Washington, DC – Today Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of The Interfaith Alliance, praised the House Education and Labor Committee for reauthorizing the Head Start program without sanctioning religious discrimination:

By an overwhelming, bi-partisan margin, the House Education and Labor Committee acted responsibly on Head Start yesterday. After years of attempts to politicize Head Start by allowing providers to commit religious discrimination in choosing teachers and volunteers, the committee rejected an amendment that would create this unconstitutional practice.  The current bill, H.R. 1429, is a very positive step forward towards safeguarding this vital and successful government program.  We cannot allow tax-payer dollars to subsidize Head Start providers that refuse to hire teachers and volunteers solely because they are of a different faith tradition.

The Interfaith Alliance calls on the full House and Senate to follow the example set by the House Education and Labor Committee.  The uplifting opportunities that Head Start provides should be made available to all eligible families, regardless of their religious affiliation.

The Interfaith Alliance (TIA) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the positive and healing role of religion in the life of the nation and challenging those who manipulate religion to promote a narrow, divisive agenda. With more than 185,000 members drawn from more than 75 faith traditions and 75 local activist groups throughout America, TIA promotes compassion, civility and mutual respect for human dignity in our increasingly diverse society. For more information on The Interfaith Alliance visit interfaithalliance.org.