That was the title of a lunchtime talk I gave today for law students here, organized by our OUTLAW* chapter, and also sponsored by the Labor & Employment Law society. There was a lot of talk about some themes from my book, as well as constitutional doctrine, the federal RFRA, state RFRAs, Kim Davis, Title VII, Hobby Lobby (basically following my discussion in this paper), and a few other things. But the main theme was that we are on the verge of a ton of litigation in which the new anti-discrimination norms against LGBT people, reflected in the gay marriage decision of the Supreme Court, as well as many state laws, are going to come up against claims of "religious liberty," the liberty in question being the liberty to discriminate on the basis of LGBT status. We no longer have that kind of litigation seeking religious exemptions from laws prohibiting race discrimination, and my expectation is that in a generation, norms against anti-LGBT discrimination will be sufficiently entrenched to make such litigation unviable in that context too. But until then, or until an authoritative resolution by higher courts, we are going to see lots of anti-gay bigotry seeking validation through America's (generally misguided, in my view) scheme for "protecting" religious liberty. The important case out of New Mexico a few years ago illustrates what's in store; the New Mexico High Court reached the sensible result on behalf of equality values, but I'm sure other courts will not do as well.
*"OUTLAW" is the usual name of the LGBT student group at American law schools.
Many readers have sent me this surprising story: a professor at York University in Toronto (a public university) has been required to grant a religious student's request not to interact with women. (The religion of the objector is unclear, but it is presumably some orthodox sect, many of which are notorious for their virulent sexism.) The decision is surprising, since usually religious reasons for pernicious discrimination are not accomodated, not even in the United States, which is the leading accomodator of religious prejudice among the advanced Western democracies. Canada, which has a strongly egalitarian constitutional culture, also provides constitutional protection for "multiculturalism," which means even reactionary bigoted cultures enjoy some legal solicitude.
This student wants to go to university, which means he wants and needs enlightenment. Canada should not indulge his antiquarian prejudices. Show this young man the light!
I'm opening comments for those who have more information about this strange incident. Signed comments only: full name and valid e-mail address required.
Over the last four years, the percentage of Democrats who said they believe in evolution has risen by three points, from 64 percent to 67 percent. But the percentage of Republicans who believe in the theory has dropped 11 points, from 54 percent to 43 percent.
So while there was a 10-point gap in 2009, there is now a 24-point gap.
In fairness, millions of Democrats are apparently ignorant of basic science too. What a country!
Continental Philosophy Farhang Erfani, a philosopher at American University, provides a useful set of links to news, events, interviews, reviews, videos, etc. related to "Continental philosophy" (broadly construed)