Press Releases

Interfaith Alliance Welcomes EEOC v. Abercrombie Supreme Court Decision Upholding Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON – Today the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim woman, Samantha Elauf, seeking an exemption to a store’s uniform policy in the case EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. The majority in the court held that the store was still liable for its disparate treatment of a member of religious community even if it did not have explicit knowledge of an individual’s need for a religious exemption. Interfaith Alliance joined a broad spectrum of religious organizations in an amicus brief in support of Ms. Elauf. Following today’s decision, Rabbi Jack Moline, Interfaith Alliance’s executive director, released this statement:

“The Supreme Court took a measured and principled stand for religious freedom today. Our national commitment to religious freedom and religious pluralism depends on granting reasonable accommodations for people’s religious practices in workplaces, schools, and public institutions. And, in an increasingly diverse America, it cannot always be the burden of religious minorities to explain their faith to others. This decision ensures an easier path to equality in workplaces across America for people of all faiths.

“I have no doubt that there will be some who seek to use this decision as a springboard for further attempts to use faulty claims of religious freedom to broadly justify discrimination and the denial of services and benefits on the basis of religious identity. Let me be clear: the type of narrow, reasonable exemption reaffirmed in EEOC v. Abercrombie – an exemption which protects the rights of an employee, while having no bearing on the rights of others – is exactly what both the Constitution and the Civil Rights Act imagined. It stands in direct opposition to the broad-based religious discrimination legitimated last year in Hobby Lobby, and forced through state legislatures across the country.”

Interfaith Alliance Applauds Veto of North Carolina Bill Undermining Religious Freedom, Marriage Equality

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.”

Interfaith Alliance Praises the Call to End Ban on Gay Leaders in Boy Scouts

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.”

Louisiana Pastor, Interfaith Alliance President Emeritus, Condemns Gov. Jindal’s Executive Order

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.”