The Equality Paradigm in Warner v. Boca Raton: Winnifred Sullivan and The Impossibility of Religious Freedom

  • Peter Gottschalk

Abstract

In early 2015, a political firestorm swept across the news and social media in the United States following the announcement that the state of Indiana’s Republican governor signed into law a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Already enacted in various forms by nineteen states, Indiana’s version — like its predecessors — would be modeled on a national RFRA signed into legislation by Democrat President Clinton in 1993. However, none of these antecedents had stirred a national level of controversy as did Indiana’s. The difference stemmed from a particular moment in America’s culture wars, as conservative Christians sought to hold a defensive line against the rising tide of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-, and Transsexual rights. As increasing numbers of states recognized gay and lesbian marriage laws, some conservative Christians in Indiana — if not the Governor himself — fought to ‘protect’ business owners from having to ‘participate’ in queer marriage ceremonies that they claimed violated their religious sensibilities. In a Reuters-Ipsos poll taken at this time, 28 per cent of respondents across the United States agreed that businesses should have — based on their religious beliefs — the right to refuse service to any individual, while 27 per cent approved of hiring discrimination as well (Holland 2015).

Keywords

Religious Tradition Expert Witness Religious Freedom Free Exercise Christmas Tree 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Peter Gottschalk 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Gottschalk

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