Press Releases

Interfaith Alliance Praises President’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation

Interfaith Alliance Praises President’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation

Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement in response to the proclamation issued this afternoon by President Obama for the National Day of Prayer:

President Obama did the right thing today by issuing a proclamation for the National Day of Prayer that is inclusive of all Americans. We must cherish the freedom in this country to pray or not to pray.

The reality is that we don’t need our elected leaders to instruct us in the ways of religion just as we don’t need our religious leaders to tell us for whom to vote. However, if we are going to have such a day, I am glad to see that this president understands that it should be inclusive.

Interfaith Alliance, along with Jews on First, sent a letter to the president in April calling for him to support an inclusive day of prayer and reject the exclusionist version supported by Shirley Dobson’s so-called National Day of Prayer Task Force.

 

Interfaith Alliance Praises legalization of Same-Gender Marriage in Maine

Washington, DC - Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement in response to the legalization of same-gender marriage in Maine
Maine's decision to legalize same-gender marriage continues a growing momentum in support for this issue. Like the Governor of Maine, John E. Baldacci, more and more people are coming to recognize that government support for same-gender marriage is "a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law." Expanding civil rights and respecting individual freedom for all persons pulsate at the heart of American democracy.

Given our nation's constitutional commitment to religious freedom, nothing in today's action will deprive anyone of the right to practice the teachings of their respective religious institutions. But the state of Maine will treat all citizens fairly. Members of the GLBT community in Maine no longer will be denied access to the right to marry based on a civil prohibition shaped by some people's religious convictions.

Interfaith Alliance Criticizes Shirley Dobson For Her Stance on the National Day of Prayer

Washington D.C. - Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement in response to comments by Shirley Dobson, head of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, criticizing President Obama for not participating in their National Day of Prayer event. Interfaith Alliance sent a letter to President Obama on April 21, 2009 calling for an Inclusive Day of Prayer.

It is a shame that the National Day of Prayer Task Force seems to think it owns the National Day of Prayer. Once again, the Task Force is misrepresenting the purpose of this national observance. Because President Obama is choosing to observe the day apart from any association with Shirley Dobson's organization, the National Day of Prayer Task Force has chosen to malign him and disregard the fact that his position is no different than Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton before him. Clarity would be most helpful here. President Obama is not the Pastor-in-Chief of the nation and Shirley Dobson's Task Force is not the spiritual judge of the president's personal or official actions.

Mrs. Dobson has every right to call for a National Day of Prayer exclusive to Christians who share her particular doctrinal beliefs, but she has no right to demand or even to expect that the White House will embrace a national event that is not inclusive of all Americans. A presidential proclamation on prayer and meditation should be distinctly different from a call to prayer issued by a narrowly-focused, sectarian organization.

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.”