WASHINGTON – Today, nine federal agencies released their final rules reforming the policies that govern religious organizations that contract with the federal government, seeking to protect the religious freedom of all those receiving government services. These reforms are the result of may years of lobbying and advising from Interfaith Alliance and partner organizations. Following today’s announcement, Rabbi Jack Moline, released this statement:

“The reforms announced today are a critical part of securing President Obama’s legacy on religious freedom and LGBT equality. No one should fear discrimination or intimidation when interacting with a federal contractor or grantee; no one should be compelled to participate in a religious ritual when receiving government-promised services. These regulations, while not perfect, bring the faith-based initiative closer in line with constitutional principles.

“We will be keeping an watchful eye in the coming months as these reforms are implemented. It is critical that we remember that they were drafted and proposed in the spirit of preventing discrimination and the inappropriate mixing of religion and government. Without a doubt, there will be those who seek to misinterpret these policies to push a narrow, sectarian vision of religious freedom. President Obama and Melissa Rogers are to be commended for advancing this work. However, our work is not done, and those of us committed to the First Amendment must remain steadfast in our efforts to untangle religious organizations and the government. We must fight to end the policy that allows for religious discrimination in hiring by federal contractors and grantees. We must prevent federal funding from being used for any form of proselytization, or subsidizing all kinds of discrimination and bigotry.”

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.