Governmental Affairs

We Advocate for Secular Americans in Washington

The Secular Coalition for America was founded to give nontheists a political voice in Washington. We meet with Members of Congress and their staff to advocate for legislation we support — and against legislation we oppose. The most important aspect of lobbying is bringing our supporter’s voices to Capitol Hill by serving as a resource on the key issues that impact our supporters. We are ensuring that your lawmakers are informed about how their votes and policies will support, or undermine, the separation of church and state and the lives of nontheists and religious minorities.

Setting the Policy Agenda

The Secular Coalition for America is comprised of 19 national, voting member organizations, each of which is represented on the coalition’s Public Policy Committee that help to produce our legislative agenda. The Secular Coalition also convenes monthly meetings of all the lobbyists and lead attorneys from our respective member organizations to share resources and collaborate on our shared goals.

Congressional Briefings

In addition to individual meetings with congressional offices, our presence in Washington enables us to host events on Capitol Hill, called congressional briefings, where we can convene experts, lawmakers and their staff to learn about a particular issue or legislation to help advance issues that are most important to our supporters.

Our annual Lobby Day and Secular Values Summit brings constituents from across the country to Washington, D.C. to meet with their Members of Congress on Capitol Hill. Attendees are briefed on the most pertinent legislation and issues of the day, trained on how to advocate effectively, paired with attendees from their districts and their state, all before marching to Capitol Hill for pre-scheduled meetings in the Senate and House of Representatives. Advocates are then coached on how to engage and build relations with their Members’ offices on the local level throughout the year.

Our Secular Awards Dinner gives attendees the opportunity to hear directly from and show appreciation for our champions on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures across the country. At this dinner, we present our National Visibility Award to lawmakers who have brought visibility to the nontheist community, and our National Respect Award to lawmakers who have demonstrated respect for our community and our secular values.

At our 2018 Secular Awards Dinner, Rep. Jared Huffman made a historic announcement that a Congressional Freethought Caucus had been established. Congressional Caucuses are formal interest groups made of Members of Congress with shared goals, interests, or ideology. The Secular Coalition for America is honored to work with the Congressional Freethought Caucus to bring visibility to nontheists, promote secular values, and advance legislation that protects the secular character of our government.