The question has been raised in this space before, most notably in a story last March about a Muslim barber who refused to cut the hair of a lesbian because his religion (1) prohibits his touching a woman other than his wife and (2) deems homosexuality to be sinful. The question posed in the title was whose rights trump whose? When you have two “protected classes” (to employ the present-day leftist nomenclature for groups who deserve special handling because of “unfair” attacks on them by the intolerant right), whose hurt feelings take precedence?
The conundrum raised by that incident has never been a problem for civil libertarians when the religion of one of the combatants has been anything other than Islam.
And now it never will be. On Thursday, the day before the Supreme Court handed down its monumental ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges, the American Civil Liberties Union declared in print that it could no longer support the rights of Americans under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Louise Melling, ACLU deputy legal director, affirmed:
Yes, religious freedom needs protection. But religious liberty doesn’t mean the right to discriminate or to impose one’s views on others. The RFRA wasn’t meant to force employees to pay a price for their employer’s faith, or to allow businesses to refuse to serve gay and transgender people, or to sanction government-funded discrimination.
Read Howard Portnoy‘s full article at LibertyUnyielding via LibertyAlliance.
Photo credit David Woo