Secular Coalition for Maryland Chapter Conference Call

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 14:00 - 14:30
Call In Details: 
Call: 530-881-1400 Enter Code: 978895

 

Secular Coalition for America - Maryland Chapter Conference Call
Call in number: 530-881-1400 Participant Code: 978895
Tuesday, October 9th at 2pm ET

 

Welcome Message

  • Who is here and who is not here that needs to be?
  • Agenda available at Maryland chapter page at secular.org
  • Explanation of conference call style and recording
    • No one is required to speak up, but there will be opportunities to do so.
  • Thank you for joining us for the Secular Coalition for Maryland monthly conference call!
  • The Secular Coalition for America is the only 501(c)(4) lobbying organization representing secular and nontheistic Americans.
  • Based in Washington DC, we are working to make sure that you are heard on Capitol Hill, on the federal level, yet some of the most egregious violations of separation of church and state are being promoted and passed at a state level.
  • The Secular Coalition for America is forming state chapters across the country to bring together secular and nontheistic Americans in each state to lobby on secular issues.

 

State Government Update - November Elections

  • U.S. Senate
    • Ben Cardin (D) running for re-election
    • Predicted to hold his seat
  • U.S. House
    • All 8 Maryland seats in the House are up for election
    • 6 of the 8 seats are held by the Democratic Party
  • State Senate
    • All 47 seats are up for election
    • Democratic Party holds a 35-12 majority
  • State House of Representatives
    • All 120 seats are up for election
    • Republican Party holds an 81-38 majority

 

Issues/Events

  • Ballot Measures - Question 6 Same-Sex Marriage
    • The measure is in response to the enactment of the Civil Marriage Protection Act on March 1, 2012, which will allow same-sex couples to obtain a civil marriage license in the state beginning January 1, 2013 and protect clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs  
    • Text: Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.
    • The referendum allows voters to decide whether the law will be upheld.
    • A vote 'For the Referred Law' is in favor of keeping the current law allowing same-sex marriage, in place and unaltered.
    • Baltimore Sun poll from Sept. 25 shows 49% in favor, 39% opposed, 12% undecided
  • Any other issues we should know?


Chapter Development Status

  • Leadership
    • Executive Committee 
      • No set number of members or roles
      • Flexible to availability and strengths of individuals who want to get involved
      • Examples of Helpful Skills: leadership skills, familiarity with local groups, monitor legislation, conduct lobbying visits, mobilize grassroots, IT or website knowledge, social networking familiarity, comfortable speaking with press
      • Interested individuals: Mathew Goldstein, Ryan Jean, Need emails for: Lucas Cahill 
      • Anyone one else interested? Email Kelly@secular.org
    • Volunteer List
      • Those who do not wish to be on the Executive Committee, but still want to play an active role and help out once there is work to be done, please email  Kelly@secular.org
  • Resources Status 
    • Website
      • MD.secular.org still under construction 
      • Temporarily: Secular.org>States>Your State>Maryland 
    • Conference Calls 
      • Initial organizing calls - Focus on setting up the structure, identifying leadership, spreading the word about the calls and building momentum 
      • After Official recognition - Educate and inform: track legislation, coordinate lobbying efforts and coordinate secular organizations. 
      • Agendas and Call replays available on the Maryland chapter page 
      • Looking into technologies to assist with online discussion 
    • Logo - viewable on Maryland chapter page and Facebook page 
    • Facebook Page – Secular Coalition for Maryland 
    • Future Resources 
      • Promotional resources- brochures, stickers, buttons, handouts 
      • Informational resources – Research, fact sheets and policy papers 
      • Trainings and Guides – media and lobby trainings and guides 
    • National Resources 
      • Powerpoints –available at secular.org/resources 
      • National Secular Calendar – secular.org homepage
      •  National Secular Update Weekly Conference Call - Thursdays at Noon 559-726-1300 Code 199568

Wrap Up

  • What the SCA is doing until the next call:
    • Getting resources in place
    • Researching technologies to assist in chapter coordination
    • Identifying leadership and putting Executive Committee members in contact with each other
  • What you can do:
    • Email Kelly@secular.org if interested in leadership or volunteering
    • Sign up on our website to receive info and updates
    • Check out Maryland’s state chapters page for updates
    • Like the Facebook page
    • Spread the word about the next conference call!

 

Next Conference Call Date and Time

  • November 13th at 2pm ET
  • Same call in number and code

 

Contact Information

  • Kelly Damerow
  • Research and Advocacy Manager, Secular Coalition for America
  • Email: kelly@secular.org
  • Phone: 202-299-1091 ext. 204

Thank You!

 

 

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