Shared Spaces and Brave Gambles, in Religious Freedom
Shared Spaces and Brave Gambles, Chapter 33 in Religious Freedom, LGBT Rights and the Prospects for Common Ground (William N. Eskridge & Robin Fretwell Wilson), 2018
19 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2019 Last revised: 20 Mar 2019
Date Written: 2018
In order for “Fairness for All” to be more than a slogan, religious freedom and LGBT rights policymakers must create a shared space to find common ground. This Chapter sets out the preconditions for that shared space:
(1) understanding the common pain and vulnerability experienced by LGBT Americans and religious people and institutions, as well as shared language that expresses hope for reconciliation and workable solutions,
(2) finding common beliefs that motivate groups to work toward a shared goal,
(3) seizing moments where both sides realize the reward of collaboration and the risk of walking away from it,
(4) using skilled conveners—those rare statesmen with the capacity for bringing contentious parties together, and
(5) insisting on solutions that benefit both sides simultaneously, even if the achievements are incremental, in order to secure the ability for all Americans to live according to their deepest convictions and needs.
These preconditions were the basis for the brave gamble that unfolded in Utah’s Fairness for All legislation and remain the preconditions for progress across the nation. Fairness for all, to be more than a slogan, must be a guiding principle for resolving the manifold conflicts between religious freedom and LGBT rights.
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