Rev. Gaddy, in his role as President of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement today on the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy.  In October 2007 Senator Kennedy was a guest on State of Belief and spoke about the importance of passing comprehensive hate crimes legislation and his efforts to see such measures enacted. You can listen to the interview in the State of Belief archives.

Our nation has lost a visionary patriot, Interfaith Alliance has lost a courageous colleague, and the poorest and weakest people in this land have lost a vigorous advocate.

Senator Kennedy has been a true leader and passionate advocate for legislation aimed at strengthening individual rights and assuring individual freedom. It has been a pleasure to work with him on a wide range of issues including the passage of comprehensive hate crimes legislation.

My first association with Senator Kennedy came in the early 1970’s when I worked with him on early initiatives to secure national health care.  At the time he was a young, well-prepared, eloquently articulate and influentially activist Senator.  As his tenure in the U.S. Senate increased, his work was marked by even greater passion, wisdom and sound strategic initiatives.

Ted Kennedy will be missed by all who long for our nation to more fully live up to the promise of the United States Constitution and maximize the wisdom of “We the people.”  I grieve his death and give thanks for his life.

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