Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement in response to the legalization of same-gender marriage in New York:

New York's decision to legalize 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.

Given our nation's constitutional commitment to religious freedom, nothing in New York’s action will deprive anyone of the right to practice the teachings of their respective religious institutions. But the state of New York will treat all citizens fairly. Members of the LGBT community in New York no longer will be denied access to the right to marry based on a civil prohibition shaped by some people's religious convictions.

I am pleased New York's legislators took religious freedom so seriously. However, the implicit message they sent seems to be that the First Amendment does not provide adequate protections for religious freedom – I believe that it does.

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 interfaithalliance.org.