality, unfairly targets humanists, atheists and other nontheists as dysfunctional in regard to their assessment scores.

    Soldiers are assessed in the areas of emotional, social, family, and spiritual strength. Nontheists naturally score low in the “spirituality” portion of the exam and are subsequently offered training, which is presented to them as mandatory, to improve their scores in this area.

    The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers has visited the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness office and corresponded with staff up to Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum to provide clear suggestions to attempt to mend this broken program. BG Cornum and staff were unwilling to consider any changes or to recognize our concerns with the existing content on the GAT questions or training modules.

    The American Humanist Association has worked closely in the past with The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, American Atheists, and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to end similar forms of discrimination.  The Air Force has been very collaborative and involved in efforts to include nontheists in their cadet religious respect training and 2010 Religious Respect Conference. We’d like to see the Army take similar steps in respecting the rights of humanist and nontheist soldiers. 

    Please take a moment right now to send a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh and remind him that this gross form of proselytization has no place within the army. A soldier’s functionality should not be measured on the basis of religious belief.   


    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt

    Executive Director


  • Urgent: Ask Your Senators to Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell!"

    Dear friend,


    If you're a soldier out on the battlefield, it makes absolutely no difference whether you're gay or straight. And yet, at a time when we're engaged in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our military is stretched thin, Americans are being discharged from military service simply for being open about their sexual orientation.

    "Don't ask, don't tell" bars openly gay or bisexual people from serving in the U.S. military, and over 13,500 troops have been discharged since its implementation in 1993.

    On December 15th, 2010, -- thanks to voices like yours speaking out against the ban -- the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." However, there is still work that needs to be done. We now need your help again to pass similar legislation in the Senate.


    In the days leading up to the close of the lame duck session, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is attempting to schedule a vote on the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” We need to make sure we have as many votes as possible on our side.

    Please send a letter or place a call to your senators as soon as possible and ask them to support the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

    Little time is left before the vote, so it's crucial to let your senators know that their support for repeal is greatly needed. Join me in taking action right now. 



    Sincerely,



    Roy Speckhardt,
    Executive Director, American Humanist Association

    P.S. - We must put a stop to "don't ask, don't tell" before it's too late. Contact your senators today!

  • Ask Your Senator to Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

    If you're a soldier out on the battlefield, it makes absolutely no difference whether you're gay or straight. And yet, at a time when we're engaged in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our military is stretched thin, Americans are being discharged from military service simply for being open about their sexual orientation.

    "Don't ask, don't tell" bars openly gay or bisexual people from serving in the U.S. military, and over 13,500 troops have been discharged since its implementation in 1993.

    In May of this year -- thanks to voices like yours speaking out against the ban -- the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.” However, there is still work that needs to be done. Today we need your help again to pass similar legislation in the Senate.

    Next week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will schedule a vote on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, which contains language for the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” We need to make sure we have as many votes as possible on our side. 

    Little time is left before the vote, so it’s crucial to let your senators know that their support for a repeal is greatly needed.

  • (No Title)
  • Ask your senator to take action on Don't Ask Don't Tell

    Please send the following letter to your congressman asking him or her to take action on this issue.

  • End "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

    If you're a soldier out on the battlefield, it makes absolutely no difference whether you're gay or straight. And yet, at a time when we're engaged in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our military is stretched thin, Americans are being discharged from military service simply for being open about their sexual orientation.

    "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" bars openly gay or bisexual people from serving in the U.S. military, and over 13,500 troops have been discharged since its implementation in 1993.

    But now we have a real chance to end this shameful policy.

    The U.S. House of Representatives could soon vote to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and we need to make sure we have as many votes as possible on our side. Please send a letter to your representative as soon as possible and ask her or him to support repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."


  • End "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

    If you're a soldier out on the battlefield, it makes absolutely no difference whether you're gay or straight. And yet, at a time when we're engaged in two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our military is stretched thin, Americans are being discharged from military service simply for being open about their sexual orientation.

    "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" bars openly gay or bisexual people from serving in the U.S. military, and over 13,500 troops have been discharged since its implementation in 1993.

    But now we have a real chance to end this shameful policy.

    The U.S. House of Representatives could soon vote to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and we need to make sure we have as many votes as possible on our side. Please send a letter to your representative as soon as possible and ask her or him to support repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."


  • Endorse National Day of Reason

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