ADL Denounces Injection of Religion Into Contest for Texas House Speaker

Houston, TX, November 17, 2010 … Saying appeals based on a candidate's religion are "offensive and inappropriate," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today criticized public calls for the next speaker of the Texas House of Representatives to be a Christian. 

ADL Southwest Regional Director Martin B. Cominsky issued this statement on behalf of ADL, in conjunction with ADL's North Texas/Oklahoma Regional Office:

Those engaged in campaigning or advocating for candidates for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives should refrain from appeals based on religion. The decision should be based upon a candidate's qualifications, not his or her religion.

Calls for the next speaker to be a Christian are offensive, inappropriate, and inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution's prohibition on any religious test for public office.

We urge the Texas Legislature to categorically reject calls for a Christian Texas House Speaker, and to publicly denounce efforts to inject religion into the race.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, ADL neither supports nor opposes candidates for political office.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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