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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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Gay Rights versus Religious Rights

Gay Rights versus Religious Rights

Chapter:
(p.41) 2 Gay Rights versus Religious Rights
Source:
Religious Freedom and Gay Rights
Author(s):

Stephen Law

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190600600.003.0003

This chapter examines the debate between religious freedom and gay rights in the United Kingdom, and considers whether individuals expressing sincerely held religious objections to generally applicable laws should receive special exemptions from those laws. Specifically, it contemplates whether laws aimed at eliminating discrimination on the basis on sexual orientation should be relaxed to accommodate persons claiming religious objections to homosexuality. It concludes that extra weight should not be given to conscientious religious objections simply by virtue of their religious dimension; to do so would be to confer special privilege upon religious individuals and religious claims. When determining a fair balance between competing claims of religious freedom and gay equality, the religious nature of a claim for accommodation is outweighed by the imperative to promote the equality of homosexuals.

Keywords:   conscientious objection, religious objection, discrimination, equality, rights, gay and lesbian, law

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