A Philosopher Argues Why No One Has the Right to Refuse Services to LGBT People

7/25/2017 - Affiliated Researcher in Philosophy Mark R. Reiff in The Conversation.

Ever since the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that gay people have the right to marry, those upset by this ruling have shifted their strategy from denying the right to limiting its enforcement.

Even if gay people have a right to marry, they argue, people also have the liberty to practice their religion as they wish. Accordingly, they claim, they cannot be forced to “aid or abet” those seeking to marry partners of the same sex.

This argument obviously has some persuasive power, for statutes that claim to protect religious liberty in this sense have recently been proposed in 26 states. Some have even been enacted. And just a few weeks ago, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case (Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission) that brings this supposed conflict between marriage equality and religious liberty to the fore. 

In my view, however, characterizing what is going on here as presenting a conflict between marriage equality and religious liberty is incorrect.

Read the full story in The Conversation.