Human Dignity, SOGI Claims, and the Obergefell Decision


Christine M. Venter
is a Teaching Professor at Notre Dame Law School and Affiliated Faculty in Gender Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

It has now been five years since Obergefell, but one thing that even many opponents of the decision on religious freedom grounds might find common ground with, is the language used by Justice Kennedy when referring to the LGBTI+ community. In his opinion, Kennedy focused on the human dignity of the individual and what is required for dignity and full recognition of personhood. Obergefell represents the culmination of the Court’s gay and lesbian rights cases in that regard; previously Lawrence v. Texas, and United States v. Windsor, both established the idea of the centrality of the dignity of the human person. Lawrence mentioned it three times, while Windsor and Obergefell both referred to it ten times. (more…)

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Religion and Religious Freedom in the COVID-19 Era: Finding Community and Hope

 

The Religious Freedom Annual Review brings together nationally recognized policy makers, scholars, and religious leaders to discuss the role of religion and religious freedom in the United States. This year’s review was held online, with broadcasts in both English and Spanish.  Reports and recordings from the conference appear below. (more…)

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Religious Freedom in the Age of Coronavirus: Legal and Non-Legal Strategies for Finding Community and Hope


This post by Brett G. Scharffs , Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies is taken from remarks at the 2020  Religious Freedom Annual Review, Religion and Religious Freedom in the COVID-19 Era: Finding Community and Hope, an Online Discussion held  June 17, 18, and 19, 2020.

The current coronavirus pandemic as presents a kind of stress test upon us and upon the institutions to which we belong. As we strive to behave responsibly, avoiding crowds, wearing masks, physical distancing, this is surely a time that is testing the strength and resilience of the bridges that connect us one with another, a time that is trying our hearts.

We may find ourselves as if balanced on a razor’s edge, with despair lying on one side and rage on the other. We are already seeing evidence of mental and economic tolls this crisis is exacting, alongside the more obvious public health toll.  We are all affected by the horrific price the coronavirus has exacted. The toll upon those who have suffered the illness, and upon their families, is unfathomable: more than 7 million people worldwide have contracted it, many suffering terribly.  More than 400,000 have died. (more…)

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