New issue for Supreme Court: Can private businesses claim religious exemptions?

August 16, 2013

It now seems almost certain that something I predicted in December will occur: within the coming year, the Supreme Court will decide whether private, for-profit businesses can claim a religious opt-out from a generally applicable law based on the religious beliefs of the owners. If the Court rules that such a claim is permissible, there will […]

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Study finds cross-cultural link between religiosity and anti-gay opinion

August 8, 2013
Pew map

A  study of public opinion in 39 nations found that acceptance of homosexuality is particularly widespread in countries where religion is less central in people‚Äôs lives. The Pew Foundation reported strong support for social acceptance in the European Union, Latin America, North America,  and Australia, areas that also report the lowest religiosity scores. Among the few […]

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Almost 60 religious exemption claims fill federal courts

June 3, 2013

The question of whether religiously affiliated nonprofit organizations and commercial businesses owned by conservative religious individuals must comply with the mandate in the health reform law that requires health insurance plans to cover contraception without a co-pay is playing out in 59 pending federal court lawsuits. In each, the plaintiff employers are arguing that the […]

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Georgetown and gay rights: A healing moment

April 7, 2013

This year is the 25th anniversary of a watershed case involving the conflict between religious liberty and lgbt rights.  In Gay Rights Coalition v. Georgetown University, the DC Court of Appeals held that the DC Human Rights Law required the University to accord the benefits of recognition to gay student groups at the Law Center […]

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The contraceptive insurance mandate: At high risk in the 10th Circuit?

April 3, 2013

The health reform legislation enacted in 2010 requires workplace health insurance plans to include coverage for contraceptives. In a massive mobilization, more than 40 lawsuits have been filed in federal courts around the country challenging that provision. A number of plaintiffs in these suits are commercial, secular businesses, whose owners claim that they should be […]

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Next year in the Supreme Court: Religious exemptions

December 15, 2012

Naturally, everyone is debating the marriage cases, elaborating the arguments for or against standing and worrying (correctly I think) that the Court this term might move the civil rights ball forward on sexual orientation discrimination and backward on race discrimination. It seems likely to be an historic term for Equal Protection law. Next year – […]

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