Guest / Limited Access /
In the Battle Between LGBT Rights and Religious Freedom, Both Can Win
Image: BrAt82 / Shutterstock

Last summer, even before the Supreme Court decision legitimizing same-sex marriage, conservative Christians were already anxious about the consequences for religious freedom. It is not an irrational fear. Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California–Los Angeles, was quoted in The New York Times as saying:

“If I were a conservative Christian (which I most certainly am not), I would be very reasonably fearful, not just as to tax exemptions but as to a wide range of other programs—fearful that within a generation or so, my religious beliefs would be treated the same way as racist religious beliefs are.”

Matthew J. Tuininga, assistant professor of moral theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, voiced the concerns of many about Obergefell’s potentially far-reaching implications:

”We are not just talking about photographers, florists, or cake decorators being forced to serve at gay weddings, though those concerns are legitimate. We are talking about adoption agencies being required to assign children to gay couples, colleges and universities being required to offer same-sex couples access to married housing, and any number of similar scenarios revolving around perceived discrimination against gays and lesbians.”

Since Obergefell, the anxiety has only risen. One reason is the religious nature of the disagreement. Both religious conservatives and LGBT activists ground their respective claims in metaphysics. To simplify: The first group believes that sexual mores are rooted in God-given teaching and the natural order. The second group believes every individual has the right to determine how to live sexually, and we each are duty bound to be true to ourselves, however we conceive ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueShane Claiborne’s Passionate Plea Against the Death Penalty
Subscriber Access Only Shane Claiborne’s Passionate Plea Against the Death Penalty
The author and activist puts a human face on the capital punishment debate.
RecommendedCompassion: Why We’re Leaving India, But Still Have Hope
Compassion: Why We’re Leaving India, But Still Have Hope
‘Frustrated’ CEO explains how shutdown of 589 centers serving 145,000 children will affect staff, sponsors, and churches.
TrendingRussia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Editor's PickThe Three Myths of Cohabitation
The Three Myths of Cohabitation
Sociologist Bradford Wilcox reports the surprising results of his new international study on cohabitation and its impact on kids.
Christianity Today
In the Battle Between LGBT Rights and Religious Freedom, Both Can ...
hide thisJune June

In the Magazine

June 2016

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.