law

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.

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/30/conscience-protection-and-discrimination-in-the-republican-party-platform-and-mississippis-hb-1523

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. 

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/30/battleground-over-religious-freedom-shifts-southward-with-broad-implications

Obergefell and the Reconstituting of American Community

To say that marriage was merely incidental to the same-sex marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, would be an exaggeration. There were surely people, after all, who sincerely wanted the blessings of marriage to be extended to same-sex couples. In a broader perspective, though, marriage was merely one convenient point of attack in a larger campaign. Consequently, far from calming cultural conflicts, the Court’s decision has instead provoked an intensification of such conflicts.

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/30/obergefell-and-the-reconstituting-of-american-community

Congress Hits Refresh Button on U.S. International Religious Freedom Policy

By: Judd Birdsall

In May the House passed a bipartisan bill that would bring America’s global religious freedom advocacy into the twenty-first century. The Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act (H.R. 1150) provides a number of critical updates and upgrades to the existing International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. The new bill—or Marco Rubio’s nearly identical Senate version (S. 2878)—merits the Senate’s prompt approval. 

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/30/congress-hits-refresh-button-on-us-international-religious-freedom-policy

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