Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy blasted a new bill, the “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act” which falsely purports to protect religious individuals and institutions who object to marriage for same-gender couples. Instead, the legislation would enable discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Rev. Gaddy issued the following statement in response to the bill:
“The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act peddles the false notion that religious liberty and marriage equality are at odds—which is patently untrue. The stated purpose of this bill is to prevent the adverse treatment of anyone because of his or her views on marriage. Yet, this bill would result in the adverse treatment of same-gender couples who have made a lifetime commitment to the person they love through marriage. We must see this bill for what it truly is—discrimination against LGBT Americans and the further misappropriation of religious liberty to achieve that discrimination.”
“This bill would also result in taxpayer-funded discrimination, as it urges our government to fund social service providers without the requirement that they serve all Americans equally. The First Amendment protects our religious freedom but that freedom is not a license to discriminate. A final reminder: marriage equality does not put houses of worship and clergy at risk. Our government cannot—and does not —require clergy to solemnize unions with which they do not agree. Religion and religious freedom should never be used to discriminate, and neither should tax dollars.”
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.