For Immediate Release
August 26, 2009

Interfaith Alliance Statement
On the Passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, issued the following statement today following the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA).

Our nation has lost a visionary patriot, Interfaith Alliance has lost a courageous colleague, and the poorest and weakest people in this land have lost a vigorous advocate.

Senator Kennedy has been a true leader and passionate advocate for legislation aimed at strengthening individual rights and assuring individual freedom. It has been a pleasure to work with him on a wide range of issues including the passage of comprehensive hate crimes legislation.

My first association with Senator Kennedy came in the early 1970’s when I worked with him on early initiatives to secure national health care.  At the time he was a young, well-prepared, eloquently articulate and influentially activist Senator.  As his tenure in the U.S. Senate increased, his work was marked by even greater passion, wisdom and sound strategic initiatives. 

Ted Kennedy will be missed by all who long for our nation to more fully live up to the promise of the United States Constitution and maximize the wisdom of “We the people.”  I grieve his death and give thanks for his life.

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 has 185,000 members across the country from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition. For more information visit

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