Washington, DC – Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement in response to Washington Governor Chris Gregoire’s signature of the state’s same-gender marriage legislation into law:

I commend the work done by Governor Chris Gregoire and Washington legislators on their efforts to ensure all Americans are equal under the law, regardless of sexual orientation.  Washington’s legalization of 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.

Additionally, while I am pleased that the Washington legislature showed concern for our nation’s constitutional commitment to religious freedom, the inclusion of a religious exemption in this law implies that the First Amendment is not protection enough for religious freedom, which I believe it is.  It is a victory for religious liberty when our leaders choose to treat all citizens fairly and reject policy shaped by some people’s religious convictions.

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.