Washington, D.C. — The Secular Coalition for America is thrilled to announce that all three of its policy resolutions have been adopted into the 2016-2018 Texas Democratic party platform. The resolutions include a resolution to repeal religious exemptions to child protection laws; a resolution to strike discriminatory language from the state Constitution that bars nontheists from holding elected office; and a resolution supporting secular reproductive health care policies.
“The nonreligious are the largest religious demographic in the Democratic party and they have a valuable role to play in shaping the party’s platform,” said Larry T. Decker, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. “All three of our policy resolutions were incorporated into the ‘religious freedom’ section of the Texas Democratic party platform. We drew a clear connection between these issues and the separation of church and state. What we accomplished in Texas is just one way that the growing secular voting bloc can and will have a positive impact on the political process.”
In May, the Secular Coalition for Texas submitted six resolutions to eleven county precinct conventions, three of which were adopted and later referred to the Permanent Platform Committee at the state convention. The Committee voted to incorporate the resolutions as clauses in the Texas Democratic Platform. The clauses were then passed unanimously among convention delegates, which approved the platform as a whole.
A day before the resolutions were approved, the Secular Coalition for Texas hosted the first ever Secular Caucus at the Texas Democratic Convention. The caucus educated Texas Democrats about the nonreligious, who now comprise more than one quarter of the entire Democratic party.
“At the convention, a candidate for office came up to our booth to thank me for our work. The candidate admitted he was agnostic, but lamented that he could not be open about it because he felt it would cost him his campaign,” said Sarah Levin, Legislative Associate for the Secular Coalition for America. “This is exactly why our presence at the convention this weekend was crucial. If the Democratic party is truly committed to diversity and inclusion, we invite them to work with us to ensure that faith is not a prerequisite for public office.”