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Against 'Civil Rights' Simplism: How Not to Accommodate Competing Legal Commitments

18 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2017  

Steven Douglas Smith

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

This Essay, written for a conference on “Faith, Sexuality, and the Meaning of Freedom,” held at Yale Law School in January 2017, criticizes efforts to resolve the conflict between antidiscrimination and religious freedom claims by ascriptions of hatred or animus or by overly simplistic analogies to the Civil Rights movement and its accomplishments. Although pervasive, such rhetoric damages civil discourse and fails to achieve just or stable resolutions. If there is any possibility of achieving acceptable resolutions, the Essay suggests, our discussions will need to be both more pragmatic and more visionary than these modes of argument are.

Keywords: religion, religious freedom, civil rights, legal conflict, freedom of expression

JEL Classification: A00, A10, K10

Suggested Citation

Smith, Steven Douglas, Against 'Civil Rights' Simplism: How Not to Accommodate Competing Legal Commitments (2017). San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 17-294. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2991883

Steven Smith (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-7969 (Phone)
619-260-2492 (Fax)

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