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The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guarantees the freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly. In many ways, the rights guaranteed in the First Amendment are the foundation of our democratic political system. Yet we always have to make sure that we find the balance between exercising our freedoms and ensuring we don’t infringe on the freedoms of others. Interfaith Alliance is the only national interfaith organization that focuses on protecting both religion and democracy in the US today. Their mission “celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism.” 

In a country as diverse as the United States, it’s important that we maintain the boundary between religion and government, so that “politics doesn’t infringe on your faith and matters of faith don’t infringe on your freedom.” Interfaith Alliance promotes this political boundary in various areas. One important area is that of LGBTQ+ equality. Interfaith Alliance recognizes that different faith traditions handle LGBTQ+ identities in different ways, and that the First Amendment protects these faith communities from government interference in their private activities. However, the LGBTQ+ community is also protected by the First Amendment and has the right to be treated fairly, equally, and with respect in the public sphere. To this end, Interfaith Alliance supports various initiatives pertaining to employment discrimination, civil rights violations, foster parent and adoption policies, and same-sex marriage. 

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Interfaith Alliance also promotes grassroots activism that empowers individuals to make a difference in their own communities, and education initiatives that “facilitate interfaith dialogue to enhance mutual understanding and respect for religious differences.” Interfaith Alliance is committed to combating the rise of hate crimes in the US in order to ensure that we all feel safe. The Alliance supported the passage of federal hate crimes laws in 2009 and 2021, and has joined in statements of solidarity for targeted groups. And together with 55 other organizations, Interfaith Alliance has co-authored a comprehensive civil rights policy recommendation report for schools to ensure safe, healthy, and inclusive school environments.  

Thank you, Interfaith Alliance, for making the world a better place!