Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement in response to Washington Governor Chris Gregoire’s signature of the state’s same-gender marriage legislation into law:

I commend the work done by Governor Chris Gregoire and Washington legislators on their efforts to ensure all Americans are equal under the law, regardless of sexual orientation.  Washington’s legalization of same-gender marriage brings us one very important step closer to fully realizing the equal rights of the LGBT community.  However, we still have a long way to go before we complete that mission.

Additionally, while I am pleased that the Washington legislature showed concern for our nation’s constitutional commitment to religious freedom, the inclusion of a religious exemption in this law implies that the First Amendment is not protection enough for religious freedom, which I believe it is.  It is a victory for religious liberty when our leaders choose to treat all citizens fairly and reject policy shaped by some people’s religious convictions.

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.