Secular Coalition Sets out to Unite the "Nones" as a Voting Bloc

New Executive Director Seeks to Impact 2016 Elections

Washington, D.C. -- The Secular Coalition for America is proud to announce the selection of Larry T. Decker as its new Executive Director. Decker has nearly two decades of experience in Washington, D.C. as a government relations executive and nonprofit leader.

Decker seeks to employ his nearly 20 years of policy experience to unify the "nones," the segment of Americans who do not identify with any particular religion, and their allies into a recognized voting bloc ahead of the 2016 elections. According to a 2015 Pew study, "nones" are the fastest growing religious demographic comprising nearly one quarter of all Americans.

Decker, who identifies as an unaffiliated Christian, emphasized the need for political candidates and elected officials to recognize and respect atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other nontheists. "Our nation takes pride in our commitment to civil rights and civil liberties. In 2016, everyone should feel comfortable being open about who they are and unafraid to reject the imposition of other people's beliefs in their own lives. Unfortunately, hateful and insulting rhetoric toward nontheists and minority faiths cause many to feel that there is no place for them in our society. The Secular Coalition will staunchly defend those who are stigmatized and remind candidates and elected officials of their duty to serve citizens of all faiths and none."

Founder and President of the Board of Directors, Herb Silverman, praised the Board's selection. "In addition to Larry's impressive background and accomplishments, his passion for our mission made him stand out as a leader. His vision for reaching the full spectrum of the religiously unaffiliated is bold and forward-thinking, and I think he is the right person for the job."

During Decker's nearly two decades in Washington, he has proven to be a valuable bipartisan advocate. Prior to joining the Secular Coalition, Decker has held leadership positions in campaigns and nonprofit organizations, including nearly eight years at the American Red Cross. He has advocated on behalf of international public health issues and was a political appointee in the second term of President Bill Clinton.

Departing Interim Executive Director Kelly Damerow said, "I have the utmost confidence that Larry will succeed in building on the momentum our organization gained in 2015. He has a strong commitment to our mission and the wealth of experience we need to grow our influence and membership."

Contact: Kelly Damerow, kelly@secular.org, (202-299-1091, ext. 207)

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The Secular Coalition for America is the nation's premier advocacy organization representing atheists, humanists, agnostics, and other nontheists. Its mission is to increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States, and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all. The Secular Coalition represents 18 voting member organizations. Find out more about the Secular Coalition at www.secular.org.

 

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