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Religious Freedom and Gay RightsEmerging Conflicts in the United States and Europe$
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Timothy Shah, Thomas Farr, and Jack Friedman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190600600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190600600.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2021



Religious Freedom, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Dignity of the Human Person

(p.1) Introduction
Religious Freedom and Gay Rights

Matthew J. Franck

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter situates present-day tensions between religious freedom and gay rights in the context of Christianity’s historical contributions to freedom and human dignity. It argues that modern democratic notions of freedom and dignity are outgrowths of, not departures from, a prior Judeo-Christian ontology of the free human person. Not only did the Judeo-Christian conception of human freedom presuppose religious freedom, but it contained a distinctive Christian sexual morality that today informs principled objections to same-sex marriage. For those who adhere to this Christian sexual morality, opposition to same-sex marriage is part and parcel of an authentic exercise of religious freedom. Accordingly, the increasing erosion of Christian sexual morality in the West entails a concomitant erosion of religious freedom. Following an overview of the book’s chapters, this introduction considers how this twofold erosion is reflected in the US Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, which established a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

Keywords:   same-sex marriage, dignity, religious freedom, equality, liberty, Supreme Court, Obergefell, discrimination, toleration, Christianity

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