Not a Moral Issue: Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty
Shannon Gilreath | 2010 U. Ill. L. Rev. 205
Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty is a new book of essays edited by Douglas Laycock, Anthony R. Picarello, Jr., and Robin Fretwell Wilson. The book purports to offer a solution that will give Gays and Lesbians access to the benefits of marriage, while recognizing religious objectors’ rights to oppose gay marriage. This Book Review focuses on the book’s intellectual center, Professor Wilson’s essay, Matters of Conscience: Lessons for Same-Sex Marriage from the Healthcare Context, and Professor Laycock’s Afterword.
In this Book Review, the author shows that Professors Wilson and Laycock’s analysis of the same-sex marriage debate fails to seriously account for equality issues that are at stake. The Fourteenth Amendment does not allow religious objection to justify anti-miscegenation laws. Similarly, Equal Protection demands that we examine the religious justifications for anti-Gay marriage arguments more closely. The author demonstrates that, contrary to Professors Wilson and Laycock’s asser-tions, one cannot easily distinguish between religious objections to interracial marriage, as well as religious justifications for other forms of inequality, and religious objections to Gay marriage. The author proposes we should analyze objections to same-sex marriage in light of group-based equality issues, and not subordinate Gays’ and Lesbians’ collective equality rights to the political power of individual religious objectors.