ADL Applauds House Passage of Religious Freedom Bill
Washington, D.C., July 16, 1999
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed
the House of Representatives approval of the Religious Liberty Protection Act
(RLPA), designed to ensure that government not interfere with an individuals freedom
to practice his/her religion unless the highest governmental interest is at stake.
Howard P. Berkowitz, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National
Director, issued the following statement:
We welcome the House passage of RLPA, a necessary response to Supreme Court decisions
that have significantly restricted the legal protections governing the right of all
Americans to practice their religion freely. From the beginning, this legislation has
attracted bipartisan support. The League has been pleased to be part of an unusually broad
coalition of religious and civil liberties organizations in support of this measure.
As a national leader in support of strong and inclusive anti-discrimination laws and
broad hate crime statutes, ADL shares the concerns of some in the civil rights and gay and
lesbian communities that RLPA might make it more difficult for individuals to win claims
based on state or local anti-discrimination measures. As the legislative process moves
forward, we will be working vigorously to help ensure that this important protection for
the free exercise of the religious rights of all Americans not be used inappropriately to
thwart civil rights protections provided by state and local anti-discrimination laws.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.