LGBT discrimination

Institutional Religious Freedom in Context

In the United States we commonly think of religious freedom as an individual liberty, and at its most basic level, it is. It is individual persons who believe and have faith, and no one can trust for another, pray for another, worship for another, or love for another.

The social nature of persons means that religious freedom will also have essential corporate components.

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Institutional Religious Freedom: Negotiating Diverse Convictions and Societal Harms

In the West today, religious freedom is often viewed as providing a license to discriminate: It shields bigoted acts of unequal treatment by allowing some, claiming the protection of religious motives, to mistreat others. And such injustice is perpetrated especially by religious organizations, which claim the right to treat people—job applicants, employees, customers, patients, students, and others—according to the dictates of their animating beliefs, notwithstanding legal prohibitions on discrimination.

And yet, where there are deep differences of conviction, institutional religious freedom is indispensable to crafting a way for all to live together.

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Conscience Protection and Discrimination in the Republican Party Platform and Mississippi's H.B. 1523

By: Linda McClain

Last May, before the Supreme Court issued its landmark opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges,Cornerstone sponsored a symposium on “Responding to Indiana RFRA and Beyond,” which focused on Governor Mike Pence’s swift “fix” of Indiana’s RFRA, after protests and threats of boycotts, to clarify that it would “not create a license to discriminate.” Particularly controversial were provisions protecting the conscience of persons operating for-profit businesses.

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"FADA" Knows Best

By: Matthew J. Franck

The Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in June 2015 redefined the meaning of marriage in American law. But many Americans remain opposed to the Court’s imposition of same-sex marriage, through a ruling that presumed to change the meaning of the Constitution as well. The reasonable belief that the true meaning of marriage is its traditional meaning—the conjugal union of a man and a woman—can be expected to persist among millions of our fellow citizens. In part, this is because that view is also supported by their religious faith, though moral convictions on the subject can be strongly held for non-religious reasons, too.

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Battleground Over Religious Freedom Shifts Southward, with Broad Implications

By: Matthew Quallen

Last month, the battleground over religious freedom in the United States shifted southward. On March 22, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a law rolling back municipal protections for gays and lesbians and banning transgender people from using bathrooms other than those corresponding to their assigned sex. The nation erupted. A week later, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed a bill, the “Free Exercise Protection Act,” aimed at protecting organizations that might withhold services or employment from some on the basis of religious beliefs. 

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