Event Title

LGBTQ Equality Movement, Reactionary Laws, Establishment Clause, and How it Relates to the Civil Rights Movement

Faculty Mentor

Jennifer Disney, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Political Science

Location

West Center, Room 218

Start Date

21-4-2017 3:45 PM

Description

How are the local, state, and federal government able to continually deny the LGBTQ community equality based on traditional values? These traditional values are based solely on a religion, and our country has no established religion, and cannot make a law respecting the establishment of religion under the Establishment Clause. How are state and local governments able to pass laws with religious exemptions, laws that take away protections for members of the LGBTQ community, and laws that allow for discrimination without federal intervention? Critics contend that society should be loath to provide protections for religious believers, because those protections will hamper otherwise desirable social change. The public will invariably be blindsided by all objections, whether the right to object comes from a generalized protection like RFRA or an exemption from a particular law. Permitting religious objection necessarily will impose costs on third parties or the public generally; and providing a religious accommodation places objectors above the law, giving them special license to discriminate. This can be seen in some states that permit religious organizations to limit marriage retreats and marriage counseling to couples who mirror the group’s vision of marriage and to limit membership in fraternal organizations to individuals in marriages the organization recognizes. As legal scholars Douglas Ne Jaime and Reva Siegel point out in The Yale Law Journal, unlike attempts to protect free exercise of religion, such as the right to use peyote as part of a Native American religious practice, these religious exemption laws cause real harm to third parties, such as LGBT people, same-sex couples, and others who do not conform to particular religious orthodoxies. The proponents of religious marriage exemptions have countered that marriage equality is different, because many people harbor religious objections to same-sex marriage and homosexuality.

Previously Presented/Performed?

The Carolinas Conference: Joint Meeting of the North Carolina and South Carolina Political Science Associations, Winthrop University, March 2017

Course Assignment

PLSC 507 – Disney

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Apr 21st, 3:45 PM

LGBTQ Equality Movement, Reactionary Laws, Establishment Clause, and How it Relates to the Civil Rights Movement

West Center, Room 218

How are the local, state, and federal government able to continually deny the LGBTQ community equality based on traditional values? These traditional values are based solely on a religion, and our country has no established religion, and cannot make a law respecting the establishment of religion under the Establishment Clause. How are state and local governments able to pass laws with religious exemptions, laws that take away protections for members of the LGBTQ community, and laws that allow for discrimination without federal intervention? Critics contend that society should be loath to provide protections for religious believers, because those protections will hamper otherwise desirable social change. The public will invariably be blindsided by all objections, whether the right to object comes from a generalized protection like RFRA or an exemption from a particular law. Permitting religious objection necessarily will impose costs on third parties or the public generally; and providing a religious accommodation places objectors above the law, giving them special license to discriminate. This can be seen in some states that permit religious organizations to limit marriage retreats and marriage counseling to couples who mirror the group’s vision of marriage and to limit membership in fraternal organizations to individuals in marriages the organization recognizes. As legal scholars Douglas Ne Jaime and Reva Siegel point out in The Yale Law Journal, unlike attempts to protect free exercise of religion, such as the right to use peyote as part of a Native American religious practice, these religious exemption laws cause real harm to third parties, such as LGBT people, same-sex couples, and others who do not conform to particular religious orthodoxies. The proponents of religious marriage exemptions have countered that marriage equality is different, because many people harbor religious objections to same-sex marriage and homosexuality.