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SSA Regrets Supreme Court Decision Denying Health Care if Religious Bosses Wish


June 30, 2014

Contact: Jamila Bey
Phone: (614) 441-9588 x101
Email: [email protected] 

Secular Student Alliance Laments Supreme Court Ruling to Permit For-Profit Employers to Deny Employees Contraceptive Health Care Coverage Ruling will Negatively Affect Students Who Remain on The Insurance Plans of Parent or Who Themselves Work for Companies Who Claim the Exception to the Affordable Care Act Contraceptive Coverage Mandate 

COLUMBUS, OH – The Secular Student Alliance is distressed by the ruling which will allow employers to deny workers contraceptive coverage based on the religious bent of the owners of a company.

In the 5-4 Burwell v. Hobby decision, the Roberts court ruled that a closely held company may not be made to cover reproductive care that is considered in violation of the religious beliefs of the owner(s) of the company. 

This ruling will potentially eliminate millions of women from having safe and reliable contraceptive health care included in their employer-covered plans.  A major benefit to students under the Affordable Care Act is that a person enrolled in college may remain on a parent's health care plan until age 26.  However, denying contraceptive care to women during the years in which they are most likely to conceive seriously diminishes the benefit of the increased age limit under the ACA.

New Secular Coalition Redoubles Efforts to Work with Religious, Community Leaders to Open Minds and Hearts Across America


June 30, 2014

Contact:Carolyn Becker
Phone: (916) 769-7976
Email: cbecke[email protected]

New Secular Coalition Redoubles Efforts to Work with Religious, Community Leaders to Open Minds and Hearts Across America
 Pew Poll: Nearly Half of Americans Say a Belief in God is Necessary to be a Good Person


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Openly Secular, a new coalition of more than two dozen secular groups, announced today it will redouble its outreach to religious and community leaders to help educate society on its core beliefs, following the results of a new poll from the Pew Research Center. 

Update on Adoption of the Secular Safe Zone Program


June 13, 2014

To:    All Supporters of the Secular Student Alliance and the Secular Safe Zone
     c/o Sam Harris and Project Reason

Re:    Update on Adoption of the Secular Safe Zone Program

Dear Sam,

Last September, The Atlantic published “Bullied for Not Believing in God.” That article led you, through Project Reason, to make a $30,000 matching offer to support the Secular Student Alliance. Your offer empowered our work providing safe places for students whose nontheism puts them outside their community’s prevailing beliefs. Thank you again for your generosity, and to everyone who rallied to quickly meet that match! We wanted to pass along an update on how we have used those gifts. We do our best to be a data-driven and evidence-based organization, so there is plenty of raw data in our update.

Our initial focus upon launch was training Allies directly -- those people who have come directly into contact with Secular Student Alliance staff. These Allies have received either in-person or online training from our staff on how to provide a supportive environment for secular students. As of this writing, we have trained over 120 Allies all across the country. These Allies are on over thirty campuses with SSA affiliate groups, and provide a supportive secular presence on over fifty more campuses or institutions that are not currently served by our campus group model. Secular students at those fifty-plus campuses or institutions now have a clear and present point of light, generally a professor or Residence Life staff member, able to meet with them personally in times of trouble.

For example, earlier this semester a student on a campus with heavy Mormon representation sought out one of our Allies. This student was gravely concerned about how leaving their faith would impact their marriage and two young children. Our Ally provided a supportive environment so that, over time, the student could organize their thoughts and decide on the course of action that was best for them. That student has since left Mormonism while saving their marriage.

Campaign against #TwitterTheocracy on June 10th 2014


Washington DC – June 10th 2014

Twitter has agreed to use its ‘Country Withheld Tool’ to block “blasphemous tweets” in Pakistan, thus becoming complicit in suppressing free speech, and in aiding Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

Over the past month, Twitter accounts have been suspended and tweets have been blocked in Pakistan; a Twitter user has recently been jailed in Turkey for a “blasphemous” tweet. In Pakistan and other theocracy-based states, blasphemy laws are key tools used by those in power to actively persecute minorities. We urge Twitter and all other international companies and organizations to uphold human rights-based standards of conduct, particularly when it comes to freedom of expression.

We at the Secular Student Alliance are standing with the Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA) in full commitment to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 19, pertaining to freedom of expression. Alongside AA, AAI, AHA, Black Non-Believers, Camp Quest, CFI, RDFRS, SCA, SHJ, and other secular allies, today is a day of protesthighlight the role Twitter is playing in aiding and promoting anti-freedom, anti-human-rights, theocratic policies.

On June 10th, tweet hashtag #TwitterTheocracy and speak up about how Twitter has chosen to side with theocratic regimes instead of those who are trying to resist those regimes. There was a time when Twitter was rightly lauded for the role it played during the Arab Spring, facilitating communication between those resisting oppressive governments. In fact, Egypt’s dictators tried to disable Twitter, and then internet access completely, before being overwhelmed by the protests that began at Tahrir Square. Governments in Tunisia and Iran tried similar tactics to suppress protests against those oppressive regimes. Lately, Twitter seems to have moved away from its ethical, pro-human-rights stance, and caved to the demands of oppressive governments.


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