Secular supporters in Camp Verde have been monitoring activity in a Christian nationalist book ban group on Facebook, which was part of a recent push to ban pro-equality and diversity books from Camp Verde Libraries. The group was triggered by the inclusion of a “Pride” section in the library this summer and is now attempting to have all books that mention LGBTQ+ topics placed in a restricted section that requires parental access to check out.

Most recently, the group was part of a “Brave Books” event at the Camp Verde Library, in which 80-90 children and adults sang “God Bless America” and promoted “pro-God, pro-America books.”

In response, Library Director Kathy Hellman told the CV Bugle “We serve everybody. All walks of life. Everyone is welcome here.” Personal lifestyles, Hellman explained, “don’t matter to us.”

Hellman invited anyone concerned about the book issue to attend the August 23rd Camp Verde Town Council meeting, where library matters will be discussed. We expect religious rightwing activists to descend on this one, so it will be pivotal for secular supporters in the community to show up.

People statewide can also support equality at CV Libraries by donating books written by LGBTQ+ and BIPOC authors to the Camp Verde Library Endowment.



Catalina Foothills

In Catalina Foothills Unified School District (Tucson), MAGA supporters gathered at Catalina Foothills Church ahead of the district’s last meeting for a “non-partisan” event featuring several local Republican Party leaders, COVID deniers, and promoters of hate group Alliance Defending Freedom. (See the Substack by reporter David Fitzsimmons.) Topics of outrage at the event included COVID shut downs, “woke indoctrination,” posters  highlighting female leaders, the phrase "safe spaces", trans’ kids use of bathrooms, and pronouns.

We’re looking for someone in the Catalina Foothills area to monitor school board meetings and let us know what else is happening in the area. Contact us if you think you can help.

Peoria Unified

Secular supporters made waves at Peoria Unified School District. The first two public comments of the new school year were made by constituents who cited all the laws and rules against quoting scripture at public meetings and laid waste to myths about the 1st Amendment. Later, a brave student spoke up advocating against the politics of division and for student rights.

Members Heather Rooks and Rebecca Hill made a shameful and futile attempt to play to their base, lamenting that a video shown about the history of the district included too much diversity. They then attempted—and failed—to block a measure sending counselors to the National Association for College Admission Counseling Conference, because the conference agenda included sessions on anti-racism and equality.

The next PUSD meeting is August 24th.

Deer Valley Unified

We reported on a disfunctional Deer Valley Unified School District meeting where one of the most far-right politicians on the board has started pushing back against the ineptitude of his extremist colleagues.

Important Upcoming Meetings

Prosecutors: church fire in Douglas motivated by homophobic and sexist views

The man accused of setting the May 22 fires at two churches in Douglas, AZ acted out of homophobic and sexist views, according to a document filed by federal prosecutors.

The document claims Eric Ridenour believes that women shouldn’t hold church leadership positions and that he dislikes members of the LGBTQ+ community. It also says he visited St. Stephen’s in 2021 to inquire about the church’s stance regarding women clergy and said he wouldn’t attend a church with a gay pastor. 

Do you know of secular constituents organizing in the Douglas area, or are you interested in starting a group of your own? Let us know.


Sunday: learn more about taking action on housing crisis

Fired up from our series about Housing Inequity? Get involved! Optimists Resist Indivisible’s next monthly meeting is this Sunday 8/13 at 4:00 – 5:30 PM, and the topic this month is “Arizona’s Housing Crisis and Pathways to a Solution.” Former state Representatives (and current activists) Sarah Ligouri and Christian Solorio will present.

RSVP for the Zoom meeting here.  


Upcoming Secular AZ events



Board and Commission Openings at Governor's Office

The Governor’s office has posted a big list of current vacancies for boards and commissions, including ones that advise on African-American affairs, aging, education, behavioral health, civil rights, human trafficking, and more! Serving on official boards is an excellent opportunity to make an impact on the issues you care about the most. Click here to learn how to apply.


Secular AZ
PO Box 47756  | Phoenix, Arizona 85068
6023804810 |

Follow Us

Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences