SB 1146 and Institutional Religious Liberty: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

By Andrew T. Walker

We are now weeks out since 2016’s gravest threat to religious liberty, California’s SB 1146, was stalled. In this post, I want to focus briefly on the type of religious battle that occurred amidst the debate around SB 1146 and discuss the good, bad, and ugly elements of how religious liberty stands to be impacted institutionally.

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/9/14/sb-1146-and-institutional-religious-liberty-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly

Antonin Scalia and Religious Freedom

By: Matthew Quallen

On February 13, news of Antonin Scalia’s death hit the Republican Party like a thunderbolt. Racing out of Texas, the news stunned the would-be Republican nominees, who observed a moment of silence during a debate that same night. The death of the conservative jurist jolted a sleepy senate to life: within hours, senators left and right cast the opening salvos in what promises to be a nasty fight over the balance of the Supreme Court. That fight pushes on, gathering steam. And while the hurly-burly intensifies, pundits on both sides breathlessly analyze exactly what is at stake: major decisions on abortionaffirmative actionunionsNative sovereigntyreligious freedom, and districting during the Court’s current term alone. As some candidates tell it, until and unless a neo-Scalia takes a seat on the bench, the Court’s fidelity to the constitution is blowing in the wind. 

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/26/antonin-scalia-and-religious-freedom

Supreme Court Debates Meaning of Marriage and Consequences of Judicial Redefinition

By: Ryan T. Anderson

Last Tuesday’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court were excellent. There were so many good points made about what marriage is and why redefining marriage would cause harms.

This serious consideration of the harms of marriage redefinition stands in stark contrast to outrageous lower court rulings that had declared no rational basis to state marriage laws defining marriage as it always had been in America: a union of husband and wife. 

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/12/supreme-court-debates-meaning-of-marriage-and-consequences-of-judicial-redefinition

Conscience, Discrimination, and Marriage Equality: Are Analogies to 1964—and 1967—Inevitable?

By: Linda McClain

The swift “fix” of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to clarify that the law would “not create a license to discriminate” followed “storms of protest” from “the worlds of arts, business and college athletics” and threats of boycotts. To some, the highly publicized controversy had parallels to Arizona’s preemptive effort in 2014 to protect religious conscience, even though Arizona neither permitted nor recognized same-sex marriage. Former governor Frank Keating criticized the Arizona law (vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer), commenting: “This isn’t 1964 anymore. We’ve moved beyond that. If you open up your doors to the general public, you can’t pick and choose who are you are going to deal with.”  Following criticism of the Indiana law, Governor Pence invoked his activities in the Civil Rights Movement, asserting that “the issue of discrimination has been an anthem throughout my life.” 

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/12/conscience-discrimination-and-marriage-equality-are-analogies-to-1964and-1967inevitable

Redefining Marriage Would Erode Religious Liberty and Free Speech Rights of Citizens and Churches

By: Carl H. Esbeck

Among the many friends-of-the-court briefs in support of the states in the current same-sex marriage litigation, three especially noteworthy briefs have been filed by religious organizations, public speakers, and scholars concerned about religious liberty and free speech. One brief expresses the joint views of several Protestant churches and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), while a second brief was filed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Both reject the notion that support for man-woman marriage is founded on animus and that the marriage laws can be struck down on that basis. They also warn that elevating sexual orientation to a protected class or same-sex marriage to a fundamental right would impede religious liberty. 

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/12/redefining-marriage-would-erode-religious-liberty-and-free-speech-rights-of-citizens-and-churches