Everyone in America is entitled to full civil rights and the protections of the Constitution. Equality under the law has long been a central value for Interfaith Alliance. The affirmation of our faith-based commitments by Supreme Court and evolving federal policy has given us encouragement to continue our advocacy for full equality on federal and state levels. At the same time, we recognize that individual faith traditions may yet maintain matters of doctrine that do not recognize such equality. We affirm that the First Amendment protects such communities from the imposition of the Constitutional standard in ecclesiastical settings and likewise protects people of all orientations from the abridgment of their rights outside of those settings.
Many faith traditions have grappled with issues of equality, including same-gender marriage, through the interpretation and application of scriptural sources. Interfaith Alliance was among the first faith-based communities to shift the perspective on LGBT equality from problem to solution, from a scriptural argument to a religious freedom agreement, and to address the issue of equality as informed by our Constitution.
We continue to be in the forefront of this sensitive but critical conversation about mutual respect and identity. Straight or gay, transgender or cisgender, all Americans are guaranteed the freedom to exercise their individual rights while sharing responsibility to protect those rights for other. We reject entirely the imposition of a single religious perspective on civic society and the imposition of specific civic values on the beliefs of religious communities.
The landmark green paper Same-Gender Marriage and Religious Freedom: A Call to Quiet Conversations and Public Debates by Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, offered a diversity of ideas based on Interfaith Alliance’s unique advocacy for religious freedom and interfaith exchange. This project’s cross-denominational nature is at the core of Interfaith Alliance’s efforts and sparked national conversation and action.
(This project was made possible through the support of the Arcus Foundation and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.)