WASHINGTON – Following the historic passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act by the United States Senate for the first time since the bill was introduced in 1994, Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement:

“My how far we have come! Thanks to the monumental work of a bipartisan group of Senators, the persistence of countless advocacy organizations and advocacy of thousands of Americans, our nation today took an historic step forward in our journey towards equality for all people. I am thankful that the Senate has now passed legislation that will prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace and I implore Speaker Boehner and the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives to allow ENDA the up or down vote it deserves.

“I am relieved that though many of ENDA’s detractors—and even some of its supporters—continue to raise religious liberty concerns efforts to further expand the religious exemption were defeated. Religious liberty should not be used to justify discrimination and the religious exemption in the law passed today is broad enough to ensure the protection of religious freedom.”

Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.