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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Striking a Balance: Advancing Civil and Human Rights While Preserving Religious Liberty

“Striking a Balance: Advancing Civil and Human Rights While Preserving Religious Liberty,” documents how religious arguments have been used to justify discrimination against diverse communities including opposing the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage and equality, racial integration, inter-racial marriage, immigration, the Americans with Disabilities Act, same-sex marriage, and the right to collectively bargain. It reviews the historical context of religious arguments that were marshalled in public policy debates, both to support the expansion of civil rights and legal equality and to support various forms of discrimination, including slavery, racial segregation, ethnically targeted immigration restrictions, the disenfranchisement of women, and suppression of workers’ rights.

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Full Report (PDF)


Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Introduction

Chapter I: The Perversion of the Concept of Religious Freedom

Chapter II: The Tortured Legal Interpretations of Religious Liberty

Chapter III: Historical Uses of Religion to Deny Equality

Chapter IV: Discrimination “Masquerading as Religious Conviction”

Chapter V: Federal Efforts: Are Religious and LGBT Rights in Conflict

Chapter VI: Potential Harms from Religious Exemption Laws

Chapter VII: The Future of RFRA, Nondiscrimination Laws, and Religious Exemptions

Conclusion

Recommendations

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