Thursday, April 02, 2015

Conflict-of-Rights: Religious Freedom v. Non-Discrimination

The conflict between Religious Freedom Restoration acts and principles of non-discrimination against LGBT individuals is heating up.  It appears that pressure by large corporations (e.g. Walmart) will quash or get reforms to at least some of the state RFRA's.   Two important American values are in conflict here--religious freedom and non-discrimination.  Two groups are asserting conflicting rights.  This is a very complicated and thorny conflict-of-rights area.  If possible, the courts should stay out of it and let the legislative branch, which hopefully reflects public feelings, decide. One compromise would be to exempt public accommodations equality laws from the RFRFA. However, the Supreme has already decided one issue under the RFRA in the Hobby Lobby case.
Another issue not mentioned in the prior post on this issue is the fact that RFRA rights are not absolute.  Government can infringe on religious rights if it shows a compelling interest.  This is high burden to meet, but can be done. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. If I'm correct, this topic exploded over a private business who refused to cater a same sex marriage as such practice violated the owner's religious tenets. In this particular case, no compelling government interest exist to force the business to cater a homosexual celebration. The business owner's discrimination against an objectionable lifestyle behavior should be a protected religious freedom in and of itself.