Press Releases

Interfaith Alliance Condemns Passage of North Carolina Bill Allowing Discrimination By State Employees

WASHINGTON – Today the North Carolina State Legislature overrode Governor Pat McRory’s wise veto of SB 2. This law will allow state officials to refuse to perform legal same-sex marriages if it contradicts the official’s personal religious beliefs. In response to the passage of this bill, Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of Interfaith Alliance, said this:

“North Carolina’s state motto is Esse Quam Videri, ‘To Be Rather Than To Seem.’ Unfortunately in the case of SB 2, the state legislature got it backward – they want to seem like they are for religious freedom, but they’re not really. Religious freedom means that officers of the government serve all equally, regardless of their personal religious ideology. Religious freedom ensures that secular law, not religious doctrine, dictates government services. It is disturbing and disheartening to see so many members of a state legislative body misunderstand our most important freedom.”

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.”