Interfaith Alliance Applauds Veto of North Carolina Bill Undermining Religious Freedom, Marriage Equality
May 28 2015
WASHINGTON – Today, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory vetoed a bill that would allow public employees to refuse to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite the fact that marriage equality is legal in the state. In response to this, Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement:
“I applaud Governor McCrory’s decision to veto the discriminatory Senate Bill 2. In doing so, he made a laudable stand for religious freedom and equality. When an individual chooses to work for the state government, they commit to serve everyone regardless of personal religious beliefs. To allow public employees to do otherwise, as SB 2’s proponents had aspired, would give religious ideology the government sanction that the First Amendment explicitly seeks to prohibit.”
“With this veto, which builds on his earlier opposition to misguided religious freedom legislation, Governor McCrory further establishes himself as a champion of the First Amendment. As similar legislation works its way through statehouses across the country, I hope other governors follow Governor McCrory’s courageous lead.”
May 21 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Interfaith Alliance Executive Director Rabbi Jack Moline released the following statement following remarks by Boy Scouts President Robert Gates recommending an end to the ban on gay leaders in the Scouts.
“I applaud Secretary Gates’ call today to end the ban on gay leaders in the Boy Scouts of America. The work Secretary Gates has done to make the Boy Scouts more inclusive builds on his considerable efforts to open the U.S. military to gays and lesbians as Secretary of Defense and is a testament to his character and commitment to equality. I welcome, as well, Secretary Gates’ desire to respect religious communities as he seeks this policy change.
“As a private, voluntary organization, the Boy Scouts of America is entitled to craft its own membership policies. However, I would urge Secretary Gates to use his considerable moral leadership to strive for full inclusion in troops across America. For many, the Boy Scouts are synonymous with service to community and respect for all – to create system where some scouts are allowed to grow up into leaders at any troop, while others are barred from those troops that refuse to accept them for who they are or whom they love is not worthy of this organization’s great name.”
May 20 2015
MONROE, LA – Yesterday Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued an Executive Order to unilaterally enact many provisions of the so-called Marriage and Conscience Protection Act, which died in committee earlier in the day. In response to this action, Rev. Welton Gaddy, the president emeritus of Interfaith Alliance and the senior pastor at Northminster Baptist Church in Monroe, LA released the following statement:
“Governor Jindal has proven once again that he values his national political ambitions more than his duty to protect the religious freedom and civil rights of all Louisianans. This Executive Order reflects a dangerous and misguided understanding of religious freedom – it seeks to pit the freedom of some against the rights of others, it allows government employees to pursue a sectarian agenda from their taxpayer funded offices, and it establishes one particular religious view on marriage and human sexuality as state law. It is, in short, exactly the type of policy the Founders sought to prevent when they drafted the First Amendment.
“Given how little this Executive Order does for Louisianans, I can only assume its true intent is to become a rallying call for the religious sectarians as Gov. Jindal prepares his campaign for president. I hope my fellow Louisianan’s will join me in insisting that while he’s still our Governor he must stop jeopardizing our rights for the sake of shoring up his political support.”
May 19 2015
WASHINGTON – This morning, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) introduced the “Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act,” a bill that would ban so-called “conversion therapy” for LGBT individuals. In response, Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement:
“This bill gives explicit, legislative voice to what many of us who have worked with families and in faith communities across the country have known implicitly for years: LGBT identity is not a disease, and any attempt to ‘cure’ identity is fraudulent and dangerous. I commend Rep. Lieu for taking this step to protect LBGT individuals and their families from the false representations and harmful practices of conversion therapy’s advocates. I urge Rep. Lieu’s fellow members of Congress to take swift action in support of this bill.
“This legislation goes to great lengths to protect the First Amendment and safeguard the rights of religious communities. When a service-provider seeks to make a profit off of its alleged treatments, it must be subject the rules and guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission and medical and counseling standards - no matter how much the provider is cloaked in the guise of religious language. We must also remember that these peddlers of conversion therapy intentionally prey on families of faith. Barring them from selling and advertising their services will make our congregations and religious communities safer places for all.”