Atheists Grade Massachusetts Senate Candidates

Washington, DC-- The Secular Coalition for America today released its 2013 Massachusetts Senate Candidate Scorecard for the upcoming special election —a guide for secular-minded Massachusettsians on the senate candidates.

The scorecard grades the Republican and Democratic candidates vying for the senate seat in the upcoming election to be held on June 25:

  • Republican, Gabriel E. Gomez received an "A"
  • Democrat, Edward J. Markey received an "A"

“We are pleased that the choice for Massachusetts’ next senator is between two candidates who appear to have a strong respect for the separation of church and state,” said Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America. “The Secular Coalition looks forward to working with the victor to ensure that future legislation is based on reason, science and logic.”

The candidates were scored on their public answers to four topics relating to separation of church and state issues:  

  1. What role would religion play in the candidate's decision making in his or her role as a U.S. Representative?  Does the candidate support a mutual separation between religion and government?
  2. Does the candidate support a science based curriculum in public schools and reject the use of public funding of religious schools or religiously-based curriculums?
  3. Does the candidate support social policies that do not discriminate based on religion, such as marriage equality?
  4. Does the candidate support scientifically based regulations including science surrounding reproduction?

"We are in a good position in this race, with candidates who understand the need to separate matters of personal belief from the duties of office," said Zachary Bos, co-chair of the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts. "As the election proceeds, the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts will continue to invite the candidates to speak directly to the question of how they would work toward the inclusion of all voters -- including nontheists -- in the legislative process."

The Secular Coalition recently established a state chapter Massachusetts that has already begun work, lobbying state lawmakers on separation of religion and government issues. The Secular Coalition for Massachusetts is chaired by Zachary Bos, 30, Lunenburg, MA and Ellery Schempp, 72, Medford, Massachusetts.

The Secular Coalition represents nontheists -- atheists, agnostics, humanists and others who do not have an absolute belief in a god -- and lobbies to protect and strengthen the secular character of the government as the best guarantee of freedom for all Americans -- both religious and nonreligious.

For more information on the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts and for chapter co-chair contact information, visit http://secular.org/states/chapters/massachusetts

CONTACT: Lauren Anderson Youngblood, SCA Communications Manager at [email protected] or (202)299-1091 ext. 205, cell (202)630-9725
Secular Coalition for Massachusetts Co-Chair, Zachary Bos at [email protected] or 617-871-0759

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