Press Releases

Interfaith Alliance Statement on the Vermont Legislature Overriding the Governor’s Veto on Gay Marriage

Interfaith Alliance Statement on the Vermont Legislature
Overriding the Governor's Veto on Gay Marriage

Washington, DC - Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement following the Vermont legislature's vote to overturn the Governor's veto of legislation legalizing gay marriage.

The Vermont legislature did the right thing by overriding the governor's veto of legislation legalizing gay marriage. Today's action taken together with last week's Iowa Supreme Court decision will forever make April 2009 a milestone on the road to equal rights for all citizens. Vermont has recognized and respected the important boundaries between the legal requirements for the civil institution of marriage and the theological requirements for the religious institution of marriage, and should be congratulated for it.

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.