Religious Liberty vs. LGBTQ Equality

Cake shops and florists claim that providing services to LGBTQ people would violate their religious liberty. Is there any legitimacy to this claim? What are the contours of religious liberty? What’s supposed to happen when someone, citing religious liberty, discriminates against LGBTQ people, thus denying their equality? What does “equality” mean in the United States? Does one take precedence over the other when they come into conflict?

Joining us to delve into this issue is Jennifer C. Pizer. Jenny is the Senior Counsel and Director of Law and Policy for Lambda Legal, the country’s oldest and largest legal organization seeking full recognition of the civil rights of LGBT people and everyone living with HIV.

When we left off on the last edition of OutCasting, Jenny and OutCaster Lucas had started discussing the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which was enacted in the mid 1990s. At the time, marriage was restricted to different-sex couples, but it was beginning to look as though some states might soon begin to allow same-sex couples to marry. In reaction, the federal government enacted DOMA, which sought to limit the marriage rights of same-sex couples in two ways — one state, and one federal.

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