Press Releases

Interfaith Alliance Praises Iowa Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage

Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance issued the following statements on behalf of its President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, and the executive director of its Iowa Affiliate, Connie Ryan Terrell. Gaddy and Terrell both praised today’s Iowa Supreme Court decision.

Rev. Gaddy said, “This opinion recognizes the important boundaries between the legal requirements for the civil institution of marriage and the theological requirements for the religious institution of marriage.  We believe this decision strengthens religious freedom because it leaves the choice over performing same-gender marriages with each house of worship to decide for itself.  It strengthens civil rights by granting equal right for all citizens.  Our organization stands for faith and freedom, and this opinion reflects both values.”

Ms. Terrell said, “The Court’s ruling shows Iowa is a place that celebrates fairness and equality for all Iowans,” said Connie Ryan Terrell, executive director of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, an organization which works to protect both faith and freedom. “It upholds the spirit of Iowa’s constitution which clearly states each of us has the right to equal protection and recognition under the law.”

Statement On Lifting the Ban on Stem Cell Research

Statement of Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy

On Lifting the Ban on Stem Cell Research

Washington, DC - Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement today following news reports that President Obama will sign an executive order on Monday rolling back restriction on federal funding for stem cell research.

Word that President Obama will overturn the ban on federal funding for stem cell research is good news for science and religion. The ban instituted by President Bush was based on the views of a select group of faiths rather then on sound science. Federally funded scientific institutions must be guided by objectivity, facts, and evidence, and not ideology. We do a disservice to religion when we ban scientific pursuits in its name.

 


Statement of Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy On Pleasant Grove City v. Summum

Statement of Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy

On Pleasant Grove City v. Summum

Washington, DC - Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court's decision in Pleasant Grove City v. Summum. The court ruled unanimously that the Summum religious group cannot force the city of Pleasant Grove, UT to place a granite marker in a local park that is already home to a Ten Commandments display.

Today's Supreme Court ruling is of great concern to me. On the surface, it allows communities to favor one religious tradition over another. My preference would be for there not to be religious monuments on public lands at all, but if you are going to allow any, the government must grant equal access to all faith traditions.

The opinion in this case gives me even greater concern about the Supreme Court's decision this week to review Salazar v. Buono, and the likelihood that they may overturn the 9th Circuit's decision in that case. Our public parks are a sanctuary for people of all faiths and belief systems - they should not be used to endorse any one religion.

This decision, taken together with other rulings over the last few years shows a growing trend by the court to erode the boundaries between religion and government. If this trend continues we must turn to our congress and the president to enact legislation and set policy that protects our basic religious freedoms.

Statement of Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy On Salazar v. Buono

Washington, DC - Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court's decision to review Salazar v. Buono. The court's decision in this case will determine whether a cross honoring fallen soldiers can stand in the Mojave National Preserve in San Bernardino County, California.

I view with caution the U.S. Supreme Courts decision to review Salazar v. Buono. The 9th Circuit ruling that the cross represents an "impermissible governmental endorsement of religion" should stand. Our public parks are a sanctuary for people of all faiths and belief systems - they should not be used to endorse any one religion.

If the court decides to allow such displays - and I hope they do not - then they must make clear in their ruling that equal access must be granted to all faiths to erect this type of monument.

In light of the court's 2007 decision in Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation we are concerned about the potential for the court to erode further the ability of ordinary Americans to have standing to protect their first amendment rights.

Statement of Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy On the Pending Appointment of Josh DuBois as Head of the White House Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, issued the following statement today in response to the pending appointment of Josh DuBois as head of the White House Council for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The office was previously known in the Bush Administration as the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Rev. Gaddy has been a leading critic of the office and has repeatedly called for shutting it down.
I congratulate Josh Dubois on his pending appointment as director of the Council for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  He is an impressive, compassionate advocate with whom I have had several opportunities to meet throughout the electoral campaign and the work of President Obama’s transition team.

In every conversation with senior officials on the transition team I have conveyed my preference for the faith based office to be eliminated and a community based office established to help the weakest, poorest, and neediest people in our nation.  However, now that a decision has been made to establish and staff another faith based office, the question remains whether or not a change in the name of the office as organized by the Bush Administration will reflect substantive change in the policies of the Obama Administration that advocates for religious liberty find acceptable.

I am cautiously optimistic regarding the new council.  The transition team has been more than willing to listen to the problems of the prior office and consider a different approach for the new office.  In recent conversations, senior transition officials assured me of President Obama’s interest in establishing a council that protects religious freedom and assures constitutional separation between the institutions of religion and government.  Toward that end, assurances were offered that members of the new council would include people from different professions and not be limited to religious leaders.  I await a final announcement that reflects these assurances.