This week I talked with Rabbi Jack Moline, Executive Director of Interfaith Alliance about an inspirational campaign launched by Interfaith Alliance called the "Everyone Only" project. The concept is to place "We Serve Everyone Only" signs in businesses across the country to demonstrate that no matter what legal rights we may have these businesses will remain open to all. The signs have already been displayed in stores from Oklahoma to Washington, D.C. and will shortly be sent to more than 20,000 supporters across the country. Recently Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams became the first national chain to hang these signs in more than 30 stores across the country. Mitchell Gold stated:
I grew up in the 1960's and remember all too well the signs that said 'we serve whites only' and the other visible signs of discrimination against African-Americans, minority religious groups and more. This sign is a signal to our customers and employees that we embrace serving everyone. If a gay or straight couple, or individual, walks in our store to make their house a home, we stand ready to serve them...equally!
I talked to Rabbi Moline about what he hopes to accomplish with the "Everyone Only" project and his spin on out LGBT issues. When asked what his personal commitment is to LGBT civil rights Rabbi Moline stated:
I am a deep believer in the inalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness but I'm 62 years old and I was not raised in an enlightened era when it came to LGBT issues. My family was a loving family and I thought relatively unprejudiced but I know what my attitudes were coming out of that family and it really took my kids who are now in their twenties and thirties to open my eyes to intellectually what I knew, but in my heart I don't think it had penetrated yet. Once I thought it through and came to understand the organic nature of sexual orientation and gender identity I realized that these civil rights and the equality of all people are not different for civil rights of Jews or Blacks or Latinos or any other group and when rights are denied to a class of people in society it makes for a mandate to focus on especially rectifying that discrimination. So with that long explanation if I had to put myself on a scale of one to ten I probably started out somewhere around six or seven but I'm a solid ten by now.
Rabbi Jack Moline has advised and written for many public figures including President Bill Clinton for whom he provided advice on international affairs as well as the President's personal challenges. He was also invited to offer a blessing to the Obama and Biden families before the 2013 presidential inauguration. Besides being Executive Director of Interfaith Alliance he's the Rabbi Emeritus of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia and serves as an adjunct faculty member of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Virginia Theological Seminary.
Rabbi Moline lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife Ann of 37 years and is the father of three grown children.
For More Info & Download Sign: everyone-only.org