As you might imagine, state legislatures can vary widely when it comes to the issues that affect atheists and nonbelievers. It can be difficult to figure out where a state stands on key topics like constitutional and nondiscrimination protections; special privileges for religion; healthcare and wellness; and education and youth.

That’s why we issue the annual State of the Secular States report.

I have to say, this year’s report analyzes one of the worst legislative sessions in recent memory.

We tracked more than 1,600 bills, the majority of which were attacking civil rights, and in state after state, we saw protections for LGBTQ people and access to abortion care set back decades. A well-funded network of religious lobbying groups succeeded in proliferating harmful, hateful policies and decimating our most foundational democratic norms. With the 2024 election season looming, it’s likely these trends will not only continue but intensify over the next year.

Driven by partisan politics during a general election year, lawmakers will continue to politicize civil rights issues in order to distinguish themselves and distract from failed economic policy. Meanwhile, legislative majorities in various contested states seem intent on eroding democracy to maintain electoral imbalances and insulate themselves from democratic accountability.

That’s where you come in. Many people underestimate how much impact they can have on their local and state governments, and maybe you are one of those people. I encourage you to take a look at your state’s report card and see which issues need your attention right now. The report also gives actionable background information for you to share with your state representatives; so putting together a simple action plan is easy! If now is not the time for you to be active, that’s perfectly fine. You can still support our work financially to ensure that we can cover all of the state legislatures.

We are excited to share this work with you and to help you be part of the national effort to combat Christian nationalist legislation.


Alison Gill, Esq.
Vice President for Legal and Policy

P.S.: We’ll be walking you through the report and answering your questions at our State of the Secular States webinar next week. Please register here and join us on Wednesday, January 17, at 8pm Eastern to learn more about how you can take action in your state.

American Atheists is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, nonprofit educational organization that relies on the support of members like you. Contributions are tax-deductible. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 74-2466507 and our Combined Federal Campaign number is 52217.

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