Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Same-sex unions and religious freedom, con't

The Manhattan Declaration, which several posts here at MOJ concern, and which was co-authored by MOJer Robby George, states:  “We will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other antilife act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, or treat them as marriages or the equivalent.”  In announcing the release of The Manhattan Declaration, the New York Times reported:  "Ira C. Lupu, a law professor at George Washington University Law School, said it was 'fear-mongering' to suggest that religious institutions would be forced to do any of those things. He said they are protected by the First Amendment, and by conscience clauses that allow medical professionals and hospitals to opt out of performing certain procedures, and religious exemptions written into same-sex marriage bills."  The Times then added:  "Mr. George, the legal scholar at Princeton University, argued that the conscience clauses and religious exemptions were insufficient, saying, 'The dangers to religious liberty are very real.'"

So, two questions:

1.  Chip Lupu is a highly respected religious liberty scholar.  If he is wrong--as Robby asserts--why is he wrong?

2.  With respect to same-sex unions in particular:  If all the recommendations in the letter sent earlier this week to Senator Paul A. Sarlo, New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman--the letter sent by by two MOJers (Tom Berg and Rick Garnett) and four others--were adopted, would *that* be sufficient?  If not, why not?  To read the letter, click here.

See also the letter sent earlier this week to New Jersey State Senator Baroni by Doug Laycock (Michigan Law), Andy Koppelman (Northwestern Law), Marc Stern (American Jewish Congress), and myself: 
here.  (Marc Stern is also a signatory to the Berg-Garnett-et al. letter.)  In our letter, we state:  "We heartily endorse a religious-liberty amendment legislation on the lines proposed in the separate letter that Professor Thomas C. Berg and others sent you yesterday.  We come to these issues from a rather different perspective from some of the signers of that letter, but their analysis of potential legal conflicts is accurate, and their proposed statutory language is necessary to legislation that is fair and just to all sides."

(Rick Garnett and I do agree about a few things!)


| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Same-sex unions and religious freedom, con't :