TIA will focus its legislative efforts on increasing congressional support for:
- The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (LLEEA), which complements existing federal law by providing new authority for crimes where the victim is intentionally selected because of gender, sexual orientation, or disability. The LLEEA would also remove unnecessary jurisdictional barriers which currently allow federal law enforcement only when the victim is engaged in a federally protected activity, such as voting.
- The End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA), which would prohibit law enforcement from relying on the race, ethnicity, national origin or religion in selecting which individuals to subject to traffic stops or other routine investigatory activities.
- The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would provide basic protections against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
All three bills will be introduced with sponsors and assigned a bill number in the near future.
“Increasingly, religion is being misused as a tool for advancing hate,” said The Interfaith Alliance’s President, the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy. “This package of legislation reaffirms a basic principle – that all Americans should enjoy the strongest possible guarantee of freedom from religious discrimination and faith-based bigotry.”
In addition, TIA also called on Congress to conduct an in-depth investigation of the president’s faith-based initiative. Former administration official David Kuo recently published a book, Tempting Faith, which makes serious allegations of government money flowing to fly-by-night religious charities rather than to more qualified organizations. Many of these conservative Christian organizations provide social services frequently accompanied by religious indoctrination.
“Those in Congress who value religious pluralism must send a strong, unified message that taxpayer money must not be used to advance religious faith,” said Rev. Gaddy.
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.