Ten Questions on Gay Rights and Freedom of Religion
Wilson Ray Huhn
University of Akron - School of Law
March 31, 2009
Akron Journal of Constitutional Law and Policy, Vol. 1, 2009-2010
University of Akron Legal Studies Research Paper
In my opinion most of the legal and social problems that arise under the Constitution stem from the belief, held by some people, that they are better than other people. They do not hate anyone. They simply believe that they are superior and that the law ought to treat them better than the other group. This is true of whites who think they are superior to blacks, men who think they are superior to women, and heterosexuals who think they are superior to homosexuals.
People have often justified these types of beliefs by appeal to religion and have attempted to enshrine these beliefs in our law. But the Free Exercise Clause does not support the proposition that some people - even a majority of the people - have the right to impose their religious beliefs upon others. To the contrary, religious belief is not even a legitimate reason for the law to treat groups of people differently or interfere with their fundamental rights.
Under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution gays and lesbians are entitled to equal rights, including equal marriage rights, because the love that they have for each other is indistinguishable from the love that men and women have for their partners. Their relationships are just as valuable to themselves and to society – just as important and just as sacred as the love between heterosexual couples. In that respect we are all created equal.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: Gay Rights, Same-Sex Marriage, Freedom of Religion, Equal Protection, Free Exercise of Religion
JEL Classification: K19
Date posted: November 11, 2010